“If you’re already a front-end developer, well, pretend you’re also wearing a pirate hat.”
― Ethan Marcotte
And such pirates are the most sought after people in the IT industry. The secret behind every amazing website, SaaS, Mobile Application, PWA or SPA is a skilled front end developer who alludes typography, animations, page layout, website flow, and much more. They bring creativity and a perspective to the table which is extremely valuable.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for web developers is expected to grow by 13% by the year 2028 with a median pay of $73,760 per year. This clearly depicts how valuable front end developers are going to be in future – in terms of the developer’s career.
The average front-end developer salary in the US is $105K per year in the current times. For a company, this is an investment to be done sooner or later for their growth. In light of this fact, the companies are actively working on strategies for hiring a skilled Front-end developer who can enhance the User Experience on their website/application and drive more customers to their business. Though there is an enormous pool of front-end developers available in the market, finding the perfect one who works with the right approach and in the right direction is a strenuous task to do.
To clear the haze, listing down the specialized abilities and skills that should be in your checklist while hiring a front-end developer.
What are the Front-end Developer Skills to look for?
To answer your question, let’s check out the complete list of skill sets that are essential for a front-end developer to excel in his field.
The skillset has been broadly divided into 2 categories- Technical Skills and Non-Technical Skills, let’s dig a little deeper into each category and guide you through the process.
Being a Front-end developer, one should at least possess a set of basic technical skills, without which the Front-end Development is impossible. Brandon Morelli, the creator of Codeburst, came up with a perfect tech road map that depicts the technical knowledge that is essential for a Front-end developer.
The roadmap gives an idea of the technical skills to look for in a Front-end developer while hiring. Let’s check out the basic ones-
HTML(HyperText Markup Language), considered as the backbone of the web, is the standard language for developing Web pages, hence establishing the base of any website. HTML depicts the structure of a Web page in which it should appear on a website, making it the most essential aptitude that a front-end designer should be the master of.
CSS(Cascading Style Sheet), a styling language of a webpage, makes the Web development process more managed and clear. CSS allows the developer to separate the styling information and the actual content of a webpage, due to which you can make changes in the page style without disturbing the other code of the webpage. The separate CSS page also empowers the developers to use the same sheet on various web pages as per the requirement.
There are numerous frameworks available in the market, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Hence, picking the best fit for your project among these requires the developer to have adequate information concerning the frameworks.
Designing and Testing Skills
Along with the programming skills, a Front-end developer should also know about the designing and testing of the software, which contributes to the performance of the software. Take a look at some essential Designing and Testing skills that should be present in a Front-end developer.
UI/UX design, a deciding factor in the success of the website, is the first impression of a company on the customer. The better is the customer experience with your website, the higher is the probability of the success of your product and services. Numerous designing techniques are floating in the market, choosing the best one that goes with your brand is extremely essential, requiring the front-end developer to be updated with the latest market trends and demand.
GIT/Version Control System
Version control is something that should be on the tips of a front-end developer. The version control system empowers the developers to keep a record of the changes made in the code over time. This facilitates them to directly return to a previous state/version in case the change does not behave as per the expectation, instead of removing every change and fixing the error manually. One of the most popular Version control systems used by the front-end developers is Git, making it essential for a developer to be acquainted with.
Testing, the most important phase of the development process that shows the presence of errors in the program, thereby increasing the efficiency of the website. A Front end developer should be able to write the test cases for the front end of the website as well as test the website for its design, seamless functionality, and performance. For the Front-end, he should have a strong knowledge of Unit testing as well as Functional testing.
Unit Testing is the process of testing individual modules of the codebase in isolation, resulting in early error detection. On the other hand, Functional testing tests the front end of your website/ app for its design and functionality such as form validation, on-click event, smooth animation, etc.
Along with the coding and testing, the Front-end developer should also be able to prepare a wireframe for the entire project. A wireframe is the outline of the project, which comprises the details of the software/ application i.e. the content, design, and functionality that it should deliver. The wireframe uncovers the challenges in the initial phases, according to which the developer can take appropriate action and work on a realistic goal.
Check-out the non-technical skills at Essential Skills to look for before Hiring a Front-end Developer for Business.