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Web site development: what skills should a Front-end specialist have?

Web development
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When developing any website (both a small online store and a regional information portal), teamwork is important. Back-end and front-end are two parts of the whole, and the end result of the project depends on their harmonious work. First, let us look at the common sense of the concepts back-end and front-end.

Back-end is the main software and hardware part of the site, or in other words, software functionality and administrative content management (for example, the ability to edit and add products or articles). Front-end is the interface of the resource which the user directly interacts with. In other words, pictures, buttons and sliders displayed on the monitor screen after entering the domain name of the site in the address bar of the browser.


What should a Front-end developer know in order to create a good website?

Front-End Developer Skills

The Front-end developer, unfortunately (or, conversely, luckily), is not a key figure in the process of developing software for online projects. The value of specialists of this kind is in understanding and creating the “external appearance” of the site, which users will interact with. It is desirable that all stages of the  rendering of the future resource occur with the active participation of the Front-end developer. Designers need to understand the work of the layout designer (which is often referred to as a Front-end specialist), and the latter, in turn, can suggest what and how to do better. Unfortunately, here is the complexity of interaction in the development of websites: a competent Front-end specialist must have the knowledge in many technologies and processes. The list of such knowledge is very extensive:

  1. Layout designer should at least have a superficial understanding of the design (there is no harm in good taste). To create a good site You need to understand how important it is to match the finished project and the approved blueprint.
  2. A specialist has to understand the operation of the server part. It is necessary to know which data arrays are transferred to the server, and which are not. A good layout designer has an idea of ​​the responsibilities of the backend developer. In addition, he/she understands which language is used on the server and knows exactly what is needed from the server part for frontend.
  3. Front-end developer must understand the operation of networks. It is necessary to know what networks are like, how they work, and how quickly and reliably the data are transferred.
  4. Production should be investigated. Ten products will be in the online store or ten hundred — the loads are completely different.
  5. The layout designer should understand that a good site can only be created through content. By itself, the software part is a very important element, without it nothing will come out. But even without content, the most competent and correct code will not become a popular resource. The absence of a plan can cause difficulties that can not be prevented during the development of the website. Administrators and users have to be sure of the reliability and correctness of the information.
  6. The content is stored in the database, which means that the Front-end developers should also understand this. A good specialist can correctly work with arrays and variables.
  7. Every layout designer should be a little tester to see problems and shortcomings in time. It is better, if it happens in the process of work, and not at the very end, when the lines are lit and the deadline is very close.
  8. It is important to know about the assembly systems, be able and understand how to use them. There are various collectors, for example, Webpack, Grunt, Gulp. Each of them is good in its own way, so it is better to get acquainted with several at once.
  9. Understanding of the theory and methodology of developing web-sites. Each programmer writes and stylizes the code independently, so it is necessary to adhere to the generally accepted canons. It is possible that in the future someone else will have to support the project. Over time, much is forgotten, and even the self-written code after a while may seem completely incomprehensible. To prevent this from happening, You just need to adhere to generally accepted rules. Nowadays, there are such types of methodologies as:
    • BEM and independent blocks;
    • the principle of programming YAGNI — “You are not gonna need it”;
    • the principle of programming KISS — “Keep it simple stupid”;
    • the principle of programming DRY — “Do not repeat yourself”.
  10. It is essentially to be knowledgeable in the configuration of web servers, because without them there will be no websites.
  11. Analyzing, understanding, ability to test and establish usability.
  12. Mobile design is the trend of our time. The number of mobile devices is growing very fast. The developer has to understand that his website can be accessed from any device. Large screens, small, tablets and smartphones, outdated devices… The interface should be ready for anything!

This is just part of what a Front-end developer needs to know. In fact, the principle “The more, the better” is valid in this case. All this, of course, is learned in the work. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, adaptive design, libraries and frameworks — this list can be continued for a very long time. If You need to create a good web site, take a closer look at the web studio team as a whole and ask about the qualifications of the Front-end developer in particular. A competent specialist can justify his/her knowledge and skills in a simple and accessible language. The reaction of users on the resource depends directly on the quality front-end. All possible methods of attracting traffic (SMM-promotion, search advertising, SEO) may simply not work, if the developed website will have problems with usability.


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