Overview

A Front-End Developer designs, builds and develops websites and applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The ‘front-end’ bit essentially means that this developer is working on the visual components and features of the web application that are seen and accessed by the end user (the customer). So, whereas a Web Designer might be writing the code that works behind the scenes, the Front-End Developer is deciding what it all looks like on the screen and how it interacts with the person in front of the screen; shaping the user experience.

This is currently a really hot job market – 85% of people in the US are internet users, all of whom are interacting with systems that have been designed and developed by a Front-End Developer. This career option is going to continue to grow! The role attracts a very competitive salary and should be hugely appealing to anyone with a sound knowledge of programming, a passion for continuous self-improvement and a generous measure of creativity. In fact, your resume needs to scream creativity and passion because that is what this job is all about and the competition is fierce.

Educational qualifications are a desirable but not necessary essential element. Some of the best Front-End Developers are self-taught, but like most things, that is the slower route because you have to prove yourself and probably start from the bottom and progress up. A degree in programming, web design or computer science will certainly speed your progress.

Pay

The median pay for Front End Developers in 2016 was around $65,000 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, at salary aggregator Payscale, the salary for Front End Developers/Engineers was around $67,000 per year.

This breaks down to a median hourly rate of anywhere between $15-$58. This is obviously quite a large discrepancy, which is only logical given that this is a skills-based profession. At the end of the day, the better of a developer you are, the higher the hourly rate and the salary you can command as a professional.

In terms of salary growth throughout the developer’s career, entry level developers start in the mid $60,000 per year range, while those with 5 to 10 years of experience can turn closer to $80,000 a year, and those with 10 to 20 years of experience earning in excess of $90,000 per year.

Again, coding and web development are very dynamic industries and the salaries can range greatly depending on the type of project you are working on.

Also, this is not necessarily a career where years of experience count for much; instead, keeping keeping up to date on the latest of programming languages and user Interface practices are much more valuable than simply the number of years you have been coding.

Finally, it is worth mentioning, specifically for the web development industry that while salaries can be quite high, another popular form of compensation, given the large number of startups, and bootstrapped businesses, is equity, or shares in a newly developing company.

Front End Developer Salary Statistics

2016 Median Pay$64,970 per year
$31.23 per hour
Typical Entry -Level EducationAssociate's Degree
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNot Required
On-the-job TrainingNot Required
Number of Jobs, 2014-2024148,500
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+27%
Employment Change, 2014-2024+39,500
Sources: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale

Carefully evaluate equity options when joining the company, as they can mean the difference between working for years for no pay only to see a company crash or fail as many startups do, or being one of the first developers in a startup that grows into something huge. By huge, of course, we mean something like Facebook, Instagram, snack shack, or any of the other dozen tech startups last few years.

Industry Forecast

To put it bluntly, industry forecast for web developers, including front end developers, is absolutely fantastic. The total average projected growth rate for all occupations between the years of 2014 and 2024 it’s 7%. The projected growth rate for the same time for all computer/IT related occupations is 12%. The projected growth rate for web developers as a whole, including front end developers, is a staggering 27%.

Obviously, web development is one of the fastest growing industries in America, as the growth and e-commerce continues to explode. More and more brick-and-mortar companies are looking to expand online, And for every company looking to launch a digital storefront, there will be need for developers to help them do so.

Outside of desktop search, the ever-increasing number of smartphone users, and increasing amount of time Americans spend on their smartphones, will increase demand for web developers with mobile development skills, app development skills, and in the future – even things like virtual reality development skills.

Obviously, some web developer jobs, including those of front end developers, are being outsourced to other parts of world where they can be hired much more cheaply. If you have ever worked with outsourced developers from the other side of the world, however, you know that this can sometimes be a massive headache. In businesses, headaches result in costs. For this reason, many companies try as best they can to hire American developers before looking to outsource, simply because of its advantages: efficiency, quality of work, and reliability.

Types of Front End Developer

Coders, developers, front-end developers, backend developers; even though these job titles sound relatively specific to the layperson, you know that they are still quite broad in terms of required skill sets and required computer language knowledge.

When applying for new jobs, it is good to be as specific as possible when giving yourself the title and referring to your expertise. The more specific you are, the more you will increase your chances that the company will want you when you are applying for a specific position that they are trying to fill.

To illustrate what we mean in terms of narrowing down your area of expertise, or the type of position you would like to fulfill as an applicant, we have listed a few of the main subsets of front end developer job titles.

The Front End Developer/Engineer

This person may also be known as the client-side developer/engineer, front end software developer/engineer, or sometimes just UI engineer. This is very much a jack-of-all-trades job that requires a person with a broad set of skills and who is proficient in things like HTML, CSS, DOM and Javascript. Companies usually expect these type of developers to much manage entire websites, which means workload can be quite high, but compensation is usually quite good.

CSS/HTML Developer

This front end developer is more specific than the above mentioned generic front end developer, and focuses primarily on just HTML and CSS. These guys are strictly front-end experience and usually have a good understanding of both UI and UX. Because this shows more specific knowledge of JavaScript and applications I’m usually required although they are still valuable skills to include on a resume if you have them.

Front End JavaScript Developer

Sometimes known as an application developer, or just app dev, this developer has advanced skill sets in JavaScript and is highly knowledgeable with advanced programming work, software development, and app development. These are the kind of guys that a lot of text out of higher when their core product consist solely of a web app for mobile app.

Front End Web Designer

Obviously, this is not a dedicated developer title as the word designer is used to designate a worker with strong skills in front-end development including HTML and CSS, but an even stronger background in design work, including visual design and interaction design. These professionals should also have a strong understanding of UI and UX and even be proficient in things like branding and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Front End User Interface Developer

This person specializes specifically in the user interface which combines both design skills and front end dev skills.

Mobile Front End Developer

When you use the word mobile, or tablet, and job title it indicates that your speciality is developing sights and applications specifically for mobile phones or tablet computers. Thus, this might mean you have a different coding proficiency such as Swift for IOS work or Xcode for IOS app development.

Front End SEO Expert

This person is more of a marketer than a developer who takes search engine optimization practices into account when working on developing new websites in the web apps. These individuals often have very basic HTML and CSS knowledge, but spend more time decoding Google search algorithms than the need to actually writing code.

Front End Accessibility Expert

Often combined with the user interface designer, accessibility experts focus on creating front end experiences to specific accessibility requirements and standards. Because this job is so narrow, the focus is often combined with other UI or designer roles.

Front End Dev Ops

Anytime Dev offices are included in the job title, it will mean that the developer has extensive experience in a wide variety of software development that revolves around collaborative efforts, integrated technologies, deploying websites and web apps, writing Cron jobs to automate tasks, and monitoring measure website health and uptime.

Front End Testing/Q&A Expert

Last but not least is the tester. These people are not developers at heart and are more akin to accountants and large corporations, as their job is to pick through all of the tiny little details of websites and apps to test the user experience before software or product is pushed live. While the job of testing functions, testing the user experience, and saying a baby testing can be quite mundane, anyone who has worked with a startup knows the value of a reliable and proficient front-end tester.

All of the above niche titles in some way or another have a root in front-end development. If you find that you fall into one of the categories above, use that to your advantage when searching for jobs that are looking for a person with the specific skills background that you have.

Example Resume Download

Below is an example of a professionally written front end developer resume that you can use as a starting point when writing your own. Everything here is standardized, so you only need to customize the content so that it reflects your own personal experiences, educational background, and skill set.

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How To Write Your Own

Writing a front end developer resumes a pretty straightforward process. It is usually confined to one page in length, and focuses a lot on language keywords more than soft skill sets and experiences.

First, before we forget, we must note how critical it is that you have a portfolio to accompany your resume when applying for jobs. Stating you have some Coding language knowledge does not tell the reader much. However, including a link to Github, jsFiddle, Stack Exchange profiles, or Pastebin will show the reader that you are actually able to put this knowledge into action.

Also, consider making a personally branded website, or, alternately, you can feature clients and projects you have worked on. Then, all you have to do is include a link to the your website/portfolio both on your resume and then your emails, and employers will be able to quickly and easily review and evaluate your work.

In terms of the resume itself, make sure it remains targeted, and you do not include experiences that are not related to the type of position you are applying for. This means not including non-relevant work experiences at your local bank, as a waiter at a restaurant while you were in college, as these have no bearing on your ability to perform the tasks for company.

Only include jobs that have relevant skills to the position, and try to mention trending and desirable attributes like an awareness of mobile first development, knowledge of the latest HTML version, or even things like search engine optimization, as these are always progressing and require constant learning to remain up-to-date with the current industry.

Do not be afraid to promote personal projects. These can include projects he worked on in university, if you are a digital candidate, or side projects you work on in your free time and on weekends. Do not be embarrassed because your projects may be incomplete or not fully polished. Showing that you are actively learning, trying new things, and honing your skills can be very impressive to employers, plus they get to see firsthand your actual abilities.

Finally, even though you work in and everything can be found online, you still need to pay attention to the basics when writing your resume. This means choosing a conservative font, not using the first person below your professional summary or career objective section, and proofreading the entire document for wording and grammar before sending it off.

Always consider sending your resume to a friend who also works in IT at least a trusted friend or family member, as sometimes it takes a second set of eyes to find the “bugs” you may have missed when writing.

Sample Bullet Points

Below our selection of sample bullet points particularly pertinent the position of front-end development work.

Sample Front End Developer Bullet Points

Task
Design, build, or maintain Web sites, using authoring or scripting languages, content creation tools, management tools, and digital media.
Perform or direct Web site updates.
Write, design, or edit Web page content, or direct others producing content.
Confer with management or development teams to prioritize needs, resolve conflicts, develop content criteria, or choose solutions.
Back up files from Web sites to local directories for instant recovery in case of problems.
Identify problems uncovered by testing or customer feedback, and correct problems or refer problems to appropriate personnel for correction.
Evaluate code to ensure that it is valid, is properly structured, meets industry standards, and is compatible with browsers, devices, or operating systems.
Maintain understanding of current Web technologies or programming practices through continuing education, reading, or participation in professional conferences, workshops, or groups.
Analyze user needs to determine technical requirements.
Develop or validate test routines and schedules to ensure that test cases mimic external interfaces and address all browser and device types.
Develop databases that support Web applications and Web sites.
Renew domain name registrations.
Collaborate with management or users to develop e-commerce strategies and to integrate these strategies with Web sites.
Write supporting code for Web applications or Web sites.
Communicate with network personnel or Web site hosting agencies to address hardware or software issues affecting Web sites.
Design and implement Web site security measures, such as firewalls or message encryption.
Perform Web site tests according to planned schedules, or after any Web site or product revision.
Select programming languages, design tools, or applications.
Incorporate technical considerations into Web site design plans, such as budgets, equipment, performance requirements, or legal issues including accessibility and privacy.
Respond to user email inquiries, or set up automated systems to send responses.
Develop or implement procedures for ongoing Web site revision.
Develop and document style guidelines for Web site content.
Develop Web site maps, application models, image templates, or page templates that meet project goals, user needs, or industry standards.
Establish appropriate server directory trees.
Identify or maintain links to and from other Web sites and check links to ensure proper functioning.
Recommend and implement performance improvements.
Create searchable indices for Web page content.
Register Web sites with search engines to increase Web site traffic.
Provide clear, detailed descriptions of Web site specifications, such as product features, activities, software, communication protocols, programming languages, and operating systems software and hardware.
Monitor security system performance logs to identify problems and notify security specialists when problems occur.
Create web models or prototypes that include physical, interface, logical, or data models.
Evaluate or recommend server hardware or software.
Document test plans, testing procedures, or test results.
Research, document, rate, or select alternatives for Web architecture or technologies.
Document technical factors such as server load, bandwidth, database performance, and browser and device types.
Install and configure hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) servers and associated operating systems.
Develop system interaction or sequence diagrams.

Writing a Career Objective

Career objectives must be brief, specific, and concrete. They give you an opportunity to market yourself and convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job. Ensure you have mentioned the following;

  • Previous experience related to the web developer job
  • How long you have been a web developer
  • Whether you are a front end, back end, or web architect  -or all of the above!
  • What programming language you are most familiar with
  • What you intend to achieve for their company

Additional Skills & Certifications

Technical skills are critical. This section gives you a chance to list the skills you possess in addition to those mentioned in the professional experience section. A web developer could have skills like:

  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Ability to work in a collaborative, innovative, flexible and team-oriented environment.
  • Accredited Certifications that may not necessarily fall in the education section
  • Certifications such as: Certified Web Designer (CWD), Certified Associate Webmaster (CAW), HTML Developer Certificate, Brain-bench Certified Internet Professional

Useful Skills to Include

Below are some more highly valued skills that you can consider including on your resume, or building from. Also, be certain to include the most up-to-date coding language that you are proficient in.  Stating that you are really good at HTML4, for example, only makes you look like a clown unless you are applying for a job through time portal.

Useful Front End Developer Skills

SkillSkill Description
ProgrammingWriting computer programs for various purposes.
Critical ThinkingUsing logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operations AnalysisAnalyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Reading ComprehensionUnderstanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active ListeningGiving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem SolvingIdentifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
SpeakingTalking to others to convey information effectively.
Active LearningUnderstanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision MakingConsidering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
WritingCommunicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
MonitoringMonitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Systems AnalysisDetermining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Social PerceptivenessBeing aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
CoordinationAdjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Systems EvaluationIdentifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Time ManagementManaging one's own time and the time of others.
PersuasionPersuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Learning StrategiesSelecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
NegotiationBringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
InstructingTeaching others how to do something.
Service OrientationActively looking for ways to help people.
Technology DesignGenerating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Quality Control AnalysisConducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Management of Personnel ResourcesMotivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
MathematicsUsing mathematics to solve problems.
Operation MonitoringWatching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
TroubleshootingDetermining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
ScienceUsing scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Management of Material ResourcesObtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Equipment SelectionDetermining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Management of Financial ResourcesDetermining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Operation and ControlControlling operations of equipment or systems.
InstallationInstalling equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment MaintenancePerforming routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
RepairingRepairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Additional Resources