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Neema Adam for ClickPesa

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Transitioning from a designer to a frontend developer

Transitioning from a designer to a self-taught front-end developer can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Acknowledging the learning curve and being prepared to learn is the first step toward achieving this goal. For successful learning, you can find learning resources that work for you, such as online courses, tutorials, or documentation. Remember to set goals and track your progress to help you stay motivated throughout the process.

In the following sections, I am excited to go through some tips that helped me successfully transition into this new career path.

Embrace the Learning Curve

Designing and developing share some common aspects but also require different skill sets. As a designer, you might be familiar with UI/UX design principles, but front-end development involves coding, debugging, and building UIs from scratch.

Start by breaking down the required skills into smaller chunks beginning with the basics and working your way up. Since you are probably a beginner, here is a simple roadmap and an overwhelming roadmap that you can use if you can't make your own. There is also this cool youtube video by Coder Coder that could help make things less overwhelming.

There are many online resources available to help you learn front-end development. I learned everything I know online. I started with FreeCodeCamp, Sololearn, and W3Schools then added YouTube channels such as Traversy Media, FreeCodeCamp, and Dev Ed. Find learning resources that work for you, such as online courses, tutorials, or documentation. The roadmap link I have shared also contains learning resources for each topic. Click on any topic and a drawer will open with links to different learning resources.

Build a Strong Foundation

Building a strong foundation in front-end development requires learning the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are the building blocks of any website. Once you understand these languages, you can start building more complex web pages and applications.

Learning how to use developer tools is also essential. These tools help you identify and fix issues with your code. Developer tools can also help you optimize your website's performance and improve its accessibility.

Familiarizing yourself with responsive design and accessibility is also important. Responsive design ensures that your website looks good on any device, while accessibility ensures that your website is usable by people with disabilities.

Apply Your Design Skills

One of the advantages of transitioning from a designer to a front-end developer is the ability to apply your design skills to create visually appealing websites or web applications.

Collaborate and Build Your Network

Collaborating with other developers and designers is an excellent way to build your network and learn from others. Joining developer communities and attending local meetups or events can help you to meet other like-minded individuals and build relationships.

Seeking feedback on your work is also important to improve and grow as a developer. Feedback can help you identify areas where you need improvement and areas where you excel.


Building projects and solving challenges is a great way to help you understand concepts that you will be learning and discover new things that you may want to pursue such as learning a frontend framework or exploring Canvas and WebGL. You can get project challenges from places like Frontend Mentor, CodePen Challenges, or Frontloops.


In conclusion, transitioning from a designer to a self-taught front-end developer can be a daunting task. As a beginner, It's easy to get bogged down trying to make sense of everything, but it's important to remember that building projects is a great way to discover new knowledge gaps and keep learning. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and seek feedback; this is how you'll continue to grow and develop your skills as a front-end developer. With determination and perseverance, you can achieve your goal and embark on an exciting and rewarding career in front-end development.

Thank you for reading. If you're interested in learning more about software development, fintech, and other related topics, be sure to check out the ClickPesa publication. Our team is constantly writing and publishing articles that cover a range of topics related to software development, product design, and entrepreneurship.

At ClickPesa, we are passionate about building products that help people and businesses succeed in today's digital economy. If you're interested in learning more about our products and services, be sure to visit our website and follow us on social media.

Top comments (3)

baharajr profile image

Why did you transition?
Any pointers to anyone starting out in the design industry and what to look forward to?

neicore profile image
Neema Adam

I transitioned because my career goal has always been development. For anyone starting out as a designer, do a lot of practice, its okay to start by cloning other apps and products so you can get comfortable with your designing software and learn a couple of tricks from already stablished designs. Also expect the most vague requirements from clients, things like "make it pop" 馃槄

jlabrada71 profile image
Juan Ram贸n Labrada Estrada • Edited

One tool that helps when transitioning from designer to vuejs developer is . It allows to design the UI visually and then generates the front end code for VueJS