Not exactly sure what front-end development means? While there are several layers in Full-Stack software development (between 5 and 9, depending on who you speak to!), all of them can be summarised into three areas—front-end, middle and back-end software development. Here we explore what front-end development means, what is expected in the role of a front-end developer and what essential languages to learn.
What is Front-End Development?
Front-end development describes the part of an app or website that customers interact with directly. This includes the user interface, text, buttons, links and animations. Development on the front end requires the software developer to have several skills and competencies. These include the ability to code an application or website using the correct programming languages, and design skills to bring the app together, ensuring the user has an excellent experience.
The goal of a front-end developer is not just to write high-quality code but also to ensure that an app or website meets accessibility, usability and performance criteria.
Why Front-End Development?
Front-end developers, like software developers in general, are in huge demand. Remember, a front-end developer creates what a customer uses directly. If your front end is not working right, then simply put, a company will lose business and customers. As a front end, you are responsible for the following:
- First impressions of an online experience.
- Ensuring what you develop can cater appropriately for your company branding.
- What you create must be capable of building trust and confidence for the customer.
Keeping up to date as a Front-End Developer
One challenge that front-end developers face is that the available tools and programming languages are in a constant state of flux. Therefore, programmers need to keep learning to stay up to date.
Layered on top of the changes to the tools available, the number of web-enabled devices has increased beyond the desktop to include a range of mobile devices, each supporting a range of web browsers. The challenges for front-end developers and designers have, therefore, further increased.
Top Front-End Languages
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and it’s all about content. HTML defines the structure of the web pages that we view in our browser every time we go to a website. HTML defines the structure of a webpage, including text, paragraphs and links.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the language of style. It allows developers to provide the visual impact for websites without having to write complex HTML. CSS allows you to modify the elements you’ve created in HTML and gives an insight into working with different types of fonts and other style features. It adds the design element to web pages and applications.
Best Front End language to learn
Why Front-End Development?
When learning to become a web developer, students can study front-end, back-end or full-stack development. If you choose to learn about front-end development, then the good news is there is a very high demand for these developers. However, the same can be said about all aspects of software development.
With front-end development, you will have a high chance of showing off your creative skills. For example, if you’re into designing excellent user interfaces and user experiences, then this is where you get to see the interactions that a customer has with a site or an app.
Like with the other stacks, front-end development is constantly advancing and changing. This is exciting because, as a programmer, you will always have the opportunity to see how new technology works on a site’s users.
In short – what about Back-End development?
While the front end is the look and feel of a website, the back end is everything behind the scenes of a website or application that the user can’t see.
The back end collects data from external servers and apps and filters this information back into the website to process user requests. For example, if you’re booking a flight, you enter your information into the website. That information will be stored in a database that was created on a server and will be processed to book your flights. All of these stages are part of back-end development.
Back-end developers are responsible for building the technologies that host these database interactions and user requests. Their role is essential; they implement and manage all the behind-the-scenes elements of the back-end development to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of a website or an application.
Where to start with Front-End development
Looking to start your development journey? Here’s a chance for you to learn some of those front-end tools – for free. Try our complimentary 5 Day Coding Challenge. It will teach you some of the basics and after five days, you’ll have built your first web page. It will also show you what it is like to learn online. Register now through the form below.