Discover the versatile world of Front End Development, where your skills can lead you to diverse roles in web development, software engineering, and cloud development. Learn about the different paths you can take, from Web Developer to Software Engineer, and how the skills learned can translate into different areas of technology and development.

Key Insights

  • Front End Developers mainly handle the client side of web pages and apps, ensuring smooth user interfaces with languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Skills gained as a Front End Developer can qualify individuals to work in other areas of web development due to the inherent collaborative nature and cross-functionality of the role.
  • Web Developers, while similar to Front End Developers, handle more comprehensive tasks in creating websites and applications, including content development, user interfacing, and user experience.
  • Back End Developers focus on the server side of web platforms and are often responsible for data storage, security, and ensuring reliable operation of websites.
  • Full Stack Developers combine the roles of Front End and Back End Developers, having to build both the visible front end and the operational back end of websites and apps.
  • Noble Desktop offers several live online Web Development courses and certificate programs, providing real-time, hands-on instruction for aspiring Front End Developers.

Front End Developers focus, of course, on the front end for designing and building websites and applications but have duties that closely relate to back end and full stack web development. A Front End Developer’s main responsibility is with the client-side of web pages and apps by ensuring smooth user interface. The front end of a website is what users see on a browser and is built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript coding. Back end development focuses on the powering and function of a website or app within that web browser. Full stack development combines front end and back end roles.

The skills required for working as a Front End Developer could also qualify someone for work in other areas of web development. While the duties of a Front End Developer focus on the front end of web development, the job involves collaborating with other Web Developers and recognizing the relevance of their responsibilities in relation to the entire operation. Collaboration dictates cross-functions, which leads to expanding skills.

What is a Front End Developer?

Becoming a Front End Developer involves building websites and applications using common front end web development languages. The front end of a website is what users see on their web browsers and is built using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding languages. 

Web development includes creating websites and apps from scratch. This means applying front end, back end, and full stack web development procedures. Front end development focuses on how a user interacts with a website while back end development concerns the functionality of that website within browsers like Chrome and Safari, for example. Full stack development combines both those functions.

Skills needed for becoming a Front End Developer can also qualify you for working as a Web Developer or Web Designer.

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Read more about what a Front End Developer does.

Front End Developers usually start out in entry-level positions. Many often rise as high as Senior Developer or Lead Developer after a few years at the position of employment. Front End Developer titles include Front End Developer, Junior Front End Developer, Lead Developer, Senior Developer, and Web Developer.

Additionally, there are several professions closely related to working as a Front End Developer.

Web Developer

Work as a Web Developer is similar to working as a Front End Developer since the latter position is a category of the former. Therefore, the role of a Web Developer is more comprehensive in creating websites and applications. Whereas the Front End Developer focuses on the front end of websites, Web Developers handle several areas, including developing content, accessibility, user interfacing as well as working on the user experience among numerous obligations. 

As with a Front End Developer, the skill and experience needed to become a Web Developer can be gained from having an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer science, independent training from an online education provider through bootcamps or workshops, or from working experience that provides hands-on knowledge with coding and web development. 

Back End Developer

In contrast to Front End Developers, who are responsible for the user-side of creating websites and apps, Back End Developers focus on the server-side of web platforms by integrating those elements with the front end. Back End Developers emphasize the functioning of websites and typically collaborate with Front End Developers and others in making sure that websites and web applications operate. 

Back End Developers are usually the experts responsible for building and maintaining how websites perform. While Front End Developers are tasked with what users see on their device screens, Back End Developers deal with data storage, security, and reliable operation for those websites. Back End Developers often perform as the “fix-it” expert with web development because their main responsibilities deal with how and whether that website runs. With the responsibility of making sure that websites and software work the way they are supposed to, Back End Developers can find work with engineering firms, ecommerce companies, the financial industry, and healthcare in both the private and public sector.

Full Stack Developer

Full Stack Developers combine the work of Front End Developers and Back End Developers with responsibilities for having to build both the visible front end that users see on their computer and smartphone screens as well as the back end that operates websites and apps. While Front End Developers and Back End Developers typically collaborate with each other along with Designers and Project Managers, Full Stack Developers often work alone but sometimes with Project Managers. 

Full Stack Developers must have knowledge in coding, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Angular, and Vue as well as working with back end technologies and frameworks like Node.js and Django. Experience in database management systems such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Oracle Database is an essential asset for working in the profession.

Software Engineer

Becoming a Software Engineer requires extensive knowledge of user experience design, operating systems, and programming languages for developing the software needed for creating websites and apps. Software Engineers create different types of software, including games and operating systems. After analyzing a client’s guidelines, Software Engineers design, develop, and test software that meets their requirements. The responsibilities for Software Engineers can be divided into two distinct categories: Application Engineers and System Engineers.

Like Front End Developers, Software Engineers work with tight deadlines as part of a team that usually includes UI Designers, UX Designers, Project Managers, and Web Developers. Software Engineers typically work on projects from the beginning to the completion, providing technical expertise.

UI Designer

Because Front End Developers focus on the user-side of websites and apps, transitioning to work as a UI (user interface) Designer should not be difficult. UI Designers create the look and feel for websites and apps by implementing visual design that includes color, fonts, patterns, textures, icons, and buttons. In the same way that Front End Developers collaborate with Back End Developers in balancing the user-side and server-side in web development, UI Designers often work with UX (user experience) Designers for prototyping and user testing websites and apps.

Cloud Developer

While not directly related, experience working as a Front End Developer provides many of the skills needed to become a Cloud Developer or Cloud Engineer, whose job is to design, manage, and maintain cloud infrastructure, which usually calls for someone with a background in web design and web development with an emphasis on web services related to the cloud. Responsibilities for becoming a Cloud Developer or Engineer include skills with software development, web development, and programming languages.

How to Decide Which Career is Right for You

Becoming a Front End Developer involves building websites and apps from knowledge in front end web development, which includes skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Due to the inherent versatility, front end web development and coding skills can provide several career paths that focus on helping users interface with web pages and applications. These skills allow Front End Developers to find work with major corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and small businesses looking for someone who can create dynamic, user-friendly websites and other web related products. Work as a Front End Developer includes having an aptitude for time management, communication, and business. 

A Front End Developer typically has skills in JavaScript, Git, and Agile with an emphasis on the user-side of building web pages. Front End Developers must know JavaScript libraries and frameworks like React and Node.js. Possessing skills as a Front End Developer can qualify an individual for working in several other areas of web development.

A Front End Developer’s duties include updating websites to make sure those sites fit current standards as well as conforming to a client or company’s design guidelines. By nature, working as a Front End Developer is a collaborative occupation that helps professionals develop a diverse skill set over time and can lead to changing directions slightly to pursue other career opportunities in web development. Working as a Front End Developer involves responsibilities in different areas of web development and technology, fostering a cross-pollination of skills that can lead to options for shifting to other related careers.

Learn the Skills to Become a Front End Developer at Noble Desktop

People have several options for learning to become a Front End Developer, which include in-person and live online training courses, bootcamps, and certificate programs that provide real-time hands-on instruction. Noble Desktop offers several live online Web Development courses.

For example, with hardly any prior coding experience, an individual could complete the Front End Web Development Certificate and get headed in the right direction for their new career with training in how to build the user side of a responsive website. This course aims to keep class sizes small so that students can receive tailored advice and guidance from their instructors.

If you would like to learn about designing websites or email programs from coding with HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, you can train for the Web Design Certificate. In addition, this course will teach you how to build websites using WordPress.

If you would like to learn about more options for building websites or apps from scratch through skills in front end web development, Noble Desktop provides information on their Learn Front End Web Development page, which can guide you through learning about several options for becoming a Front End Developer, including what free resources are available and career advice.