The demand for front-end developers is booming in 2018 and companies are willing to offer lucrative salaries due to the shortage of talented programmers. Becoming a web developer quickly from scratch isn’t easy but is possible if you’re willing to put in the time and effort! The industry is constantly changing, new frameworks and technologies emerge and disappear every year! 90% of them are just an unnecessary distraction that stop you from spending time to learn the most important skills.
Believe it or not, you can become a front-end developer in a few months by focusing your attention on the core skills. The problem everyone faces is deciding where to start and discovering what you need to learn to get at least an entry-level job.
HTML & CSS
HTML & CSS are the best coding languages to start off learning for beginners. HTML is a markup language that allows you to structure content on a webpage, this includes adding text, images and links. CSS is used to improve the style and layout of websites through altering colour, font, positioning and much more. Without CSS webpages would be just blocks of text with a white plain background. Thankfully there are plenty of educational websites that teach people, some free and paid. Codeschool and Team Treehouse both have excellent online courses, providing a strong foundation of the basics for aspiring programmers. I also highly recommend getting your hands on ‘Duckett’s HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites’ book from Amazon. Begin building websites and experimenting to develop your web design skills, watching tutorials is useless unless you’re putting them lessons into practice.
DOM aka Vanillajs
Sass is a CSS extension that enables coders to write CSS in a more sophisticated manner. If you have a good grasp of CSS it should only take a few days to learn enough to use it effectively. You don’t need to know everything to get started, just start using it and you will never go back to writing normal CSS.
Learning jQuery is optional but there are a lot of code bases that still use jQuery, spend no more than a week on it.
API stands for application programming interface. Explained simply an API specifics how software components talk to each other.
Gulp is an opensource JS toolkit helpful for reducing the amount of manual tasks through automation.
Webpack is a module builder that combines multiple JS files in a single file to reduce the amounts of requests. If I had to pick between learning webpack and gulp, I would go with webpack because it arguably has a brighter future.
The reason I added node to the list is because a good front end developer knows a little bit about the back end. Understanding how the back end talks to the front end is important for a web developer and learning node or firebase is the best way to do this.
While you might not get a job right away as companies expect applicants to know everything but you can start freelancing to make extra money. Websites such as Fiver and Peopleperhour.com are awesome sites to find customers who require people with programming expertise. Local businesses will easily spend $500 for a new website so there is a lot of easy money to be made. Once you have enough experience start applying for jobs and make sure you have a portfolio of projects to showcase to potential employers.
Becoming a front-end developer won’t happen overnight. Remember the key to success with learning is consistency, solving one problem a day is better than doing five in one day and nothing else for the rest of the week.