Front-end Development in 4 Steps

Computer programmers.

Essentially, the difference between frontend and backend web development is that the first one serves the client side (what we see on the front i.e. a screen) and the latter is supporting the server side (what’s under the hood of a website). (Image: via careerfoundry.com)

Changing careers might be daunting. However, pursuing more than one job route throughout your lifetime is acceptable. If you’ve arrived here, you undoubtedly think that front-end development is your ideal next step.

You may be asking how to become a front-end developer and if it is possible to do so without a degree. Continue reading to find out the answers to these and other questions.

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What is front-end development?

If you’ve just started learning web development, you’ll probably have heard a lot of talk about frontend and backend programming. But what exactly do we mean by this? If you’re a beginner in the field, it can be hard to know which is which and what is covered by one or the other.

Essentially, the difference between front-end and back-end web development is that the first one serves the client side (what we see on the front i.e. a screen), and the latter supports the server side (what’s under the hood of a website).

While these two types of programming are certainly distinct from one another, they’re also like two sides of the same coin.

A website’s functionality relies on each side communicating and operating effectively with the other as a single unit. Is one more important than the other? Nope. They both play very important roles in web development.

Now let’s discuss the four significant steps to becoming in front-end development. 

1. Make a strategy for your learning

Over the past decade, schooling requirements have eased across the IT industry.

Getting a job in front-end development without a degree wasn’t easy. However, employers are now considerably more accommodating! There are several paths you may pursue to become a web developer.

  • Programming boot camps are less expensive than university but may be more costly than self-learning. Boot camps frequently offer financing and scholarships.
  • Self-learning can include free coding classes, low-cost self-paced coding courses, or books. You may also learn by watching YouTube videos or using a platform like freeCodeCamp. Depending on the materials you use, self-learning can range from free to a few thousand dollars. On the other hand, it might take as little as ten months or as many years.
  • A university is the most expensive and time-consuming approach to becoming a developer. This can cost more than US$40,000 unless you reside in a nation with free or low-priced university education. University programs typically last four years.
Over the past decade, schooling requirements have eased across the IT industry.
Over the past decade, schooling requirements have eased across the IT industry. (Image: via Pixabay)

2. Acquire experience

You’ll need to create a web development portfolio to land your first job. But you can only construct a portfolio if you have experience.

You may get experience by creating projects for your portfolio or contributing to open-source projects. You will likely have several portfolio projects when you complete a boot camp.

Apprenticeships and internships are available to help you obtain experience. These can be excellent opportunities to acquire portfolio pieces. Apprenticeships are frequently compensated, and some even cover the cost of boot camp. Internships can be either paid or unpaid.

Another excellent option to obtain expertise is volunteering for a humanitarian organization or NGO. You’ll be able to demonstrate and enhance your abilities, add a project to your portfolio, and contribute to a worthwhile cause.

3. Begin constructing your front-end portfolio

Front-end development requires building a website to display one’s work.

Feel free to use templates while creating your portfolio website. However, if you don’t have three or more works to present in your portfolio, it’s a good idea to chronicle the process of creating your portfolio site.

Add extras like dark mode, animations, and case studies to elevate your site and put it as a project in your portfolio.

Include who you are as a developer and as a person. Of course, your technical abilities are essential, but so is your personality! Include links to source code and a Loom video summary of your project for good measure.

Remember to include links to your LinkedIn, GitHub, StackOverflow accounts, and any other social networks you wish to promote.

Front-end development requires building a website to display one's work.
Front-end development requires building a website to display one’s work. (Image: Prathan Chorruangsak via Dreamstime)

4. Submit job applications

You’ve learned how to code, gotten experience, and built a portfolio. Excellent job! You’re on the right track to becoming a front-end developer.

It is now time to apply for employment. We’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to land your first coding job, but here are some pointers for now.

To begin, as a developer applicant, you should expect numerous rounds of interviews and at least one code challenge.

  1. Jobs in front-end development may be found all over the Internet.
  2. Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Google Jobs, and Hired are some general job boards.
  3. Dice, HackAJob, No CS Degree, Arc, AngelList, and Hacker News, are some tech job boards.
  4. Discord, Telegram, and Slack are examples of online front-end development communities.

Wait to hear back after you’ve applied for some jobs.

You’ll have to undergo a lengthy interview, so be ready. Before your first interview, also do some research on web front-end development interview questions.

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