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Man facing away from the camera and coding on his 2 screened computer.

A Front-End Developer is a web developer that creates/builds the technical, front-end aspects of a website.

Put it this way: Everything one sees on a website (known as the front-end), was developed by the work of a Front-End Developer. As a Sokanu blog says, “a designer crafted the logo and graphics, a photographer took the pictures, and a copywriter wrote the text. But a Front-End Developer assembled all of those pieces, translated them into web-speak, and built the experience you have with each page.”

What does a Front-End Developer do, typically?

Develop and test

On any given day, Front-End Developers can be found “developing” or “testing” elements of a website using any combination of these 10 in-demand Front-End Developer skills:

  • HTML/CSS
  • CSS and JavaScript Frameworks
  • JavaScript/jQuery
  • CSS Preprocessing
  • Version Control/Git
  • Testing/Debugging
  • Browser Developer Tools
  • Responsive Design
  • Building and Automation Tools/Web Performance
  • Command Line

Create and communicate

Front-End Developers must be able to work within a project scope or outline and take feedback from clients, creative, or management. Front-End Developers need to participate in project planning/update meetings, and relay project info and updates, in a non-technical way, to other stakeholders (managers/executives/clients/others within the project). Being creative and participating in project meetings enable them to make adjustments based on feedback and testing.

Service-oriented

In addition to technical skills, Front-End Developers should have an interest in being service-oriented, and helping non-technical professionals with their technical needs. They need to have the ability to bring the ideas of clients and teammembers to life.

Front-End Developer versus Back-End Developer

As pointed out by Udacity, “Front-end developers are responsible for a website’s user-facing code and the architecture of its immersive user experiences. In order to execute those objectives, front-end devs must be adept at three main languages: HTML, CSS, and Javascript programming. In addition to fluency in these languages, front-end devs need to be familiar with frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, Backbone, AngularJS, and EmberJS. Many Front-End Developer positions also call for experience with Ajax.

According to Udacity, back end developers are needed to make the server, application, and database communicate with each other. Back-end developers use server-side languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, and .Net to build an application, and tools like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server to find, save, or change data and serve it back to the user in front-end code. Job openings for back-end developers often also call for experience with PHP frameworks like Zend, Symfony, and CakePHP; experience with version control software like SVN, CVS, or Git; and experience with Linux as a development and deployment system.

Important metrics for a Front-End Developer

  • Interaction frame rate
  • Time to interact
  • Interaction response time
  • Page rendering
  • DOM processing

Bonus copy for your Front-End Developer job description or job ad!

Copy the following text and paste it into your own job description, or, into our downloadable template in the section that looks like this: <INSERT JOB DESCRIPTION COPY FROM BLOG POST HERE>

As a Front-End Developer at <Company XXX>, you’ll do more than code all day. You’ll use a variety of technical skills to help develop eye-popping websites that showcase our services and capabilities, and why we are a leader in our industry. You’ll work with a team of web developers, creative, and leadership to test and develop new websites, and enhance and improve existing sites. You’ll play a key role, have a voice, and make an impact. In addition, you will:

  • Have outstanding technical skills – including HTML/CSS, Javascript, and the ability to use a wide variety of tools, frameworks, and methodologies
  • Understand user experience and the importance of UI/UX
  • Outstanding communication skills and be willing to work with a team.
  • Ability to relay technical information with non-technical teams, providing project updates, reporting any issues or challenges, as well as suggestions and ideas
  • Stay on top and review new technology trends and opportunities to ensure company web site and digital brands remain a leader within industry

free job description template

Visit The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Digital Talent page for more digital job descriptions!