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7 Must Have Skill For A Modern Day Front-end Developer

desoga profile image deji adesoga Updated on ・5 min read

Empathy begins with understanding life from another person's perspective.
Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It's all through our own individual prisms.- Sterling K. Brown

Introduction

Gone are the days were front-end web development is all about creating websites with just custom Html, css and probably a bit of javascript for interaction.

With the popularity of frameworks and libraries, the requirements to work as a front-end developer continues to become more ambiguous.

This could serve as a problem for beginners in the long-run as they may want to spend lesser time in learning the basics (html, css & javascript) before rushing to learn a framework or library.

When you take a look at job postings, you see almost every job requirements include a framework or library for junior level positions. You will find it difficult to see a job that requires just html and css.

Due to the frequent change of taste in the industry, I have decided to put together a list of 7 skills I feel will not make junior web developers look like fish out of water when they get their first front-end job.

1). Html, Css & javascript

This is the building block of what makes a front-end developer. As with any profession, it is always pertinent to have a good grasp of the basics before delving into the difficult parts.

  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. HTML is not a programming language, although you may find some few developers who think otherwise.

The main use of html is to structure the content of the web page. HTML consists of different elements, which can be used to enclose, or wrap, different parts of the content to make it appear a certain way.

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used for the presentation of documents created in html. It helps to improve accessibility, flexibility and control by providing functionalities that helps to manipulate page layouts, colors,fonts and much more.

  • Javascript also known as ECMAScript is a programming language that enables interaction between web pages. It plays an important part in building web applications and is well supported by web browsers. Html, Css and javasrcipt are one of the core technologies of the world wide web.

It is essential for a front-end developer to have a solid background of these three technologies.

2). Git

Git is a version control system used for tracking changes made in codes in a software development process. It enables programmers collaborate together on projects, which enables tasks to be completed at a faster rate.

As a front-end developer in the modern era, the importance of git cannot be overemphasized. Almost every job posting makes the basic knowledge of git a requirement.

To make use of git you'll likely need to be familiar with the command line, so if you're scared of the command line, you need to overcome your fears and start learning the basics, from navigating between files on your local machine, to using it to make your first pull request.

3). Responsive Design

So, you are now familiar with html, css and javascript. You can put together a website that is user friendly.

With the popularity of smart phones and tablets with different screen sizes, it is important to make responsive design a priority in every website or application you create.

Gone are the days were people mostly view websites and applications on their desktops. In today's world, an average person spends at least 4 hours on their smart phone per day.

Most people will likely view your application or website from a mobile device, hence the need for a solid basic knowledge of css which helps to make user experience much better for the users.

4). Test Driven Development

This may not be too popular among developers at junior level. I include this on the list because writing testable codes is very essential for developers even at junior level.

It is good to be aware for a modern day junior web developer to know how a test driven process works. In my first job as a web developer, I found myself in an environment that was highly test driven and I am glad I was exposed to the whole process at an early stage in my career.

Tests come in various forms (end-to-end, unit and integration) test. You can read about them and get familiar with the terms and what they mean.

5). Javascript Library/ Framework

As a modern day front-end developer, you will eventually have to learn a javascript framework or library if you want to increase your chances of getting a job.

The popular javascript frameworks and libraries out there include Angular, React, Vue Js and Svelte.

Most developer find it difficult on which framework or library to learn first. I think that decision should be based on the location you currently live in. For instance, in the United States, React is very popular. So if you are from the USA, you may want to learn React first.

In the country I live, most companies make use of Angular, so I started learning angular first. So you can make a little research on which framework or library is mostly used in your location and you can just start with that.

6). Basic knowledge of Server Side Rendering/Scripting

A while back all that is required from a front-end developer is to make websites that displays web content without much functionalities.

Today, a front-end developer is expected to have a basic knowledge of how Api's and servers work in relation to the application being created.

Having a basic knowledge of how the server side works enables the front-end developer create a better architecture in terms of code quality and also be familiar with the authentication process in an application.

7). People skills

Yes technical skills are very important, but we live in a day and age were people get distracted easily and find it difficult to hold conversations for long without taking a look at their smart phones.

As a web developer, you need to have interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others clearly and properly.

You shouldn't be relating to your product manager while checking some notifications on your device. You should know how to ask for help on a task you find difficult to complete from a colleague or senior developer.

The definition of communication may look simple, but it's one of the hardest skills to master.

Conclusion

The road to reaching the level you aim to attain is a long one. As more and more technologies are released, you shouldn't feel compelled to learn everything at once.

Choose a web stack, get really good at it enough to build something tangible before trying to learn something else.

The older you get as a developer, the more valuable you become. Do not put yourself under the pressure of trying to keep up with every new technology that is being released.

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Discussion (12)

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omarel profile image
Omar Elbaga

The front end developer role has really grown. The lines between full stack and front end seem to be blurring everyday. Because as a front end developer if you can consume apis and write to databases there's no app you can't build.

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desoga profile image
deji adesoga Author

You're right. I actually discovered this in my first job as a front-end developer.

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fluxedscript profile image
FluxedScript

The JavaScript section needs to be rewritten as there is a spelling mistake in it.

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desoga profile image
deji adesoga Author

Thanks very much agent1510. I've rewritten it and made the necessary corrections.

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fluxedscript profile image
FluxedScript

Then this also

html, css and javasrcipt are one of the core technologies of the world wide web.

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plainswalker123 profile image
Qasim AAron

Great posts! makes it easier for someone to understand the reality of the market :)

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desoga profile image
deji adesoga Author

Thanks. You can subscribe to my newsletter for more contents. Link is at the end of this article.

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orisa profile image
orisa

Agree with u esp on number 7

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desoga profile image
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