frontend engineer

A Front-end engineer uses coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to construct web designs. This team member creates the code for a website’s navigation and layouts; the reason a website appears differently on your phone is due to a front-end engineer (thanks to mobile-first or responsive design).

Additionally, they ensure that the website is free of flaws and bugs and that the design functions properly on all platforms and browsers. A positive user experience requires that each of these activities be completed.

For instance, if web development were analogous to the design of a car, the front end would be the exterior (the body, paint, and interior colors), while the back end would be the mechanical components, such as the engine and transmission. While the back end makes everything run in the background, the front end is what site visitors used or touch. One can swap out, or change without modifying the engine itself.

See: Web developer career outlook

What Does a Front-end Engineer Do?

  • Implement web designs and maintain the user interface of a website

Web design expertise is necessary while working with the front end because the front-end engineer takes the designs created by web designers and make them come to life on the screen. They examine the wireframes and designs (commonly referred to as design comps) of a web designer before using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create engaging websites.

This entails constructing the navigation, layouts, and buttons that a web designer has meticulously planned out and ensuring that all design elements function as intended and seem as intended in accordance with the designer’s UX/UI study.

Additionally, front end engineers guarantee the website functions properly. Businesses want their website visitors to have positive experiences, thus they need front end web developers to ensure that the user interface is always functioning properly by resolving any problems or mistakes that might occur.

  • Implement responsive or mobile-first designs

Employers place a high value on front end developer skills in responsive and mobile design because more people in the US alone use mobile devices to access the internet than desktop computers.

The layout of the website, as well as its functionality and information, can alter depending on the user’s screen size and device thanks to responsive design.

A website designed primarily for users of a mouse and keyboard will include numerous columns, large images, and interaction when viewed from a desktop computer with a large monitor.

Prior to responsive design, developers build different pages for mobile devices. On a mobile device, the same website displays as a single column you design for touch input while still using the same underlying files. Web design that is responsive altered that encounter. Developers now generate unique designs for mobile instead of using the same assets.

  • Fixing bugs and errors

Becoming knowledgeable about testing and debugging procedures is essential for front end developers.

Unit testing is the process of analyzing specific source code pieces (aka, the instructions that tell a website how it should work). Testing these chunks of code is done using a varied structure and methodology depending on the programming language.

Debugging is just the process of fixing all of the “bugs” (errors) tests reveal (or visitors discover once your site goes live), donning your detective hat to ascertain their cause and mode of operation, and then fixing the issue. Imagine yourself as a human Raid.

Debugging procedures vary slightly amongst businesses, but once you’ve used one, you can often adjust to others.

It’s essential for a front end web developer to be proficient in testing and bug hunting because they play a significant role in creating a great user experience.

  • Problem solving

Development is all about coming up with innovative solutions to problems and making your program function, from determining how to best implement a design to resolving bugs to seamlessly integrating your front end code with the back end code of another software engineer.

For instance, you might give the back end engineers control of integrating your flawlessly working website front end with a content management system (CMS). What would you do if half of your fantastic features suddenly stopped working? Seriously though, what would you do?

Instead of seeing this as a complete failure, a competent front end web developer will see it as a puzzle to be that needs a solution.

Top Skills for a Front-end Engineer

  • HTML and CSS

The fundamental building blocks of a website are cascading style sheets (CSS) and hypertext markup language (HTML). CSS helps style the HTML components with color, fonts, typeface, and other aspects whereas HTML provides the framework for web pages.

  • JavaScript

Given that they are largely static, HTML and CSS are ideal for text-only websites. A useful addition to responsive web pages is JavaScript.

With the help of this client-side programming language, you may give a website interactive elements like surveys, slideshows, and forms. Additionally, it provides support for dynamic features, such as page animation, scrolling, audio, and video, among others.

  • Frameworks and libraries

For typical website components like login and search interfaces, frameworks are prewritten code modules. They can be reused and are simple to incorporate. The well-known JavaScript frameworks AngularJS, Ember, and ReactJS are a few examples.

The addition of readymade elements to a website is made possible by libraries, a collection of plugins and extensions. A countdown clock on a shopping website is a nice illustration. A popular open-source JavaScript library with lots of customization options is jQuery.

  • Cross browser and device testing

The appearance of a webpage may differ between browsers depending on a number of factors. Browser tools are used by developers to solve this problem.

Developers can evaluate and optimize websites using browser tools to make them work best with that particular browser. Additionally, developers adapt the layout and look of websites based on the type of device that is accessing them by using responsive design approaches.

For instance, desktop websites use larger text and less screen space when viewed on a PC than mobile websites. It utilize smaller text and more screen space.

  • Version control and Git

Version control is used by developers to manage projects and track changes. Git is a tool for monitoring and exchanging changes during development. For developers on a team, Git is crucial. Just be careful not to confuse it with GitHub.

  • APIs

Application Programming Interface, or API, is a shorthand for that. APIs simply enable communication between two apps. They also power Twitter bots, weather apps, internet processors, and other services.

Related: API developer skills

  • Web performance optimization

User engagement reduces significantly when a website that loads slowly. Through automation tools, website performance improvement approaches assist guarantee quicker loading times.

For instance, Grunt automatically optimizes pictures and lightens page components based on the device. This happens without sacrificing the functionality of websites.


As with many other professions, getting hands-on experience is crucial to developing your abilities as a front-end developer. As a result, you may begin simply by creating websites with HTML and CSS. Later on, move on to more intricate techniques like JavaScript development. Working on open source projects can help you keep up with how the market around you is changing. Creating a landing page might also be a wonderful place to start.

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