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Roles directory / Web Development

Front-End Developer


Front-end developers are responsible for the client-side of web development. They build and maintain the user interface of websites and applications, ensuring that they are visually appealing and easy to use.

Also known as:
UI Developer, Software Engineer-Frontend, Client-side Engineer


Typical years of experience


Front-End Developer

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What is front-end development?

When you load a website or application, the experience consists of two environments. 

The back end is what you don’t see — the servers, applications, and databases that underpin the digital experience.

In contrast, the front end is everything the user sees and interacts with in their browser. This includes buttons, text, links, design, and user experience.

Front-end development refers to the process of creating the user interface and user experience of a website or web application. It involves designing and building the components of a website that users interact with directly. Front-end development is also known as client-side development, as it primarily deals with the elements that users see and interact with on their browsers.

What does a front-end developer do?

Front-end developers are responsible for building the user interface (UI) and the user experience (UX) of a website or web application. Their primary focus is on the client side, dealing with the elements that users interact with directly.

On a more technical level, the core job responsibilities of front-end developers include:

  • Writing high-quality code
  • Creating tools that improve site interaction 
  • Ensuring high performance on every browser
  • Troubleshooting and optimizing performance
  • Keeping up-to-date with advancements in technology
  • Creating and implementing UI/UX design
  • Prototyping application interfaces with graphic design tools
  • Working in an agile environment

What kinds of companies hire front-end developers?

Any company that’s building its own website or online application will likely need to hire front-end developers. The largest employers of developers with this skill set are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the world’s largest technology companies, including Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Meta (Facebook), and Google.

But it’s not just Silicon Valley and fledgling startups driving the demand for front-end talent. Financial services, fintech, manufacturing, telecommunications, entertainment, retail, healthcare, pharmaceuticals — the demand (and opportunity) for front-end talent is vast.

Front-end developer skills & qualifications

Technical skills

Front-end developers use a combination of programming languages and technologies to build the user interface and user experience of websites and web applications. The core front-end languages include:

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): HTML is the standard markup language used to structure content on the web. It defines the basic building blocks of a web page, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, images, links, and more.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): CSS is used for styling and formatting HTML elements. It controls the layout, colors, fonts, and spacing, allowing developers to define the visual presentation of a website.
  • JavaScript: JavaScript is a versatile programming language that enables interactivity and dynamic behavior on the client side. Front-end developers use JavaScript to manipulate the DOM (Document Object Model), handle user interactions, and create dynamic features.

In addition to these core languages, front-end developers often use various tools, frameworks, and libraries to streamline their work and enhance the development process. Some popular ones include:

  • React: React.js is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It is commonly used for creating dynamic and interactive components.
  • Angular: Angular is a comprehensive front-end framework for building large-scale, single-page applications.
  • Vue.js: Vue.js is a progressive JavaScript framework that is approachable and flexible. It’s often used for building user interfaces incrementally.
  • Sass (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets): Sass is a preprocessor scripting language that is interpreted or compiled into CSS. It adds features like variables, nesting, and functions to enhance the capabilities of CSS.
  • Git: Git is a distributed version control system widely used for tracking changes in source code during software development. Front-end developers use Git to collaborate, manage code versions, and track changes.

Soft skills

In addition to technical skills, front-end developers benefit from a variety of soft skills that contribute to their effectiveness in the workplace. Key soft skills include:

  • Communication: Clear and effective communication is essential for collaborating with team members, designers, and other stakeholders. Front-end developers need to articulate ideas, discuss requirements, and provide updates on project progress.
  • Problem-Solving: Front-end development often involves solving complex problems, whether it’s addressing browser compatibility issues, optimizing performance, or implementing intricate user interactions. Strong problem-solving skills help developers find creative and efficient solutions.
  • Attention to Detail: Front-end developers need a keen eye for detail to ensure that the user interface is visually appealing and functions as intended. Paying attention to small details can significantly impact the overall user experience.
  • Creativity: Front-end developers often collaborate with designers to bring creative visions to life. The ability to think creatively and suggest innovative solutions enhances the overall design and user experience.
  • Time Management: Front-end developers work on multiple tasks simultaneously, from coding and debugging to attending meetings and collaborating with team members. Effective time management helps them meet deadlines and deliver high-quality work.
  • Continuous Learning: The field of front-end development is dynamic, with new technologies and best practices emerging regularly. A commitment to ongoing learning and staying updated on industry trends is crucial for professional growth.

Experience & education

Front-end development roles typically require a combination of education and practical experience. The specific requirements can vary based on the employer, the complexity of the projects, and industry expectations. Here are some general guidelines for experience and education for front-end developers:


  • Bachelor’s Degree: Many front-end developers have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as Computer Science, Information Technology, Web Development, or a related discipline. About 75% of developers worldwide have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree.
  • Bootcamps and Coding Schools: Coding bootcamps and short-term coding schools offer intensive, focused training in web development. These programs are often an alternative for individuals looking to enter the field quickly, and they cover practical skills required for front-end development.
  • Online Courses and Certifications: Online platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and others offer courses and certifications in front-end development. These can be valuable for individuals seeking flexible, self-paced learning options.


  • Portfolio: A strong portfolio showcasing previous projects is often more crucial than formal education. Employers are interested in seeing practical examples of a candidate’s work, including websites or applications they’ve developed.
  • Internships and Junior Positions: Internships and junior front-end development positions provide hands-on experience and exposure to real-world projects. This practical experience is highly valuable in developing skills and understanding industry best practices.
  • Personal Projects: Building personal projects or contributing to open-source projects can demonstrate initiative and a genuine passion for front-end development. This can be particularly beneficial for self-taught developers or those with non-traditional educational backgrounds.
  • Continuous Learning: The field of front-end development is constantly evolving. Continuous learning through online courses, workshops, attending conferences, and keeping up with industry trends is essential for staying relevant and competitive.

Back-end development trends

Front-end developers have endless options for developing, deploying, and managing the client side of applications. The landscape is constantly evolving, with new technologies and methodologies redefining the way they approach development. 


Accessibility is more than a trend. But there is growing emphasis on designing websites to accommodate users from a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities. Front-end developers are committing to building accessible online experiences that every visitor can navigate. 

High performance

Gone are the days of waiting several minutes for a page to load. With 1.9 billion websites online, today’s users know that a slow page isn’t worth waiting for — and expect pages to load instantly. As a result, the standards of web development are converging toward extremely fast loading times. Modern front-end developers must carefully weigh their design decisions against these increasingly aggressive website performance standards.

Mobile-first design

In 2020, 68.1% of global website traffic came from mobile devices. Savvy front-end developers recognize that we live in a mobile-first world and build websites with this concept in mind. Mobile-first design has been around since 2010, but its adoption has accelerated due to shifts in industry standards and consumer habits. With Google Search now practicing mobile-first indexing, mobile-first design has evolved from a cutting-edge design principle to a non-negotiable approach to web development.


GraphQL is an open-source data query and manipulation language developed by Facebook in 2012. Despite being over a decade old, global interest in GraphQL has been trending for the last three years. Neither a front-end or back-end language, GraphQL can be thought of as a language between the two environments that facilitates the exchange of information. This gives front-end developers more autonomy to create or change endpoints without having to rely on back-end developers.


Gatsby is an open-source JavaScript framework that combines functionality from React, GraphQL, and Webpack to build static or dynamic web applications. With lightning-fast performance and a developer-friendly experience, Gatsby is quickly becoming a favorite among front-end developers and companies alike.

Progressive web apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a type of web application built using common front-end technologies. A helpful way to think of PWAs is that they’re apps written in web programming languages like JavaScript that perform and feel like mobile apps built for iOS or Android. PWAs have gained widespread adoption for their responsiveness, ease of installation, low development costs, and increased functionality.

Server-side rendering

Server-side rendering is the web development practice of rendering a web page on the server side instead of the client side. This offers a number of advantages, including faster load times, improved user experience, and better search engine optimization. However, there are some disadvantages, as server side rendering is more expensive to host and complex to develop. 

Single page applications

A single-page application (SPA) is an app or website that dynamically rewrites an existing web page with new data from the server. This approach replaces the traditional method of loading new pages in the browser. SPAs create a more dynamic user experience with performance improvements and a more responsive front end. However, there are some tradeoffs, as they are harder to maintain and may have a negative impact on search engine optimization.