The Pathway to Front-End Development

Front-End Web Developer

In previous articles: “Where to Begin When Learning to Code” and “Best Practices for Learning to Code“, we’ve discussed how to get started as a Web Developer, including some of the best practices of learning when you’re self-taught. In this article we are going to begin discussing the languages to learn to achieve becoming a Front-End Web Developer.

There are languages that you should know to become a Front-End Web Developer. Once these are understood, you can move on to Back End Development. When both the Front-End and Back-End are understood and practiced to where you are familiar and comfortable, you are known as a Full Stack Developer.

HTML

When you’re learning to code, you should start with HTML. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML was created in 1990 as the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. This authoring language uses a variety of tags and attributes in order to define the structure and layout of Web documents or pages. HTML is easy to learn, allowing almost everyone to write up a website – which transforms the Web into a linked collection of “papers” or websites. HTML, and HTML5, are important to Front-End Developers. It’s where you always start with web pages. It gives these pages their structure, and CSS gives that structure its style. As discussed in “How To Build A Basic HTML Web page“, basic HTML pages usually start with an outline like this:

CSS

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, provides style to the web page: backgrounds, color scheme, layout, and animations. This language defines the presentation of a website. CSS Syntax includes Selectors, Properties, and Values. Selectors are the elements that change the overall style by simply changing one of the multiple attributes. Property is any feature of the selector that you want to change, such as color or size. Value is what the developer wishes the style to be. An example of what CSS looks like:

JavaScript

Once you have practiced HTML and CSS to the point of familiarity and are comfortable using these languages, you should move into learning JavaScript. JavaScript is the programming language of HTML, and is easy to learn. JavaScript programs the behavior of web pages.  W3Schools has a great tutorial on JavaScript to help developers understand this language better. Examples of what JavaScript looks like:

and

Developing the Developer

Many developers learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript within 6-12 months. While some can learn all these languages in 3 months, you should understand that becoming a developer is not a race. It is a marathon. Developers – the ones who love it, are passionate about it, and stick with it – are lifetime learners. They are always learning a language, even if it is a language they have studied before.

To become a good developer, you need to study. There are many videos online with titles like “Learn JavaScript in 10 minutes” but these don’t effectively teach you. They may introduce you to a language, but the best way to learn is by doing. Be sure to practice what you learn as often as possible and remember to stay positive and don’t give up!

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