“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.
The Non-technical skills give base to your Software Development Process, starting from the requirement gathering and extending throughout the project lifetime. To be productive, a good developer should also be an amicable team player, requiring you to look in a broader way and become well-versed in both technical and non-technical skills.
Hence, despite the profound importance of technical skills in the development process, a Front-end Developer should also own polished soft skills/ non-technical skills for the successful execution of the project. A developer needs to be a team player, understanding, creative, as well as should have good communication skills so that he can interact with the customer and understand his project requirement.
Considering the importance, the companies are making it an integral part of their recruitment process, as, without these essential human abilities, even a tech virtuoso will be not able to work viably in a workspace. Let’s check out some of the most essential non-technical skills that should be present in a Front-end developer-
Good communication does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs, Simple and clear go a long way- John Kotter.
A good communication skill is not only important for the team members during the development process but it also plays an important role during the requirement elicitation process. It is not about grammar or fluent english, it is more about understanding what your client is asking or ideating?, without which you can never match up to your customer requirement and deliver him the right product/ service.Good communication results in good understanding and better execution, hence higher customer satisfaction.
The project development process is teamwork, hence it needs cooperation and coordination within the team. A front-end developer should be cooperative so that he can connect with the team members easily and coordinate with them regarding the project.
A Front-end should have problem-solving skills and know-how to deal with an issue. This is something that a front-end developer different from others as well as make the development process smooth and uninterrupted.
If you are an engineer, creativity has to be within you and for a front end developer, it becomes even more obligatory. Without an imaginative style, a front-end engineer won’t recognize what elements, functions, or design can grab user attention or for that matter result in better user experience.
Taking Extended Ownership
Acting upon instructions is good, but limiting your capability and duties within the boundary of instruction makes you a machine. You need to show some extended ownership, taking actions at your end as per the requirement and giving inputs at other levels as well such as, logical flow of a project, instead of blindly following the instruction set.
Consistent Skill Upgradation
‘Stay current, Stay ahead’- the mantra, a developer should follow. To deliver quality, you need to upskill and stay updated with the trends, tools, and development practices. Hence, a Front-end developer should have an urge of continuous skill upgradation in him, adding value to his performance.Upgrade yourself with the Top 10 Google Chrome Extensions for the Front-end Developer
Hire the Right Person for the Front-end Development of your Project
Front End development is instrumental to the success of a business!
The technology and the market are evolving continuously, introducing as well as demanding more creativity with each passing day. Front-end development has not been left behind either, starting from a simple webpage with functionality as the main agenda, to a more dynamic, interactive, and creatively designed web pages.
To match the pace with the change, you ought to be vigilant while recruiting front-end developers for your next project. Along, you need to make sure that your front-end developer possesses the above-mentioned skills and is up-to-date with the ongoing trends and best practices being opted in the field.
Hiring a Front-end developer is protracted as well as a critical process that should be done carefully, failing which can lead to some major business losses. Hence, the best way to deal with the situation and avoid any kind of risk to your business is to outsource it to the experts. Being in the process and having a considerable experience in the field, we know the importance of the above skills for a developer, hence, we hire, hone and train our developers with the right skills. So, outsource your project in the right hand, Hire a skilled Front-end developer and leave the hassle to us.