Front-end developers go by many names. They are sometimes called front-end engineers, Web developers, UI engineers or even Web designers. While the titles vary, the things they do are the same. Their focus is on building the interactive part of the website that users see and touch. (Well, the part they touch through their screens, anyways.)
Are you an engineer with serious design skills? Do you care about how things look as well as how they work? Are you passionate about look and feel? Have strong opinions on end-user experience? You might just be a great front-end developer.
Libraries, Frameworks and Tools—Oh My!
There are three key technologies every front-end developer should have on their resume:
These are at the core of any role touching the client. Things get really interesting with all the different libraries, frameworks and tools that come with these technologies. Below are some of the more common ones that hiring managers will expect to see on resumes. Keep in mind that new tech pops up all the time, so keep your eye on what companies actually need.
What You Need
- Bootstrap, Foundation, Pure, Skeleton, Gumby. These are CSS frameworks that make building a UI faster and more visually consistent by providing layout helpers and default styles. If you know one of these frameworks, or if you have experience building responsive or adaptive websites, you will be able to pick up others pretty quickly, without much training or ramp-up time.
- LESS, SASS, Stylus. These are CSS preprocessors that make it easier for developers to edit and maintain a diversified set of CSS styles. Each one works a little differently, but once you know one of them, it’s pretty easy to pick up a new one. It’s just a bit of new syntax and styles.
- Usability, Accessibility, Internationalization, Information Architecture, Portability, Security, Visual Design. While these skills are wide-ranging, a good front-end engineer should have expertise in at least a few.
If you have strong technical skills, the ability to think through business use cases, a passion for the end-user experience, and an intellectual curiosity to learn new tools and technology, then you might be an excellent candidate for a front-end developer role.
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