what is a front-end developer?

As a front-end developer, you build the front-end or client-side of a website or software application. However, unlike other developers, you take an artistic and pragmatic approach instead of focusing on the technical aspects. That means your code will determine how the web design is implemented on the internet. Website pages often combine structure, design, content, data and functionality; without a front-end developer to create a user-friendly page, users cannot navigate the functions. Essentially, your job is to transform the web layout to help users access the functions they need by packaging the technical side in the back-end.

what does a front-end developer do?

As a front-end developer, you work on various projects centred on the website's appearance and user experience for end-users. For instance, you could turn websites into intuitive and visually appealing sites. You also create purpose-built landing pages for running contests, niche marketing and advertising campaigns. A front-end developer uses graphic design tools to create website prototypes and code editing tools. Front-end developers work in various industries to develop functional websites for their employers.

Would working as a front-end developer in IT or tech suit your artistic and creative skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a front-end developer role.

front-end developer jobs

average salary of a front-end developer

According to National Careers, the salary of a front-end developer ranges from £20,000 to £50,000 annually. Entry-level positions usually attract lower salaries due to the experience level and scope of the role. Experienced front-end developers earn more due to the transferrable skills they bring to the role. Apart from wages, your compensation package includes various allowances like medical or house allowances. Some companies also pay overtime wages and end-year bonuses to their employees.

how to increase your salary as a front-end developer

As a front-end developer, your earnings depend on your duties and the skills you possess. Hence, you can boost your compensation package by improving your educational qualifications or acquiring additional certifications that strengthen your skills. For instance, a certificate in programming languages improves your prospects.

Large companies often pay more due to the specialised skills the roles demand. You can seek employment in a big organisation to improve your salary prospects. While small companies pay less, you are likely to gain additional skills since you will juggle numerous tasks. Moving to an urban location can also boost your compensation package. Major cities have a high demand for developers, and the pay is better than small towns due to the high cost of living.


Admin and clerical
Admin and clerical

types of front-end developers

Some of the types of front-end developers include:

  • user interface and user experience designers: as a front-end developer, you can focus on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). In UI, you improve the visual aspects of a website design, while UX involves user testing to ensure a seamless user experience.
  • web designer: as a front-end web designer, your focus is on improving web design and requires minimal coding. You ensure elements like alignment and balance are considered when developing the web layout.
  • wordpress developer: a front-end developer specialising in WordPress platforms can help clients create unique blogs by incorporating various themes from the platform.
  • mobile developer: your job is to create functional applications with attractive designs. You also ensure the mobile apps work seamlessly to improve the user experience.


working as a front-end developer

As a front-end developer, you incorporate your artistic and design skills into your work. Let's look at the tasks and work environment of front-end developers.


education and skills

You can become a front-end developer through the following ways:

  • learning programming languages: if you want to excel as a front-end developer, you need exceptional coding skills. Hence, you should be familiar with coding languages relevant to front-end development. Attend coding boot camps or learn from online courses.
  • university/college: join the career by undertaking a bachelor's degree in web development or software engineering. Alternatively, find a diploma course on web design and development to learn front-end development concepts.
  • apprenticeship: an apprenticeship course on web design and development helps you learn on the job as you attend college. It gives you the practical experience necessary for working in the field.
  • work experience: as a front-end developer, you need work experience to get a job. You can validate your expertise through coding challenges or building your projects and using them as your portfolio.

skills and competencies

Apart from technical expertise, you need a lot of other skills (soft skills) to excel as a front-end developer.

  • curiosity: the website development landscape is constantly evolving, and you need to keep learning and stay on track with the emerging front-end components and tools. With curiosity, you will be inspired to research the trends and implement them in your work.
  • empathy: since you are developing a brand's visual image, the goal isn't to decorate it with various graphics or colours. You need to be mindful of how others perceive the colours and the graphics. Empathy allows you to put yourself in the users' shoes.
  • problem-solving skills: the work of a front-end developer comes with various challenges, and you need problem-solving skills to help you break down the issue and find a solution.
  • collaboration and team skills: you work alongside a team of developers and collaborate with back-end developers to ensure a website works properly. Team skills help you maintain a positive relationship.


FAQs about working as a front-end developer

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