A Day in the Life of a Front End Developer

When you look at the designs of your favorite websites, you might not realize all of the hard work that went into developing a site that grabs your attention and runs smoothly. Aside from the compelling content and functionality, an effective layout and interface is crucial to the site’s usability, which also contributes to viewers’ duration on the site. That’s where front end developer jobs come in. These professionals work with web strategists, project managers, graphic designers, and back end developers to create a highly functioning, aesthetically pleasing website for users and clients.

“Front-end developers are the ones that turn the design mock up into a reality.”

Daily duties

Depending on the site, front-end developers should consider a few different factors. For example, an eCommerce site needs to have the ability to process payments. While the back end developers work on the coding to achieve the technical aspects of the payment process, front end developers are the ones that turn the design mock up into a reality and work with internal teams to develop a “live” design. When working for an agency, the team must take into account all of the information that the client needs to gather from a customer, as well as the simple, concise steps that are needed by customers. This requires front-end developers to have a grasp on HTML and UX best practices that will help them create a compelling, usable “front end” that can then be passed onto the back end team for functionality.

Aside from eCommerce sites, front-end developers can also be assigned the task of creating designs for everything from news sites to mobile applications to infographics. To create responsive designs that achieve the goals of the client and user, these font end developers need to be skilled in web languages, such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Highly collaborative

Front-end developers often work with a variety of teams in their day-to-day work. After receiving approved web designs from web strategists either in-house or from the client, these professionals turn the design from a static mock up to one that’s coded in HTML, HTML5, CSS, and Javascript. They work within a content management system, like WordPress, Drupal, or Alfresco to give it the ability to work on desktops and mobile devices. For this reason, it’s important that they understand best practices for general coding principles and usability. It’s also crucial to be flexible, since designs can change at a moment’s notice. For example, when a marketing analyst discovers that users continuously drop off when they reach a certain page, it could be an issue with the design. It’s then up to the developer to tweak the layout so it’s easier to use.

Once a project is nearing completion, they may also be assigned the task of testing. Often, this duty is assigned to a Quality Assurance professional, but smaller companies and those that don’t specialize in web design may rely on the front-end developer for this part of the project. To be a well-versed, highly marketable front-end developer, it’s valuable to know how each of these pieces fit in with your responsibilities. After all, the best professionals are the ones who are able to see the big picture in addition to mastering their own skills.

Keep up with innovations in web development.

Starting out

Having skills across all of these focuses increases your chance of becoming part of a highly expanding industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that job outlook is extremely optimistic for web developers, thanks to the growing market of mobile applications and web services. Job growth in this field is expected to grow 20 percent through 2022, which is faster than the average growth across other careers. This is encouraging news for those interested in pursuing a career in web development.

To get started in this industry, Torpedo, a B2B marketing agency, advised learning the basics, like HTML, CSS, and brushing up on the terminology you’re bound to hear in the workforce. It’s also important for front-end developers to constantly stay up to date on all of the advancements in their field. It’s the age of the Internet, and as a result, web development is a field that’s constantly changing. Spend some time and money on staying educated, and it will be a rewarding investment.

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