Steps to Becoming a Front End Web Developer

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A front end web developer as we know it (or maybe don't) is someone who uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript for a website or Web Application so that a user can see and interact with them directly.

But is that all there is to know? How can you become a better front-end developer? Let's dig in.

Learn HTML & CSS And become good at it.

I guess there’s no way around it. Learn HTML & CSS. Why? Because the basics matter.

HTML allows them to add content to a website while splitting it into headings, paragraphs, and tables. CSS lets a decent developer style the content and change things like colors, sizes, and borders.

There are different online courses available on how to get started with HTML and CSS. You can sign up at Online courses like

  • Coursera

  • Team Treehouse.

  • Codecademy

  • FreeCodeCamp

  • Udacity

  • Udemy

And while there are so many free resources out there, also try to invest in your learning by purchasing premium learning content and getting some certifications. After finishing some initial courses, go ahead and create some static web pages and iterate over and over again.

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Build things

Now that you've gotten the basics, it's time to create real stuff, to strengthen your tender hands. You can start by creating a simple landing page or website. Don’t forget to challenge yourself by building first responsive elements. You can sign up with platforms like

  • Codewars

  • WesBos

to get daily or weekly tasks to build to practice what you've learnt. So there’s only one way to becoming better at what you’re doing: Keep learning, keep building.

Putting these two together, build to learn! There’s no better way to learn than to get your hands dirty.

Read

Believe it or not. Your reading skills greatly influence your path to becoming a great front-end developer. As a beginner, you'd have to do a lot of reading. Why? At first you’ll probably read a lot of articles, guides and manuals on how to do different things. You’ll also start reading other people’s code. Some good books and blogs I recommend

  • Eloquent JavaScript

  • You don't know JS

  • CSS tricks (blog).

  • Free Code Camp (blog)

  • Code burst (blog)

  • Hashnode

  • Dev.to

  • Frontend masters

There’s more to front-end development than building a website

Knowing how to build a website isn't all there is to being a front end web developer. Knowing how to build a website is a very small part of the front-end puzzle.

There is a whole load of topics that you still should learn about. If we consider performance, testing, Project management, QA and many other areas, then you really need to become a deep diver as a front-end developer.

Know some other tools

Learning about the different tooling options is an important thing. Great tools will help you enhance and automate your front-end development workflow. One of those tools will definitely be the Chrome developer tools. Why? Because you can play with HTML, CSS and JavaScript in real-time and this will give you immediate feedback you need to learn quickly. Additionally, node, npm, bower and many more excellent tools are there to facilitate your daily work. And don’t forget about versioning. 😉

Learn Version Control

Version control will save you some sleepless nights. With git you are always assured of having your work intact without fear of system failure or theft. You'd also be able to collaborate with people on a project in real time. So make sure to become an expert at Git - or at least, be git-friendly😉

It won't hurt to learn how to use a collaboration tool

Collaborations will come in handy especially hen you're working on large products or as part of a team. Some collaboration tools I recommend

  • Trello

  • Pivotal Tracker

Do not rush.

Along the way, you will ask yourself why you do this and you may want to just stop. It may be tempting to just give up. But don’t. If you’re at that point, I have only one piece of advice for you:

Do. not. give. up.

Code Everyday

This is more like a command than a statement.

Set aside one or two hours every other day to learn. Take a lot of breaks and make sure that you really know the basics. And never rush.

Ask questions

Whenever you feel stuck you'd definitely do, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone goes through this phase. Here's a tweet by a popular tech pro and evangelist

It happens to the best of us. You just have to stick to it knowing that you'd get better with time.

Dive deep into frameworks

Now you've acquainted yourself with some front end technology, it's time to delve into any of the frameworks in front end web development. We have

  • React

  • Vue

  • Angular

  • Next

Knowing which framework to delve into is totally dependent on you and you convictions.

Get involved with open source projects

Getting involved with various projects, especially open source, will not only make you a better front-end developer, but it will also help you build up your very own online brand as an active, experienced developer.

Check out madeinnigeria.dev for some Nigerian Open Source Projects you can contribute to. Thanks @aceKyd for putting that together.

Tech twitter can be your friend 😂

Well, this one might seem a little bit weird, but tech twitter has helped me a lot in my journey as a front end web developer.

Check out this tweet by @hacksultan, under the thread you'd see some amazing rech persons in front end you can follow and continuously learn from.

In summary, Being a front end web developer isn't just about the building of websites and learning of frameworks, it also involves the roles and interaction as a front end web developer.

Because the web is a rapidly evolving universe, great frontend developers should never stop learning. Even little things like following Frontend experts on twitter will have an impact on your learning curve.

You need to have some patience to get there. The path to becoming a frontend developer will definitely take some time. And lastly, please try to have fun while learning and experimenting.

All the best🤩

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