How exactly does one become a front-end developer? Well, it’s complicated. Still today you can’t go to college and expect to graduate with a degree in front-end engineering. And, I rarely hear of or meet front-end developers who suffered through what is likely a deprecated computer science degree or graphic design degree to end up writing HTML, CSS, and
A front-end developer is not a focused visual designer or an interaction designer. Design school is not exactly the place to hone front-end skills. A front-end developer is not exactly a traditionally trained computer science graduate either. Focusing on either doesn’t prepare a person for front-end development. And, in fact, following the traditional paths for either in the
higher education systems of America (i.e. College) can derail a person from potentially finding a doorway into a practice where actual experience is king. Today, if you want to be a front-end developer, you teach yourself or you take what is likely a non accredited program, course, bootcamp, or class.
opposed to a field that corresponds directly to an educational focus from an organized and accredited higher learning situation.
If you were to set out today to become a front-end developer I would loosely strive to follow the process outlined below. The process assumes you are your own best teacher.
- Learn Internet/Web [Read]
- Learn web browsers – Chrome (Engine: Blink+ V8), Firefox (Engine: Gecko + SpiderMonkey), Internet Explorer (Engine: Trident + Chakra), Safari (Engine: Webkit + SquirrelFish).
- Learn Domain Name System (aka DNS) [Watch]
- Learn HTTP/networks (including CORS &
WebSockets) [Watch] [Read]
- Learn web hosting [Read]
- Learn general front-end development [Read] [Watch]
- Learn user interface/interaction design [Read] [Read]
- Learn HTML & CSS [Read] [Read] [Watch] [Watch]
- Learn Search Engine Optimization [Read] [Read] [Watch]
- Learn DOM, BOM, & jQuery [Read] [Watch]
- Learn web/browser API‘s [Read] [Read] [Watch]
- Learn static site generators [Read]
- Learn Interface/API design [Read] [Read]
- Learn web developer tools [Read] [Watch]
- Learn command line [Read] [Watch]
- Learn node.js [Read] [Code] [Watch] [Watch]
- Learn package manager (npm) [Read] [Read] [Watch]
- Learn version control [interact] [Read] [Read]
- Learn site performance optimization [Read] [Read] [Watch]
- Learn JS testing [Read] [Watch] [Watch]
- Learn headless browsers– A headless browser is a web browser without a graphical user interface. [Read] [Watch]
- Learn offline development– Offline development (aka offline first) is an area of knowledge and discussion around development practices for devices that are not always connected to the Internet or a power
source. [Read] [Read]
- Learn security [Read] [Watch]
- Learn Responsive Design. [Read] [Watch]
The notion that you should follow an individual to learn about front-end development is slowly becoming pointless. The advanced practitioners of front-end development generate enough content that you can simply follow the community/leaders by paying attention to the front-end “news” outlets (via Newsletters, News outlet, & Podcasts).
Thanks for reading 🙂