The word “frontend” can be found more and more often not only on the Internet but also in daily conversation. Surely you have wondered who a front-end developer is, what their job consists of, and what a front-end is in general? Let’s take a closer look at what “front-end” means, what makes it different form “back-end” and what skills you need to have in order to become a sought-after front-end developer.

What is a Front-end?

Front-end is the public part of web applications (websites) with which the user can interact directly. Front-end includes the display of functional tasks, the user interface, as well as the processing of user requests. In fact, it is everything that the user sees when opening a web page.

In turn, a web application is a client-server application in which the client is mainly a browser, and the server is well… a server. The logic of the web application is distributed between the server and the client, data is stored mainly on the server, and information is exchanged over the network. Simply put, this is what the user sees and what actions they perform every time they connect to the Internet on any browser.

Frontend development is the work of creating the public part of a web application with which the user directly contacts, and all the functionality that is performed on the client-side. That is, the front-end developer works to ensure that each button, icon, text, and window on the site not only stands in its place, does not overlap other features, and looks good in the overall layout (this is a web layout), but also that they fulfil their intended purpose – performed a desired action (for example, so that the “buy” button opens the basket, and “play” starts playing a movie or a song).

In order to create a popular and accessible product (web application), a front-end developer needs to interact with other programmers, designers, marketers, analysts, and other specialists.

Front-end development components:

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language) in simple terms is the markup language for all elements and documents on a page, and their interactions in the page structure.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for characterising and styling the appearance of a document. With the help of CSS code, the browser understands exactly how the elements should be displayed. CSS can help create fonts and colours, determine the location of site blocks, and more. It is also used to adapt the same document in different styles, displays the transmission on the screen or for reading by voice.
  • JavaScript is a language designed to bring web pages to life. The task of JavaScript is to respond to user actions, handle keystrokes, cursor movements, and mouse clicks. JavaScript also allows you to enter messages, send requests to the server, and load data without reloading the page, and so on.

The main task of the Frontend developer

If you have a creative approach to work, and crave to design dynamic user interfaces, you definitely want to go into Front-end.

All Front-end development is done on the user side. Yet it is no less important than Back-end development (we will also mention it a little later) since this is what the user sees and interacts with. The main task of a Front-end specialist is to connect the graphic layouts of the web application (website pages) presented by the designer with the backend and, if necessary, implement computing functionality on the user’s side. The main technologies in the Front-end dev’s toolkit are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It’s also a good idea to be familiar with back-end technologies and understand the principles of user interaction with applications (UX).

What should an experienced Front-end developer know?

Today, the role of a front-end developer is quite in-demand. At the same time, you can find a lot of vacancies related to or similar in responsibility to front-end development. It is important to note that many still confuse the position of a Front-end developer with a website layout designer or designer. To some extent, having studied the labour market, one gets the impression that a Front-end developer is a human machine that provides a whole range of services – something like a handyman in the IT space.

Some employers do not at all distinguish between a Front-end developer and a layout designer, requiring skills that are completely unrelated to the former’s profile. Employers themselves often do not know that a layout designer is actually a narrow-profile specialist. Their task is to set up the layout received from a UI/UX designer using only HTML + CSS, and this is only a third of what a junior Front-end developer should know.

As for an experienced Front-end developer, he does not just “make layouts”, he knows JavaScript very well, is versed in frameworks and libraries, has an idea of what is hosted on the server-side, and often knows additional languages, such as PHP or C#.

A front-end developer understands GULP, LESS, SASS, GRUNT preprocessors and assemblers, works with SVG objects, DOM, API, AJAX and CORS, and so on. Among other things, they have an understanding of the principles of adaptive and responsive layout, UI / UX design, cross-browser and cross-platform functionalities, basic testing, and perhaps also mobile development skills. An advanced front-end developer also knows how to use graphical editors, and works with version control in Git, GitHub, CVS, with various CMS templates. 

To become a sought-after and experienced specialist in the field of Front-end development, you need to master the following technologies:


  • HTML and CSS (including grids and CSS frameworks, W3C and WHATWG specifications, HTML5/CSS3 Polyfills);
  • work freely with JavaScript;
  • Understand the logic of the client-server architecture in the context of writing real applications;
  • Know popular libraries and frameworks: React.js, jQuery, Angular.JS, Redux, js, understand the principles of building modern single-page applications (Single Page Application);
  • CSS preprocessors (Sass, Less, Stylus, etc.);
  • Popular CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.);
  • ECMAScript6;
  • HTML5 API;
  • .svg
  • DOM;
  • Understand the principles of building a backend (Node.js, PHP, Ruby, .NET, etc.);
  • JavaScript transpilers (Babel);
  • Debugging tools (Chrome Dev Tools, Firebug, etc.)
  • Graphic editors (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.);
  • Version control tools (Git, GitHub, CVS, etc.)
  • Databases and query languages ​​(SQL, MySql, NoSQL, MongoDB, and so on).

Also, a front-end developer must understand and be able to develop web interfaces and web applications, test and scale functionalities, read other people’s code with an understanding of how it works, possess a range of soft skills, and be able to present themselves and their own product with a high-quality portfolio.

You should not be afraid of this long list of skills because it is not necessary that all of them will be used on the same project, different combinations of technologies are used on different projects. A Front-end developer can always find a project based on their current skills, but the main feature of Front-end development and programming, in general, is just constant learning and replenishment of knowledge and skills.

With DAN.IT’s coding courses, you can master all the skills needed to be a sought-after Front-end developer.

Front-end and Back-end development – differences and crossovers

Back-end is the software and hardware part of a web application, while Front-end is the client-side or the user interface. In other words, the Back-end is everything that happens on the server side and that remains invisible to the user (the server itself is also part of the backend, despite being hardware). Hence the name: “front” is what is visible upfront, and “back” is what is hidden behind, invisible.

For example, you pay for a purchase on the Internet: enter your card details, click “pay” and see the inscription “your payment has been processed” – this was the Front-end. The way your money moves within the network and the way your order arrives at the store is the Back-end. Accordingly, when the store sees a notification that an order has been received and the money has been credited to the account, this is again the work of the Front-end.

Back-end developers deal with server-side programming languages ​​such as Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, and more. Also, backenders need to know databases, architecture, everything else they need knowledge of the hardware of the Back-end, that is, the server, its capabilities, and characteristics. Back-end developers generally don’t deal with anything that directly interacts with the user, they don’t explore UIs or delve into UX or page layout, although they have a general understanding of all this. They work mainly with precise analysis and calculations, where there is almost no creative component in the traditional sense of the word. At the same time, they need to be able to calculate all possible outcomes of operations and understand the causes of errors that appeared on the client-server-client pathway.

Consider the process of interaction between Front-end and Back-end:

  • the Front-end sends user information to the Back-end
  • information is being processed
  • the information is returned back, having taken the integral form and fulfilled the processed request.

All these tasks are performed by several specialists at the same time – web-application development is always teamwork.

Front-end and Back-end interaction options:

  • An HTTP request is sent to the server, and the server in the process of searching for information embeds it in a template and returns it back as an HTML page.
  • AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Tooling Case. In this case, the request sends JavaScript that is loaded into the browser, while the response comes in XML or JSON format.
  • Single-page applications that load data without refreshing the pages. This is done using AJAX or the Angular and Ember frameworks.
  • Ember or the React library helps to use the application both on the client-side and on the server. Frontend and backend interact through AJAX and HTML code that is processed on the server.

The work and responsibilities of frontend and backend developers are most often separated, but sometimes it becomes necessary for a programmer to solve problems both on the server-side and on the client-side. Quite often you can meet specialists who can combine Front-end and Back-end and feel absolutely confident on both sides of the coin.

Front-end developer career and salary

Most often, the career of a frontend developer begins as a coder and tester. In the course of work, HTML + CSS is studied, then JavaScript, libraries, and frameworks. Then the basic concepts of building a server are covered, adding more tools according to the chosen specialisation. Additionally, skills in working with graphics editors and an understanding of the principles of UI / UX design, and, of course, soft skills are developed.

In general, the following ways of growing as a Front-end developer are possible:

  • horizontal (develop, grow as a specialist, which will significantly increase demand in the labour market) – try yourself in different projects, constantly study new technologies
  • vertical (career growth) – improve skills within the same company
  • diversification (parallel study of related specialties, retraining) – for example, start from the Front-end and move to the Back-end.

As for upgrading from a Junior to a Senior position, in the first two cases, the chances of becoming a senior and/or team leader are almost the same, it all depends on your desire to grow and learn. In the third case, you may need a little more time, because by changing direction, you can jump from the position of Senior Front-end to Junior Back-end developer.

Front-end development - what is it and how is it different from Back-end?

How to become a Front-end developer? 

If you are new to the Tech world and want to learn Front-end from scratch, then online or in-person courses are the right solution. If you have a desire to work with the client on the visual parts of websites and landing pages, have an idea of ​​what computer layout is, and want to develop in this direction, specialised courses will help you gain complete and structured knowledge. 

With DAN.IT’s courses you will master web layout, the JavaScript language common among programmers, and frameworks like React. js, plus working with Git, and the basics of Back-end. Out Front-end course is full of real-world use cases, has received the approval of international specialists, and follows the latest standards in Tech education. 

Student projects in the program are modelled after solutions to customer projects. Students will attend seminars with foreign speakers, and follow a 5-step structured program. With the help of experienced Front-end developers, you will learn how to solve complex problems both independently and in groups. At the end of the training, each graduate will be given a chance to demonstrate their acquired skills in front of representatives from blue-chip Tech companies. Students will be able to gain experience, present themselves and their skills properly, receive an internship offer as a result, and take the first step toward a highly paid and in-demand job that they can be proud of.

What do we teach in our courses?

After successfully passing an entry test, our students are enrolled in the program and begin their studies. Each student receives preparatory theoretical materials on layout and JavaScript. Everyone has to go through the first theoretical task, to move on to practice on specific examples.

  • Basics of HTML, CSS. CSS selectors; design of elements; control the size and position of blocks on the page; margins and padding; block layout order; testing layout results; adaptive web layout; nuances of cross-browser layout; basic animation; CSS3 standard; basic developer tools.
  • JavaScript Basics. Basic and object data types; type conversion; variables and rules for their naming; conditions, operators, arrays, loops, functions; scopes, closures; call context; control structures; error processing; introduction to browser events; localstorage/sessionstorage.
  • Advanced HTML/CSS. CSS methodology on the example of BEM; layout with pixel precision; layout with support for Retina screens; cross-browser layout; web accessibility; mobile first
  • Advanced JavaScript. Deep dive into the possibilities of the language; studying the basics of object-oriented programming (OOP), basic design patterns, the basics of functional programming, the possibilities of the ES6 \ ES7 standard (ECMAScript); constructors; prototype inheritance (prototype); recursion; modules; strict mode; cookies; Async/Await. Familiarity with WebSocket, JSONP, AJAX, XMLHttpRequest, Promise, Single Page Application standards, general information about RESTful API, code testing using frameworks.
  • Basics of working with the React.js library. JSX layout; virtual DOM; components; work with Props/State of the component; React Router; redux; working with ImmutableJS in a React/Redux app; work with middleware, Redux-thunk; redux-forms; Testing the application with Jest and Enzyme; Using hooks in React.
  • Workshop: Server-side JavaScript (Backend). Familiarity with Node.js technology; infrastructure and use of the NPM package manager (package manager); Express.js framework; working with databases on the example of MongoDB.
  • Extra skills. Working with Git Bash workflow from creating a repository to sending it to a remote server; work with branches; working with configuration files.

Starting from the groundwork modules and all the way up to the final project, students will be given the opportunity to attend masterclasses, and workshops, as well as participate in webinars with international experts.

We conduct full-fledged mock interview sessions. Together with professional recruiters and engineers from the industry, we help each student with the preparation of a resume, teach them how to present themselves and their work effectively, develop communication skills, and also accompany and support them during the interview process.

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