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How to Become a Front End Developer

If you’re here then you probably already have an interest in becoming a Front Web Developer.

You probably already know how profitable it is to be a front-end developer as it offers a good salary, job flexibility, and a lovely community amongst other things.

What you may not know, however, is how to become one. The tech community seems very intimidating from afar and you might be wondering how to break in and what steps to take to give you the skills and confidence to describe yourself as a Front End Developer.

In this post, I’m going to be highlighting practical, tested, and trusted steps on How to Become a Front End Developer so get your pen and paper down and take notes :)

Steps to Become a Front-End Developer

1. Mentally Prepare Yourself

The web development path is no joke. It’s a path that many have embarked on but, have given up along the way.

If you want to become a web developer (front-end, back-end, or full-stack) you need to stay one step ahead of the game. Plan, time yourself and remember it’s okay to take a break if and when you feel overwhelmed.

2. Learn HTML and CSS

This is the first thing you have to learn after mentally preparing yourself for the journey ahead.

There are a lot of great (and free!) resources on the internet for learning HTML and CSS which are the basic building blocks that every Front end web developer must be comfortable with.

3. Build

To be a front end web developer, you need to practice, practice, practice. The way to do this is to build projects. Build a web page with the HTML and CSS skills you have acquired.

Build a replica of a simple website. Build a landing page for your local coffee shop. Just build!

4. Take a Git and GitHub course

If you are a front end web developer, you need a GitHub account for yourself.

Git is a version control system that helps your store all versions of your code, every single change you make, is stored.

GitHub is a platform for hosting your code, version control, and collaboration with other developers.

It can all seem confusing at first which is why I recommend taking a course rather than trying to navigate on your own.

5. Join a Community

The front end developer journey is not one you have to take on your own. In fact, collaboration and knowing how to use resources provided by other developers is a tactic that will save you from a lot of headaches.

Whichever community you decide to join, Stack Overflow should be one of them. Ask questions, try to answer other developers’ questions, and review code written by others.

Feel free, it’s an embracing community and whenever you hit a roadblock, your fellow front end devs will be there to help you out.

6. Learn Vanilla JavaScript

There are 3 core fundamental skills that every front end dev must have; HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

If you have been following the steps above and are now comfortable with HTML, CSS and know how to showcase your work on GitHub and Stack overflow, then you’re ready to pick up JavaScript.

Take note of this, you’re not trying to become a JavaScript expert, what is important is to learn how to implement JavaScript in your projects and bring it to life.

There’s a lot of confusing stuff out there but here is a good place to learn JavaScript as it pertains to your front-end development path for now. Don’t overdo it. Just learn what is essential.

7. JS and CSS Frameworks

Alright, at this point you’re only a few more steps away from being the full package. A good JavaScript framework to learn would be React as it is highest in demand but, you can do further research on which framework you’d believe will be more comfortable for you.

When it comes to CSS frameworks; Bootstrap will definitely come in handy and it’ll only take a few weeks to learn well so it’s a wise decision to add that to your list of skills.

8. Build, Debug, and Rebuild

At this point, you’re familiar with virtually all the tools and skills that you’ll need to build advanced and responsive websites.

It’s not enough to accumulate all the knowledge, you have to prove to yourself that you know how to implement the things you’ve been learning.

Now is the time to build some more. You could find ideas for websites to rebuild or even team up with a designer. Make sure to brush up on your debugging skills as well.

Keep rewriting your code and debugging till you are comfortable and are able to write cleaner code. It’s a process. The more you build, debug, and rebuild, the more you’re confident in writing clean and readable code.

9. Put Yourself Out There

Front end development is a skill that comes with various career choices and opportunities. Some people freeze up when it comes to making the big step. You can’t afford to do that.

Do not be afraid to apply for jobs or freelance gigs or even let your family and friends know what you do.

The final step to becoming a front end developer is to get a job outsourced to you and to deliver. As simple as that.

Delivering your first finished work to your client is the ultimate indication that you’re now indeed a full-fledged Front end developer.

Conclusion

Wow, that was a long list, wasn’t it? A practical and thorough list.

If you didn’t take notes, go ahead and bookmark this post and mentally tick off each step as you embark on your journey to becoming a front end developer.

It is an exciting, challenging and well worth it journey. Have fun!