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What is Front-End Web Development and why is it important?

By Academy Xi

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We’ve compiled this list of questions most frequently asked about Front-End Web Development to help you understand what it’s like to start a dynamic career as a Front-End Web Developer.

  • Front-End Web Development and why it’s important
  • Front-End Web Development essentials
  • Careers in Front-End Web Development
  • Industry demand for Front-End Web Development
  • Becoming a Front-End Web Developer

Already know you’d like to study Front-End Web Development? Get in touch with our Course Advisors to discuss training options, and check out the upcoming intake.

Front-End Web Development and why it’s important

Front-End Web Development and why it’s important

What is Front-End Web Development?

Everything you see on a website, from search bars and pop ups to buttons and banners, is created by a Front-End Web Developer. Front-End Web Developers use coding skills to bring the vision and design concept for a website to life. 

As well as optimising the look and feel, Front-End Web Developers also have to make sure the website displays well on all devices, including phones, tablets and computers. With a combined focus on aesthetics and functionality, Front-End Web Developers aim to create websites that are easy on the eye and easy to use.  

How do businesses use Front-End Web Development?

In 2010, there were a little over 210 million websites. Today, there are over 2 billion. For businesses trying to stand out in such a crowded digital space, the need for an eye-catching and user-friendly website has never been higher.  

To list just a few positive effects, having a good website will boost your business’s credibility, build your brand image, act as a crucial marketing channel and grow organic traffic. 

On the flipside, a website with confusing architecture, unresponsive pages or slow loading times is one of the easiest ways to lose customers. In this day and age, a functional, attractive website is non-negotiable for most consumers. 

What does a Front-End Web Developer actually do?

What does a Front-End Web Developer do

A Front-End Web Developer creates websites and apps using coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They determine what each part of a site will look like and what it will do (often referred to as the user interface).

As well as designing a website’s appearance, Front-End Web Developers optimise page loading times and make architectural improvements to ensure the best possible user experience.

If a business wanted to build a website, they might hire a Front-End Web Developer to design the site’s layout. This would include deciding where to place images, banners and dropdowns, as well as planning the page navigation system. Much of a Front-End Web Developer’s work involves ensuring a website is aesthetically pleasing and intuitive for the customer to use.

Front-End Web Development Essentials

 

Front-End Web Development skills

What’s the difference between a Front-End and Back-End Web Developer?

You’ve probably already figured out that web development is a multifaceted role. To simplify things, it’s useful to separate the different tasks that go into developing the front and back-end of a website. 

Front-End Web Developers are responsible for building and maintaining the elements of the website that users see and interact with. This includes:

  • Designing the look and functionality of a website 
  • Adding interactive features and content 
  • Maintaining user-facing code
  • Ensuring a website’s mobile compatibility (a recent report found that the vast majority of web traffic now comes from mobiles)

Back-End Web Developers are responsible for building and maintaining the underlying platforms that drive the front-end. This includes:

  • Planning back-end web architecture 
  • Managing servers and databases 
  • Troubleshooting faulty applications and features

What does a Full-Stack Developer do?

In order to understand what a Full-Stack Developer does, it’s useful to define what ‘stack’ means. 

In tech terms, a stack refers to all the different applications and programs that communicate with one another to take a request from a user’s browser. Additionally, a stack also encompasses all the APIs, servers and databases that are talking to one another in response to that same request.

A Full-Stack Developer is a software developer who writes the front-end code, the API code that sits in the middle, the back-end code, and the code that connects and communicates with databases. 

Full-Stack Developers have a wide range of coding skills, will often use multiple programming languages, and offer an end-to-end development service. 

What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and is a standard markup language used for web page creation. It allows web developers to structure a website and its content. 

Using HTML elements (which, in simple terms, are the building blocks of a web page), web developers are able to apply tags and attributes which determine if the website content is presented as a set of paragraphs, a list of bulleted points, or within images and data tables

HTML has a lot of use cases, including:

  • Web development: Developers use HTML code to design how a browser displays web page elements, such as text, hyperlinks and media files.

  • Internet navigation: HTML is used to embed hyperlinks, which allows users to easily navigate between related pages and websites.
  • Web documentation: HTML makes it possible to organise and format documents for web pages, with functionality similar to Microsoft Word.

What is CSS?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and is a design language intended to simplify the process of making web pages presentable.

CSS allows developers to customise the look and feel of a web page and can be used to apply a variety of visual effects, including:

  • Text colour
  • Font style 
  • Paragraph spacing 
  • Background colours and images
  • Page layout
  • Display sizes for different devices 

As far as coding languages go, CSS is relatively easy to learn and gives developers complete control over the styling and formatting of a HTML document. Most commonly, CSS is used in combination with markup languages like HTML or XHTML.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a text-based programming language that allows you to make web pages interactive. While HTML and CSS are languages that give structure and style to web pages, JavaScript gives web pages interactive elements. 

Day-to-day examples of JavaScript in action include the search bar on YouTube, a news video embedded on the Sydney Morning Herald, or the automatic refresh on your Instagram feed.

Though JavaScript is more frequently used for client-side programming, it also has server-side uses too. In terms of web development, JavaScript has two main uses:

  • Building web and mobile apps:

    JavaScript frameworks provide developers with pre-written code to use for programming routine features and tasks, literally offering a ready-made framework to build web and mobile applications around. 

  • Adding interactive features to web pages:

    JavaScript allows users to interact with web pages. There are almost no limits to what you can do with JavaScript on a web page, including sliding through a carousel of images on a homepage, displaying a timer or count-down, playing audio and video within a web page, and incorporating a drop-down menu. 

What is React?

React is one of the most popular and widely used open-source JavaScript libraries. React was designed by Facebook in 2011 and has since been used to develop Instagram. 

When building an application with React, you’re able to draw on a library of independent, reusable components. This enables you to build high quality user interfaces quickly and efficiently. 

Taking a lot of the heavy lifting out of the code writing process, many top companies trust and use React, including Netflix, Airbnb and PayPal. Web developers love using React because it’s fast to build with and scalable.

How is UX used in Front-End Web Development?

what is front end development

User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are design approaches based on the principles of Human-Centred Design. UX is all about creating functional, user-friendly products, while UI focuses on designing visually appealing interfaces. Because the two approaches work together, if you’re involved in one, you’ll need to pay close attention to the other. 

Front-End Web Developers are in charge of designing and developing the user interface of web and mobile applications. This means they need to be familiar with UX concepts in order to create a website that meets the user’s needs. By taking UX into consideration, you’re likely to improve the experience your website offers and increase the user’s satisfaction.

Careers in Front-End Web Development

Careers in Front-End Web Development

With so many companies launching or improving websites and apps, there’s never been a better time to get in on the action with Front-End Web Development. However, what exactly does the average career in the industry look like? 

To simplify things and give you a clear sense of direction, we’ve broken a Front-End Web Developer career path into three steps:

Step 1: Land an entry-level role

Seeing as you’ll be freshly qualified, your first role is likely to be that of a Junior Front-End Web Developer. Your day-to-day responsibilities are likely to include:

  • Testing and maintaining front-end applications
  • Debugging websites and ensuring software documentation is updated
  • Implementing new web features
  • Converting video, audio, written, and graphic components into web-compatible formats
  • Collecting user feedback to identify improvement opportunities

Step 2: Land a mid-level role

With a few years of entry-level experience under your belt, you’ll be well prepared to apply for mid-level roles as a fully-fledged Front-End Web Developer. Your responsibilities are likely to include:

  • Designing, building and maintaining websites and apps
  • Performing website updates
  • Developing test routines and schedules
  • Directing team members who produce website content
  • Identifying problems uncovered by customer feedback and making corrections

After you’ve completed a few years of web development in-house, you’ll have the choice of going freelance. By this stage, you’ll have a strong portfolio of work and the professional contacts from your previous places of employment, all of which will positively impact your earning potential and ability to attract clients.

Step 3: Land a senior-level role

For those of you with big ambitions, after you’ve had several years of mid-level experience (either in-house or as a freelancer) you’ll be able to apply for senior roles. This will see a significant jump not just in your salary, but also in your responsibilities. You daily tasks as a Senior Front-End Web Developer are likely to include:

  • Interpreting client specifications and identifying website user requirements
  • Creating timeframes and work schedules to meet deadlines
  • Communicating with clients, stakeholders and teams
  • Building a network of freelance designers and content writers
  • Supervising junior web developers and planning their learning and development

Industry demand for Front-End Web Development

Front-End Web Developers in Australia

How high is the demand for Front-End Web Developers in Australia?

With so many businesses embracing digital transformation and setting up online operations, it’s a lucrative time to be involved in Front-End Web Development. The Australian Web Development industry is currently worth a sizeable $1.2 billion and its associated employment market is set to grow by 25% in the next five years alone. 

Currently, over 3,300 Australian Front-End Web Development roles are up for grabs on Seek (as of November 2022). It’s also worth remembering that Front-End Web Developers are universally sought after, so wherever you end up in life you’ll have skills and a resume that catches the attention of hiring managers. 

How much do Front-End Web Developers earn in Australia?

The pay opportunities for Australian Front-End Web Developers reflect an industry that’s in-demand and always on the lookout for skilled talent. 

The average Front-End Web Developer salary in Australia at $117,363 per year (or $60.19 per hour). Even entry-level positions start at a healthy $100,000 per year, while more experienced Front-End Web Developers make a whopping $155,862 per year on average.

There’s also a good chance you’ll find the work rewarding, with Web Development scoring a solid 3.9 out of 5 for job satisfaction.

Becoming a Front-End Web Developer

Front-End Web Developers in Australia

How hard is it to learn Front-End Web Development?

Even for someone with no previous coding experience, learning coding, studying programming or Front-End Web Development is not as hard as you might think. That said, it takes time and dedication to grasp the programming languages and frameworks that today’s developers depend on, while you’ll also need plenty of hands-on practice to get to grips with the latest software and tools.  

The internet is filled with free tutorials that can be used by anyone keen to get started as a Front-End Web Developer. However, if you’re wanting to pick up the skills quickly, you’ll probably need to enrol in a course that offers guidance and feedback. Plus, earning a formal certification will make it much easier for you to land your first role in the industry. 

Where can I train as a Front-End Web Developer?     

There are many options when it comes to qualifying as a Front-End Web Developer. Traditional universities offer Bachelor of IT or computer science degrees combined with web development, which normally take 3-4 years to complete. 

There’s less of an expectation for Front-End Web Developers to be university qualified these days, with most employers and prospective clients prioritising practical skills and a strong portfolio over formal degrees. 

As a result, more people are enrolling in condensed bootcamp-style courses, which leave graduates industry-ready in a much shorter period of time. These courses focus on the hands-on experience and tangible skillset needed to make an impact in the industry.

What Front-End Web Development courses does Academy Xi offer?

Academy Xi offers practical, industry-recognised training that’s designed for digital careers. 

Whatever your starting point, our Front-End Web Development courses will leave you fully capable of writing and maintaining user-facing code for high-performing websites. 

Whether you want to venture into a new profession as a Front-End Web Developer, or upskill and test the waters of a Web Development career, Academy Xi has a course that’s perfectly suited to your goals and lifestyle. 

  • Front-End Web Development: Transform – For those who want to kickstart a new career as a Digital Marketer, including 24 weeks of access to a Career Support Program that helps over 97% of graduates straight into the role of their dreams.
  • Front-End Web Development: Elevate – For those who want to boost their career with in-demand Digital Marketing skills.

Not sure which course is right for you? Chat to a course advisor and we’ll help you find the perfect match.

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