Front-end developer

What is the Role of a Front-End Developer?

Whether you are making software, mobile app, or web applications, you will need a developer to build them for you. A front-end developer is an essential part of any development team and project, as this specialist is responsible for creating an interactive user experience for your customers.

In this blog, we will explore the exact role and responsibilities of a front-end programmer. Along with that, you will learn about their salaries, popular tools they use, and front-end programming languages that are popular now. We will also discuss the differences between a front-end and a back-end developer to paint a clear picture of these roles.

In the end, you can make an informed decision when and how you can hire a developer for your needs.

What is Front-End Development

Front-end development deals with the client-side and functionality of any app or website (when they work with a website or a web app, the role is usually called a web developer). It involves everything that a user sees or interacts with on your product. Therefore, the front-end is a crucial part of your development process and design of the user interface.

As a result, your front-end development process, both with web design, determines how good or bad your user experience is.

A front-end engineer uses markup and styling technology like CSS or HTML. There is a range of programming languages, tools, frameworks, and libraries developers use for their work. You will learn more about the popular ones below.

As no software development project can go live without the front-end, these programmers are in high demand worldwide. LinkedIn lists more than 19,000 jobs in the front-end available in the US.

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The Role of a Front-End Developer

A front-end developer ensures your users can seamlessly interact with your product, whether you’re in software development, mobile app development, or web development.

What does a front-end developer do? Here are the main responsibilities:

  • In cooperation with a web designer, turning design concepts into reality
  • Creating and maintaining your UI/UX
  • Implementing design changes
  • Developing smooth user interactions
  • Managing your app workflow
  • Testing for usability and handling bugs
  • Focus on clean and safe coding practices
  • Website optimization due to SEO principles

You can see different requirements in front-end developer job description templates, and they differ in developer skills, problem-solving and communication skills, years of experience. Sometimes employers also require at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. And you should understand that developers with similar skills can vary in salaries based on factors like location and exposure.

Developers in the USA earn among the highest salaries, ranging from $105,000 to $127,000 per year. Salaries even differ from state to state or city to city. For example, developers in San Francisco, California, make an average of $153,006 per year. However, developers in Denver, Colorado, get $ $108,592 on average every year. In comparison, the front-end developer salary in the UK is around £48,071 or $66,264 annually on average. Salaries in Eastern European countries can be lower, at around $36,000 in Ukraine.

Front-End vs. Back-End Development

A back-end developer attends to the server-side of your product. They facilitate data exchange between your app and database. Back-end developers use different programming languages and technologies like Java, Ruby on Rails, and Apache to code and work with APIs, server logic, and integrations. They are also responsible for tying the front-end and back-end of your app or software.

The most significant difference between the two developers is their area of work or expertise. A front-end developer focuses on the user side and works with UI and visual elements. A back-end developer, on the other hand, focuses on the server-side to facilitate information exchange. However, their responsibilities may sometimes overlap during handling day-to-day tasks.

You will also notice differences in the salaries between front-end and back-end developers. In the US, back-end programmers earn $120,309 per year on average. If we look at places like the UK, average salaries range around £46,912 per year.

In comparison, countries like Ukraine in Easter Europe pay $33,600 on average to back-end developers per year.

Businesses can also hire full-stack developers who are experts in both the front-end and back-end. They command high salaries due to their expertise in both fields. You can expect to pay them from $107,056 to $129,570 on average each year as salary in the US.

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Technologies and Tools Used by Front-End Developers

Regarding the most used basic programming languages for front-end development, they are:

  • JavaScript
  • HTML
  • CSS

Among the three, JavaScript is the most popular language for 67.7% of developers, according to Stack Overflow 2020 survey. However, you will not find many developers relying solely on JavaScript today. It doesn’t always suit the complex needs of modern software or web apps.

Instead, front-end programming takes advantage of various JavaScript frameworks like Backbone and React. As a result, JavaScript skills are not the only consideration when you hire a front-end developer.

HTML and CSS templates come next with a popularity of 63.1%, according to the Stack Overflow survey. HTML is an efficient markup language that developers use with a scripting language like JavaScript. It helps them build the structure of web pages and drive interactions.

Plenty of tools help front-end engineers develop app layouts and user interface. The list of the most used tools includes:

  • Code editors
  • Wireframing tools
  • Prototyping tools
  • Testing tools
  • Deployment tools

When it comes to front-end programming, the most preferred choices according to Stack Overflow 2020 survey are:

  • ReactJS, loved by 68.9% of developers
  • NodeJS, loved by 66.8% of developers
  • VueJS, loved by 66% of developers
  • Gatsby, loved by 60.7% of developers

Regarding web frameworks, jQuery is still the most popular, but it is slowly losing ground to ReactJS and Angular year over year. We do see some consolidation, as more than 35% of respondents use jQuery, React, a version of Angular (Angular 2+) or a flavor of ASP.NET (ASP.NET or ASP.NET Core).

Along with that, your programmer will use style sheet languages like CSS to develop your app or web layout.

Additionally, developers use tools like Chrome DevTools, HTML5 Boilerplate, and Sass. The list also includes code editors like Visual Studio Code.

Besides, developers may use resources like GitHub for version control. It allows them to find out and record changes made to an app or a website.

Tools for software development may vary from web development or mobile app development.

So, you shouldn’t expect a front-end programmer to have exposure to all tools. You should consider the project, set your needs, and then look for a developer with the required skills.

Final Thoughts

Front-end developers are responsible for optimizing user experience. They work on implementing a responsive design and all the visual elements of your app or website. Back-end developers work with a server-side of your product by facilitating data exchange between your app or website and a database.

For any development process, you will need to hire both front-end and back-end engineers or find an experienced full-stack developer.

Any part of the development is crucial for your product success, so you should carefully consider and validate the software developers you hire. We at YouTeam provide candidate vetting and have a pool of high-quality engineers from top development companies worldwide. Contact us to find and hire the required developers within a week.

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Written by
Iryna Bilyk

Iryna Bilyk is an expert content marketing manager at YouTeam - a marketplace for instant engineering team extension. She passionately discovers and writes about technology, innovations, and software development solutions.

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