What does it take to be a front-end web developer in 2019?
Are you looking for a career as a front-end web developer? This is a great time to be a front-end web developer with the constant rise in web development jobs and the high salaries associated with it.
So what are the skills that you need to call yourself a complete front-end web developer in 2019?
In this blog post, we will explore the skill set and tools that you need to acquire to be a successful front-end web developer. The post has links to the best resources that are available today to learn these skills. Follow along and learn what it takes to be a Front-end web developer in 2019.
Skill 1: HTML
HTML is the first thing you need to learn to get started with web development. HTML is a standard markup language that is used to create web pages. It is the beginning of your web development journey. It has come a long way over the years, and today HTML 5 is the latest standard.
HTML is easy to learn and there are plenty of free resources to learn HTML.
One of my top pick for learning HTML is the freeCodeCamp course mentioned below.
Skill 2 – CSS
Now you know HTML, but you may notice that your plain HTML website looks ugly. You need to add style and flavor to your web pages. CSS does just that. CSS makes your web pages look great, and provides a great user experience to your users.
Adding colors, sizing buttons, background images, responsiveness of your site on desktop and mobile and much more can all be done with CSS.
In fact, many UI developers become CSS experts and make a ton of money with just this skill. freeCodeCamp has a great resource for learning basic CSS.
Once you have learned the basics of CSS and get a hang of styling your webpage, it is time to learn more.
Preprocessors enhance your CSS with more functionality. There many options, Sass, Less, PostCSS, Stylus etc.
If I were to pick one, I would go for Sass. PostCSS is gaining a lot of popularity too which you can look into after learning Sass.
You can view a preview of the course below:
They help write complex apps with efficient and easy to maintain user interface. There is a strong community behind these frameworks with a lot of people helping each other succeed.
The top three frameworks that are out there which you can consider to learn are:
Option 1. React
If you are looking to learn more about React and master it, check out Mosh’s course on React that will enable you to become a successful React developer.
Option 2 – Angular
If you are looking for a comparison between the two frameworks, check out our blog post on Angular vs. React to get a better understanding of how they compare.
If you are looking to learn more about Angular and master it, check out Mosh’s course on Angular that will enable you to become a successful Angular developer.
Option 3 – Vue
Vue.js is the new kid on the block. It has ideas from both Angular and React. It is comparatively a light-weight framework which is gaining a lot popularity recently.
You can read more about how Vue.js compares with React from our blog post on React vs. Vue.
Egghead.io has quite a few courses on Vue.js and the official Vue.js documentation is very well organized and super useful.
Skill 5 – Testing Code
Testing is a very important aspect of writing clean, maintainable and bug-free code. Well tested code pays back in the long run and you will appreciate the effort years later. There are different types of tests you can write which include, Unit tests, Integration tests, Functional tests and so on.
Option 1: Jest
Jest is easy to setup and learn.
Option 2: Mocha
Option 3: Enzyme (Component Testing)
This is not a unit test, but it tests the component lifecycle. It is very popular within the React community.
Option 4: Other Frameworks
Tools For Modern Front End Web Development
Once you have acquired the skills to code, the next thing would be familiarizing yourself with the modern set of tools that are available. Let’s dive into the different tooling options for a web developer.
Modern build tools are immensely helpful in building and bundling your code and help with the development as well.
You can learn all about it and get it setup from the official documentation below:
Package managers are used to install, share, and distribute code. They also manage dependencies in your projects.
Yarn is my personal favorite and it can do everything that NPM does. It seems faster and easier to use than NPM and lots of people are moving to Yarn these days.
Linters and Formatters
Now, after all the complex learning, you want to make sure your code is clean and formatted well. Clean code is maintainable and readable. There are tools for taking care of your code formatting and linting as well.
ESLint is the most widely used linter in the industry. It handles formatting and you can define rules based on your team/personal coding standard, and the linter will catch the flaws for you.
This is an alternate option if you are looking for something other than ESLint.
Dead Technologies – Adds no value in 2019
You maybe wondering why doesn’t this article talk about JQuery? Well, it’s 2019 and JQuery is great, but it adds no value to your skill set in 2019. Web development has come a long way and with the use of modern front-end frameworks, there is no need to waste time learning old technologies like JQuery.
Some other technologies that I would add to this bucket would be frameworks like Ember and KnockoutJS. These were great when they were introduced, but with powerful frameworks like React and Angular, they are going to be obsolete soon.
Disclaimer: If you have to support legacy code which uses these old technologies, then you still have to spend time learning them.
Congrats on reaching the end of the article! This could be overwhelming at start if you are new to front-end development. But, with the basic skills in programming, you will be able to succeed as a front-end web developer if you wisely pick and choose from the options you have.
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