Founders & Startups: What Is Front-End Software Development?
Founders & Startups: What Is Front-End Software Development?
If you're planning on developing an app or website, front-end and back-end are terms you'll hear a lot. But if you know nothing about web development and the tech world, these words might not mean anything to you.
That's why we've made this guide to front-end development for founders. This is a handbook specifically made for founders looking to understand the importance of front-end web development and how to find a good front-end developer for the job.
To kick things off, it's important to know what the front end is. Basically, the front end of your website or app is everything the user sees. This includes user interfaces, images, logos, buttons, and more.
Some people call this the "client-side" of the app, as this is what the client sees when logging on to your page or software.
To bring clients to your app or website, you need a good front-end developer for the job. These professionals are skilled in various programming languages and can help you develop the best user interface for your product.
So, read on to learn more about front-end web developers and how to find the best one for your idea and product.
What Is a Front-End Web Developer?
As you might guess, a front-end web developer is in charge of the front-end or "client" side of your web page. These professionals use various frontend languages to create your website and ensure users have a great experience when visiting your page.
Whenever you log into a website or open an app, everything you see has been created by a front-end developer. That said, note that front-end developers aren't web designers. So, they won't create mock-ups of your website with PhotoShop and similar applications.
Instead, they use code to bring your idea and website design into the digital world.
What Does a Front-End Developer Do?
A front-end developer handles the coding side of your website's appearance. To create beautiful and engaging web pages, you need to use various coding languages, frameworks and libraries. A good front-end developer understands these tools and when to use them.
That way, they can ensure the web designer's vision is brought to the computer screen. Doing so requires a solid understanding of the platform and close attention to detail. For most websites, front-end developers play crucial roles, which is why you can't skimp out on one when developing a website yourself.
What Languages Do Front-End Developers Use?
You'll need more than one programming language or tool as a front-end developer, as each language has its own advantages and drawbacks.
Some of the tools that front-end developers use include everything from markup and styling languages to programming languages, as well as frameworks and libraries. The combination of these different tools helps speed up software development.
Still, it can be confusing to understand the differences and how they each function together, so we have broken it down to help you understand it better.
Markup Languages & Styling Languages
Markup and styling languages are used to organise and structure content, enhancing and making the software visually appealing. When combined, these languages create attractive, functional, and responsive software applications.
Some markup and styling languages include:
- HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
Programming languages are essentially the brain behind the application. They are used to perform specific tasks or solve particular problems and allow the software developer to write instructions that the computer can execute.
Some programming languages include:
Frameworks & Libraries
- React (library)
- Vue (framework)
While your front-end developer may use any technology they want, understand that the programming language doesn't affect the end-user or the client. Users are always looking for a functional and aesthetically pleasing page, and a front-end developer can create one with any language.
How to Hire a Front-End Web Developer
Hiring a good front-end developer isn't straightforward. Many front-end developers are available right now, and each of them claims to have their own strengths and advantages. However, it's important that you choose the best front-end developer for your website.
The best frontend developers prioritise quality. At DataMix, our team is made up entirely of Middle and Senior Developers who have been with us since day one. Their vast experience and dedication to excellence at what we do are the foundation of our success.
While it can be tempting to bring on junior developers, they may require more guidance and assistance from their colleagues, leading to poor quality and slower development times. On the other hand, if you work with middle and senior developers, you will notice that they’re more capable of working autonomously and setting the direction for the project.
Middle and Senior Developers bring a wealth of experience and strategic vision to development projects. While it may be more costly, the long-term benefits of choosing senior developers are well worth the investment.
While some front-end developers can accomplish a task quickly, you need to find front-end engineers who ensure that your website is high-quality and easy to use.
Hire Front-End Developers Based on Gradation & Experience
Another great way to judge someone's front-end development skills is by looking at their experience. A tech background is one of the primary requirements for a front-end developer, which is why you need to ensure that they're experienced.
The most attractive front-end developers are the middle and senior developers. These are the most experienced developers in the field, usually having three or more years of experience.
However, at DataMix, we take great pride in the expertise of our team members. That’s why our Middle Developers have a minimum of 5 years of experience in the field, while our Senior staff has at least 8 years.
This gives them enough time to understand what features work for websites and how to execute them properly.
That said, it is perfectly acceptable to hire a junior front-end developer when creating a single landing page or a website with multiple pages. As most junior front-end developers have between 1-3 years of experience, ensuring they have good knowledge of CSS and HTML is essential. That way, they will have the necessary skills to create the project's visual components and solve more specific and complex problems when implementing certain features.
So, while experience is a very important consideration, it shouldn't be the only consideration when hiring a front-end developer. Instead, you should hire a developer based on the complexity of the task at hand. Hiring a junior developer is okay when it comes to websites, but for web applications, you will need middle and senior staff.
Where to Find a Good Front-End Developer
There are many places where you can find a top-tier front-end developer. To start, various freelance developers offer their services online. You can find an experienced front-end developer on LinkedIn, Upwork, Toptal, Turing, and other social networking platforms. However, if you're looking for the best professionals for the job, you might be better off going to a development agency or studio.
This allows the team to tackle a wide range of problems that junior freelancers won't be able to solve. On top of that, you can hire a team for both front and back-end development, making it much easier to create and launch your site or website app.
When developing applications, the layout and features play a huge role in attracting new users. This is why you must take the time to determine the qualities and front-end skills you need from your front-end developer and scour the market for a professional who meets those needs.
The Main Responsibilities of a Front-End Developer
You can expect your front-end developer to handle a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include:
Optimising User Experience
The primary goal of a front-end developer is to optimise the user experience. Front-end developers work to ensure that users have an easy and fun time on a webpage or web app. Certain programming languages for front-end developers help them solve specific problems and add new features, making for a smooth and easy user experience.
The entire development process for your web app or page is complicated. And more often than not, you'll run into coding problems along the way. So, you'll need a front-end developer that can handle all these different problems and create a better user experience for your clients.
Site Development and Maintenance
Another one of the front-end developer responsibilities is site development and maintenance. This means the developer will ensure that your site's layout matches your vision while allowing for a great user experience. On top of that, they will maintain your site to ensure that everything is always at 100%.
Skills Needed in a Front-End Web Developer
When hiring someone for front-end development, you'll find that the front-end developer skills and responsibilities sometimes overlap. It's crucial that your developer can handle all the typical responsibilities of a front-end developer while also tailoring their services and their approach to your website.
Some of the key skills you need from a front-end developer include the following:
- Knowledge of various languages and technologies
- Creating mobile and web pages
- Develop websites for different browsers
- Full stack development (sometimes)
- Site maintenance
- Responsive design
- Frameworks and libraries
On top of the skills mentioned above, front-end developers also need soft skills. These include:
- Problem-solving skills
So, when hiring a good front-end development team, look for these qualities and skills in the professionals. That way, you can rest assured that the team can handle all of your needs.
Questions to Ask Front-End Developers When Interviewing
The best way to find a front-end dev to do the job for you is to interview the candidates. Aside from looking at front-end developer qualifications, you must get to know the person you might hire for your website. That way, you get a feel of their personality and whether or not they are the right match for your company.
That said, coming up with interview questions for a front-end developer isn't easy. So, we’ve asked our highly qualified Tech Lead Maksym Osovitnii, what the best questions to ask a front-end developer during the interview process are. That way, you will get a better idea if the candidate you’re interviewing is suitable for your front-end project!
Let's look at some common interview questions you may want to bring up when talking to front-end developers.
“Can You Tell Us About the Most Interesting Project You’ve Ever Worked On?”
The answer to this question provides insight into the candidate’s experience with non-standard tasks and their ability to tackle out-of-the-box challenges efficiently.
Developing software is more than just programming: it requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
“Can You Provide an Overview of the SSR, SSG, and CSR Rendering Approaches and Recommend the Most Suitable Approach for Development?”
In recent years, front-end application development has undergone significant changes compared to a decade ago. Technology has evolved a lot and will only continue evolving and improving as time goes by, resulting in a multitude of formats and approaches for building web applications.
For developers working on SPA applications, being familiar with different rendering approaches, understanding their features and recognising the optimal ways of use is essential. These factors include the optimisation of the application for search engines, whether it's for internal use only, and its intended goals, among others. A thorough understanding of the various rendering approaches is necessary for building effective and responsive applications.
Asking a software developer this question during the interviewing process can help you evaluate the candidate’s technical expertise, analytical skills and ability to make informed decisions when building complex front-end applications.
All programming starts with fundamental knowledge of the language and its usage. If a developer doesn’t understand the basics of the language he is using and how it functions, you cannot expect high-quality results - even if said Developer has years of experience using the language.
When asking a candidate this question during the interviewing process, you will get a better idea of the developers understanding of the language’s fundamentals, which can help create optimised and high-quality code that is logical and understandable to everyone.
“What Are the Basic Principles of Object-oriented Programming (OOP), and What Is Its Purpose?”
The use of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) versus Functional Programming (FP) is an ongoing debate you can find among many software developers. While many developers lean towards FP, knowledge about both OOP and FP is crucial.
That said, OOP should be fundamental knowledge that any developer should possess, which is why this question also gives a lot of insight into their understanding of the fundamentals of software development.
Asking this question during an interview will give you a good idea about the developers' problem-solving abilities and a clearer picture of their overall experience and qualifications in the field.
From Idea to Product: Let Datamix’s Front-End Developers Bring Your Vision to Life
If you're searching for exceptional front-end web developers, look no further than DataMix.
Our team helps turn your ideas into investable and scalable solutions. We specialise in end-to-end development for small to medium businesses, so we'll easily handle your front-end needs. And don't worry- you can rest assured that we have some of the best front-end developers available.
We aim to help our clients develop their solutions with technology. With the DataMix team by your side, you won't have to worry about any front-end development because we'll take care of it for you. So, contact us today to learn more!
What Technical Skills Does a Front-End Developer Need?
Which Programming Language Is Used for Front-End Web Development?
To create visual components on websites that users can interact with, front-end developers use a range of programming languages and libraries. Programming languages provide developers with rules and syntax to write the code. On the other hand, libraries are pre-written pieces of code that provide developers with the necessary tools to simplify and streamline the development process.
What Do Frontend Developers Do?
Front-end developers ensure that your site's layout and user experience is top-tier. They will ensure that whenever a client or user lands on your page, they have a good experience and an easy time finding and using different features of your web application.
What Are Some Key Front-End Developer Skills?
Front-end developers need to be great at problem-solving, have a creative approach to development, and have the patience to go through the ups and downs of coding a webpage.
What Questions Should I Ask Front-End Developer Candidates During the Interview?
The most important question to ask a front-end dev during an interview is how they can help develop your idea from scratch. That way, you have an idea of how they approach different website applications and whether they can provide you with what you need.