A Front End Web Developer manages what users see in their browser. They design, analyze code, and debug the client side of an application. This makes them responsible for the look, feel, and design of a website or web application. A front End Web Developer is also expected to have some knowledge of the back end as well as frameworks they could be working with.
Now that computer science degrees are not an industry-wide requirement, there is really no standard way to get from complete beginner to Front End Developer. Here are a few paths you can take:
Coding Bootcamp is the quickest, most streamlined way to become a Front End Web Developer. Turing and Grand Circus are among the few bootcamps that offer strictly front end programming tracks. Most bootcamps like Flatiron School teach the full stack and graduates can decide whether they want to specialize in front end or back end, and then get comfortable with their respective technologies. Coding bootcamps typically teach both technical skills and job hunting skills which help more than 80% of graduates secure jobs after bootcamp. Bootcamps can run anywhere from 8-16 weeks and on average cost $14,780 USD. Many bootcamps now offer deferred tuition, Income Share Agreements, or financing options.
Self study requires more time and self-discipline than any other option. There are a plethora of resources out there like W3schools and Udacity’s Nanodegree programs. Keep in mind that self teaching can get you the technical skills needed to develop an application or website, but you’ll also need to know how to find a job and prove your skills. Learning online can cost anywhere from nothing to thousands of dollars depending on the programs you choose to use. Depending on your commitment, it can take anywhere from 8 weeks to multiple years to learn the skills you’ll need for the job.
A college degree is the longest path to becoming a Front End Developer and possibly the most expensive. This route will provide you with theoretical knowledge, mathematics, and exposure to more low level programming than a coding bootcamp. A degree program will also likely have opportunities for internships. Critics say a computer science degree will not provide as much practical experience or tailored career counseling as bootcamp. The average cost of a computer science degree ranges from $35,000 USD and the average duration is 2-4 years.
Some employers will fund coding bootcamps or even teach you to code themselves. Companies like Revature and Morningstar are two examples of companies you could work for that offer programs for beginners.
According to TJ Kinion of LearningFuze, “Hiring managers are moving away from the computer science degree requirement,” which gives bootcamp graduates more job opportunities than ever before. Front End Developers can look forward to a wide variety of jobs since no two companies have the exact same expectations of a programmer who specializes in front end technologies. A remote Front End Web Developer job is also a distinct possibility.
Here is a list of the most frequent Front End Development jobs for bootcampers:
|Front End Job||Average Salary|
|Junior Front End Developer||$67,770|
|Full Stack Developer||$101,800|
Knowledge of front end languages, frameworks, and critical thinking are essential parts of the developer’s toolbox. Because Front End Developers often work on a team, recruiters are also looking for strong evidence of soft skills. Thankfully, most coding bootcamps teach their students how to demonstrate their transferable skills as well as their technical skills.
Here is a short list of skills and technologies taught at Front End Web Development bootcamps:
A Front End Developer’s resume should show past experience in a way that frames the transferable skills. Recruiters look for things like previous management experience, jobs requiring clear communication, problem-solving, and other soft skills. A resume should show the proper technical skills listed in the job description, like languages learned and technologies mastered. Listing quantifiable achievements and projects presents your experiences from bootcamp in a way that recruiters can understand quickly and easily. A Front End Web Developer’s resume should also show specialization in front end technologies.
Front End Web Developers must build and maintain an online portfolio. Showcase the projects you’ve built during bootcamp in your portfolio as well as on your resume. Here are some projects that Developers built during bootcamp and added to their portfolios:
Learn more about the history of coding and how it's used today!
Looking for a front end web or back end bootcamp? First, you'll need to know the basics.
How Flatiron School Graduates continue to land jobs during COVID-19
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