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Front End Web Development Courses

All the websites of today and the ones created tomorrow and beyond can make use of a front-end developer. An important part of any web team, a front-end web developer is responsible for building the front-end of a website. What does this involve? Front-end web developers utilise HTML, CSS and Javascript to code a website created by designers.

While web designers may design how a website looks, a front-end web developer decides how the front-end (the part a person interacts with) such as how navigation, buttons, forms and basically all content behaves when a person interacts with them. Do buttons change colour when a person hovers their mouse? In todays world front-end web developers are also responsible for utilising responsive design techniques to allow a design to correctly display on a variety of screen sizes and devices.

Front-end web development is a challenging and fun career where the technology available is always changing, the devices that people use are capable of constantly more capable processing power.

The basic building blocks of front-end web development remain the same - HTML, CSS and Javascript, however even these are continually being refined and developed so one has to have an open mind and indeed a passion for keeping up to date with the latest industry practises. There are also other important attributes and skills that you need as a front-end web developer, an overview of some of the most important are listed below.

Javascript

Javascript has become one of the key drivers of new functionality of the web today. It's what allows a large part of functionality to take place, such as interactive maps inside of a webpage, games, and is behind how you interact with websites that rely heavily on user interaction such as FaceBook or Pinterest. Understanding Javascript is a key component of being a front-end web developer.

jQuery

jQuery is a library of javascript that allows a front-end web developer to gain access to commonly used items such as HTML manipulation, event handling and animations. For example it can be utilised for rearranging or dragging items on a webpage in realtime, resizing elements, accordion animations, autocompletes, date pickers and much, much more.

HTML

The foundation of the world wide web, HTML was developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN on a NeXT computer (NeXT computers were developed by Steve Jobs and his team after his first chapter with Apple). HTML was developed as a simple language that essentially allowed for the linking of one piece of content to another. Today through different variations it is still the bedrock of the internet. HTML gives a consistent, standardised structure to content on the web.

CSS

CSS is responsible for the visual display of content on a webpage. It's how the underlying HTML of a web page is displayed in a web browser. In the early years of the internet, there needed to be a consistency in the way different browsers rendered web pages. Although the early years of front-end web development caused many headaches (Microsoft Internet Explorer most famously) due to CSS actually being a standard governed by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) todays web browsers are much more consistent with the rendering of CSS. Cross browser rendering is however something that front-end web developers need to consistently check for.

Front-end Frameworks

Front-end frameworks give web developers a head start in their development. Instead of creating everything from scratch, front-end frameworks allow for faster coding time. Many requirements of CSS for a project require similar elements, a framework defines these for you as a starting point so you can refine the CSS down to the particulars of a certain project.

Responsive and Mobile Design

With the popularity of mobile device usage throughout the developed world, ensuring that people can view web pages is as crucial today as making sure people can view the content on a desktop browser. Responsive design allows the same web page to render properly on all sizes of screen, such as desktops, tablets and mobiles. Understanding common methods for executing and achieving responsive design today is crucial for a front-end web developer and front-end web designer.

Cross Browser Testing

As mentioned before, testing your work on multiple screen sizes and devices is a sometimes labour intensive, but important aspect of front-end web development. Tools are available such as browserstack.com to make this process more efficient.