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Posted on February 18th, 2021 in Front End Development

If you’re considering a career in website design, it may be difficult to know where to start. Website development is complex, requiring developers to learn new languages with perplexing names and writing code that, to a layperson, might look like lines of gibberish.

While it may seem daunting to learn website design, the creation of websites is a piecemeal approach. 

There are two primary players involved in website development: Front-end and back-end developers. While they are similar in that both require a strong knowledge of how to code in various programming languages, their goals are quite different. 

What is front-end web development?

When you land on a web page, all the visual elements and functions you see and interact with have been created by front-end developers, sometimes referred to as client-side developers. 

Using coding languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript, front-end developers strive to create websites that are easy to navigate. Further, front-end developers have to think about responsive design; how the website will be displayed on various devices, screen sizes, browsers, and operating systems. This includes accessibility—ensuring users with disabilities can use websites and web apps.

For example, the moment you open up a new website, user interface elements such as the layout, design, navigation buttons, and images will be created by front-end developers.

What is back-end development?

While front-end developers are responsible for all visible elements of a website, back-end developers are tasked with managing databases and everything behind the scenes that makes a website run smoothly. Back-end developers will write code and application programming interfaces (APIs) for the server-side of the web application, integrating the work done by the front-end developer.

Is front-end development difficult?

For someone unfamiliar with coding languages, front-end development could be mystifying. However, as with anything, learning to become a front-end developer starts with foundational education. Learning coding languages is fundamental to becoming a programmer, whether it’s front- or back-end development.

Some of the most challenging tasks for a front-end developer include debugging websites and ensuring cross-platform responsiveness. 

What skills do I need to be a front-end developer?

To be a successful front-end developer, you should ideally be motivated by problem-solving and finding inventive solutions to challenging problems inhibiting the user experience. 

It’s crucial to gain fluency in common programming languages such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and Javascript. Some programmers will add many coding languages to their development repertoire, while others pick one to master.

HTML and CSS are often considered the building blocks of coding. From creating color schemes to designing fonts and layout, the two are fundamental to web design. Javascript is another important language to grasp, as it will add even more functionality to your website design. Beyond these three, there are many other languages that will give you a leg-up when you’re looking for a job.

Python is an increasingly popular coding language, often referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of programming languages. It has a reputation for being easy to learn, simple to edit, and highly flexible for creating a number of website functions such as building a chat box or analyzing data. It can be used for both front- and back-end development, making it highly useful for all stages of website creation.

C++ is another flexible programming language used by both front- and back-end developers. Similar to Python, C++ is easy to learn and known for its efficiency. It’s commonly used by beginners and can be a great language to have in your skillset as a developer.

Other languages often used in front-end development include HTML5, React, AngularJS, JQuery, Git, PHP, and Bootstrap.

We take a closer look at front-end web developer skills in our blog, and where you can apply them.

Is front-end development a good career?

For those considering a career in computer science, web development is a great option. It’s a constantly growing field with competitive salary potential and flexibility. Front-end development is ever-changing, meaning you’ll be learning new things throughout your career. As our lives become increasingly more digitized, web development will continue to flourish for the foreseeable future.

Understand more about what front end developers do here.

How much money do front-end developers make?

One of the big reasons that so many people want to explore career options in front-end development is the earning potential. According to Payscale, the average income for a front-end developer in mid-career is between $75,000 and $100,000. 

There are plenty of factors that go into salary expectations including education, certification, and the number of years you’ve worked as a developer. 

As an entry-level front-end developer, you can typically earn about $50,000, depending on where you live and your level of education. You can live comfortably here in Indiana even on an entry-level salary. 

Go deeper in our article about front-end developer salaries.

What are the requirements for getting a job as a front end developer?

The path to becoming a web developer is varied: Some developers complete a four-year degree to work in their fields, while others teach themselves how to code. While self-taught coders can successfully work in the industry, it can take a while to gain the experience necessary to find a job. Although formal education isn’t necessary, it can be helpful to attend an immersive coding bootcamp to quickly learn the basics from qualified mentors.

Eleven Fifty Academy offers both part- and full-time courses that can teach you how to become a web developer in just a matter of months. The web development bootcamp teaches students the basics of coding, including how to write in the common programming languages: HTML, CSS, and Java. Students learn foundational web design skills and have the opportunity to build out their portfolios throughout the course. 

For students unsure whether to focus on front- or back-end development, coding bootcamps offer a great opportunity to try them out by creating full-stack projects that integrate both sides of web design.

If you’re considering a career in front-end development but are completely new to coding, you can gain skills in HTML and CSS by attending a free online course. Not only will you come away with some foundational knowledge, but you’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn how Eleven Fifty helps students land their first jobs after finishing the program.

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