Essential Front End Developer skills

Well… obviously…

The most obvious of skills needed to be a good Front End Developer is HTML. It sounds a bit stupid to say it, but it’s surprising the number of people who “make websites” without a decent foundation of html. They spatter their site with divs, spans and other unsemantic tags. They put a h3 before a h1 in their page just because it’s the right size aesthetically. It’s important to remember that a vast majority of html tags have a “raison d’être”, they have meaning, and to throw them around a page doesn’t really do anyone any favours.

CSS (well, duh)

Once again, it seems pretty obvious to say, but I have often seen dirty css code. It got the job done, but there were things in there that didn’t need to be, whose only purpose was to make the css file even longer than it had to be, and harder to understand. For example, adding display:block to the properties of a div. A former colleague had a signature move which basically involved giving 95% of all the sites elements the following properties: display:block; float:left; overflow:hidden…
(for information, an element that is floated automatically becomes a block element).

Javascript

To go that little step further, being able to do a certain amount of things in javascript, without having to call on your friendly, neighborhood Back End Developer, is definitely a huge bonus.

PHP

Say whaaaaaat? I’m not saying you should become a php master, but having a working knowledge allows you to start doing some pretty mean stuff. Wordpress and Drupal use it, so the moment you want to do something a little out of the ordinary, you’re probably going to need to change a template, or add a little extra spice to the functions file. So yep, php!

The legend that is Ron Burgundy

Added bonuses

The stuff stated above are what I consider to be essentials, but if you look at job offers for Front End Developers, there will always be added surprises.

A few suggestions?

Somethings you should take a look at:
- jQuery mobile
- Phonegap
- AngularJS (my current target)
- Git

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I’m a Senior Frontend Developer and newly certified Scrum Master. I love learning new things!!

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Neil Appleton

Neil Appleton

I’m a Senior Frontend Developer and newly certified Scrum Master. I love learning new things!!