Must-Have Front-End Developer Skills – SwitchGeek

Are you a person who has a design concept of thinking? Are you a person who is searching for what it takes to be a Front-End Developer? If yes, this blog about Must have Skills for Front-end Developer is a must-read for you.

Technology is changing in every field and of course, Front-End Development is no exception. The days where basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript were enough to build a website has long gone. In fact, with the development of several frameworks and libraries, the required front-end developer skills are becoming more puzzling.

We have put together a list of skills and job descriptions to make you not feel like a fish out of water before you land your first front-end developer skills job.

Who is a Front-End Developer? Front End Developer Skills

Web design is the reason how a website looks and navigates you, easy to access and fairly user-friendly. Front-End developer is the one designing it that way and they implement a website on a web-browser. Front-End developers are sometimes called as “client-side developers” to differentiate against back-end developers who are responsible for programming at the server level i.e. database. If you click on a website, you can find the work of a front-end developer everywhere – from the navigation to the layout, including the way a website looks in every device and browser.

Seniority level of Front-End Developers based on their skills

Seniority is not just about coding experience in a company but it comes with a lot of other traits. Along with coding expertise, it’s about the ability to manage a team, solving the issues easily and effectively, the ability to adapt, and being able to handle stress in the work environment. 

  • Entry-level: You would either be self-taught, went to a boot camp, completed a certificate program or have an associate degree out of college. You would have done a few projects for your course program, including your portfolio.
  • Junior level: Either you would have completed your Bachelor’s degree or you would have a year or two of entry-level work. After completing your degree, you would have a significant perk in employment. In this case, it will be easier for you to get the job. At this stage, everything becomes less significant and all that speaks is your work experience and your skills.
  • Mid-level: You would probably have a minimum experience of 3 years. Now you are delegated to other important tasks such as helping junior level employees. In short, you are expected to perform better with more responsibilities.
  • Senior-level: As a Senior Front-End Developer, you will have a minimum experience of 5 years and worked for different companies. Meanwhile, you would probably be the lead contact for project managers and will manage projects on the technical side.

Front-end Developer Skills Checklist

Our must have front-end developer skills checklist will give you an idea of the top 10 essential skills that will help to get your first job as a Junior Front-End Developer. Later in post, we have other skills section along with job descriptions to give you some real world idea. Yet the below-quoted skill sets are mandatory to have as Front-end developer. Let’s dive into it!

1. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)

HTML and CSS are the basic building blocks of a web page. With the newer versions of both (HTML 5 and CSS3 respectively), you can even build games, animations and more.

New language skill:

HTML is the Universal Language for Front-End Development. To illustrate, think of HTML like building the walls and roof of a house; They form the structure of the house and is a baseline of how it’s laid. HTML wraps all the contents of a website starting from words to images, video, audio etc. and gives it a structure.

2. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

CSS makes your house look more attractive and inviting. It’s like furnishing the house, painting the walls, designing the interiors etc. CSS dictates what the contents of HTML should look like, take for instance it’s font size, height and width, the layout alignment, colors etc.

3. JavaScript

JavaScript couldn’t match neatly in the house metaphor; It’s basically coding where you feed the instructions for navigation. It is what makes that slideshow appear on your website, the things that happen either when you click or even don’t click on something in your website and much more.

JavaScript is the core front-end development skill for the foreseeable future. Though most of the beginners feel difficult to grasp JavaScript code, digging deeper into all its functionalities helps one to build a better website. Nowadays, many of the jobs offered are purely for JavaScript developers, with the high demand for general front-end unicorns.

4. JavaScript frameworks/libraries

JavaScript frameworks give you a ready-made structure of your JavaScript code. You will eventually have to learn a framework or a library if you want to increase your chances of getting a job as a modern front-end developer.

Note: If you have confusion on what is a framework and a library – A framework is in charge when a website needs something specific. A library includes a collection of functions to write a web app.

There are a number of JavaScript frameworks and libraries for different functionalities, but these five are most popular in job listings – Angular, Vue, Ember, Backbone and ReactJS and getting familiar with at least one of these is a big plus. It’s better if you do a little research on what framework or library is in demand based on your location and learn it accordingly.

In short, JavaScript Frameworks give you a jump start and minimize the from-scratch coding which you, anyway, don’t want to do. These frameworks can be used with libraries like jQuery.

5. CSS Frameworks

CSS Frameworks (the popular six are – Bootstrap, Foundation, Materialize CSS, Semantic UI, Boolma and Tailwind CSS) do for CSS, what JavaScript frameworks do for JavaScript. Just like JavaScript frameworks, CSS frameworks give you a jump start to write a code faster. Why reinventing a wheel and waste your time when you have a working solution!

Most of the front-end job listings expect you to work with a framework and learning it is a plus.

6.CSS Preprocessors

Preprocessors are elements that speed up CSS coding. Meanwhile, It adds extra functionality to your website and gives you a well-formatted CSS code. According to real job-listings, SASS and LESS are the most popular CSS Preprocessors used.

7. Developing a Responsive Design.

Responsive Design means that the site’s layout (and sometimes even the functionalities) adapts to the size of the device.

Most of the internet users go through a website with a mobile phone rather than a desktop. It’s necessary that your website is compatible on a device of any screen size. So, it’s no wonder that an employer wants a responsive design.

8. Web Performance

Web Performance is the time it takes for a website to load. You can put all the efforts to build a website with the best design and features, but if it goes slow on the client-side, all your efforts will go futile. In case you are having problems in your website performance, you can follow steps like optimizing images, minimizing CSS and JavaScript code etc.

Ensuring a high-performance website can take much of your precious time, but programs like Gulp and grunt can take of it. They can be used to automate image optimization and other web performance chores.

There are few professional skills that you need to master before getting your first front-end developer job.

9. Testing and debugging

Not essential but nice if you learn it! Imagine you are using a banking website and a problem occurs all of a sudden due to bugs. It causes mess while using a website. Bugs are inevitable in website development. For this purpose, proficient testing and debugging are important professional aspects for a front-end developer.

Even being unfamiliar with testing, you can land on your first job.

Moreover, you can learn practice testing and debugging, so that you can optimize your website.

10. Version Control Systems

The version control system allows users to keep track of changes in code. in this case, you need not start to write code from beginning if anything goes wrong. It is a tool used to find changes in the previous versions of code. Using the code, you can find out what went wrong without tearing the whole thing down.

The most commonly used version control system is Git. Knowledge of using Git will be a requirement for any development role.

Required Soft Skills

You will definitely require soft skills to progress in your career irrespective of any job title. Moreover, they can’t be taught in class. You can develop these traits only from work experience. Listed below are some of the mandatory soft skills to be a front-end developer.

1. Problem-solving

From figuring out the best design to fixing bugs in the code and interfacing front end code with back-end, the front end is all about problem-solving. A good front end developer will look at every problem as a puzzle to be solved rather than running away from it.

2. Communication

There is a misconception that the job of a front-end developer is to only create user interfaces. Breaking the misconception, one should know that effective communication is important to grasp what a client needs and convey your message in return. It’s essential to have some basic interpersonal skills and communication is one of them.

3. Teamwork

A taste of teamwork is usually a part of a professional in any field. Employers generally look for people who have a friendly approachable personality and strengthen the quality of work. Knowing how to be a team player, supporting colleagues, handling issues and making workflow faster are some of the key skills necessary for working personnel. A good team can deliver their product faster.

4. Increasing the learning curve

Keeping the design up-to-date, implementing new features and making the page responsive involves a lot of creativity and a constant learning process. It’s important for a developer to be in update with the latest trends and technology and increase the learning curve.

Salary Insights

Front-End developer skills including web designing and maintenance are one of the hottest and in-demand jobs today. Listed below are the salary insights from LinkedIn, PayScale and Glassdoor sources.


LinkedIn front end developer salary
Sources from LinkedIn say that a Front-End Developer earns a salary of CA$60,000/year. This can also vary based on the candidate’s education and the seniority level.


Payscale front end developer salary
PayScale says that the median salary for a Front-End Developer is approximately CA$60,000 to CA$61,000.


Glassdor front end developer salary
Glassdoor suggests that the average salary as a Front-End Developer in Canada is CA$68,000 per year and ranges from CA$48,000 to CA$91,000 per year.

Job Roles Analysis – Front End Developer Skills

It is important to search for a job based on your skill-set. Every other company requires diverse pool of candidates to develop and build their products. Being a front-end developer that combines all of these skills isn’t easy. Thus, a little research would help.

After analyzing with a number of websites including Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn, we have put together few job listings for a front-end developer skills job role.

The job roles have been listed here keeping Canada as the specific location and the website directory is based on the mentioned location.

#Job 1 – Company – Hivestack

Website – Glassdoor 

Glassdor job

In this job description, the employer expects a Front-End Developer with a minimum experience of 3 years. As a candidate, you are required to have an in-depth knowledge of all the skills mentioned in the skillset and experience with developer tools like npm. The employer also focuses on good UX (look and feel of the website); Learning UX tools like Adobe Photoshop and others will be a plus.

In addition, the employer expects for knowledge on State Management (for System Design), Testing, Mapping and Container Technologies, NodeJS (for building fast and scalable networks) and Cloud Technology.

The Agile environment is purely based on managing work in a team. Working in an Agile environment is essential for planning the project work and rectifying all the flaws.

#Job 2 – Company – Petobe, Toronto

Website – Indeed

Indeed job

As per the job title, a basic understanding of the programming languages along with Rest API and Heroku is required.

Front-End Developer skills not just involves web pages but also in Mobile Application Development. In Mobile App Development either Java or Kotlin is used for Front-End Development.

Rest API is the way of separating the front-end with the back-end. This has become a common API specification for web development.

Heroku is an open-source server for web development.

Just like any job title, the employer expects soft skills such as communication and being a team player.

#Job 3 – Company – QOLA – The Quality of Life Approach, Toronto, Canada.

Website – LinkedIn

LinkedIn Job

All the skill mentioned in the qualification list should be met, and the employer expects experience for a minimum of 3 years.

#Job 4 – Company – Coveo, Montreal

Website – LinkedIn

LinkedIn Job

The job profile described here is an entry-level junior level position and its necessary to master all the skill sets listed in the checklist.       

Here, the company has described the tools they will be using to build their products. A candidate has better chances of getting selected when he/she is skilled in these mentioned tools.

Online sources for learning

If you just graduate from the university and don’t have the required skills and achievements (hands-on projects, research papers etc), we are sorry to be blunt, but chances of you getting hired by the company are sleek. An online certification program or a boot camp course can help you a lot. These courses have hands-on training and projects at the end so that you can show case them in your portfolio projects.

Additionally, you can post these certificates in social media like LinkedIn to share among your connections and to showcase your industry related skills.

So, to help you boost your Front End Developer skills, a number of online courses and tutorials from various platforms have been listed.

Editor’s pick for best read:
1. Verizon Cloud Login

Front End Developer Learning Resources: HTML and CSS

1. Freecodecamp

Freecodecamp has more than 6000 tutorials for almost all fields of Computer Science Engineering. The course Responsive Web Design covers all the fundamentals of HTML, CSS and tutorials to create a Responsive Webpage as said in the course title. You can also learn JavaScript Algorithms and the Front-End libraries from this website.

Also, check out for the interview questions in this forum.

2. W3schools

w3schools is an excellent platform to start your front-end learning process from scratch. It has tutorials on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, SASS and Server side. It also has an online compiler where you can fetch the code results in real-time. Apart from Web Development tutorials, there are also coding tutorials for programming languages including Java, Python, C, C# and Machine learning.

3. CSS Tricks

CSS tricks is one of the best platforms for front-end developers. As the name suggests, when this ­­website was launched in 2007, the website had all content as the name suggested. Now, there a lot of interactive posts and videos on Website design covering all aspects of it.

Apart from videos and posts, there is an almanac, a number of code snippets and a forum to discuss all your queries out there. This website is surely the best platform for front-end developers and web designers on the whole.

4. Sitepoint

Sitepoint has a vast collection of books and courses where you can fetch for all aspects of coding when you sign in with a premium account. There is a developer community where people share all their tips and views on HTML, CSS, JavaScript and many other new technologies include frameworks and UX/UI Design.

5. Codecademy

Codecademy is where most of the beginners head at first. This website has courses on all technologies and coding languages. There is a 7-day free trial after which you can cancel your payment anytime. Apart from web technologies, Codecademy also has a huge list of courses also in programming languages including Python, R and much more.

Other Online Learning Resources

Here are few paid and free courses that would help you master your Front-End skills at all levels- Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

1. Coursera

Coursera is one of the best platforms for online courses and there are a lot of courses offered from various universities. The website offers individual courses based on a particular topic and also Specialization Courses which include a minimum of 3 courses (isn’t mandatory to complete everything) revolving around various technologies under the same domain. The best part is that the assignment projects will be either auto-evaluated or evaluated by other peers of the course and all the required resources will be provided.

The below two courses are some of the best picks for you!

1. Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development and Coding Specialisation

A beginner level Specialization course for Web Development covering HTML, CSS and JavaScript concepts and has 5 individual courses

  • Introduction to HTML5
  • Introduction to CSS3
  • Interactivity with JavaScript
  • Advanced Styling with Responsive Design
  • Web Design for Everybody Capstone
  • Full Stack Web Development with React Specialization
2. Full Stack Web Development with React Specialization

This is an Intermediate level Specialization course where you would be taught ReactJS, Bootstrap, MongoDB, SASS and much more. Before taking up this course, you should have a strong foundation of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This has 4 individual courses.

  • Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools – Bootstrap4
  • Front-End Web Development with React
  • Multiplatform Mobile App Development with React Native
  • Server-Side Development with Nodejs, MongoDB and Express

2. Udemy

Udemy is the best platform to study any technology online. The courses are available at a nominal price and if you wish to grab its certificates, you can pay for it. The below two courses promises to deliver the best when it comes to learning Front-End Developer Skills.

1. The Web Developer Bootcamp from Udemy

This is one best course where you can learn all the foundational technologies required for Web Development. It covers all programming languages starting from HTML, CSS and JavaScript to Bootstrap framework and much more.

­­­2. The Complete Web Developer in 2020: Zero to Mastery

This course can help you learn all the Web Developer technologies that can help you apply for jobs including Front-End Developer, JavaScript Developer or even as a full-stack Developer. This course helps you to build 10+ courses that you can show off in your resume as well as various other platforms.

3. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is an American Non-Profit Organisation and aims to help students, teachers and also parents learn all new upcoming technologies for a foreseeing future. You can lay your footsteps on all the basics of Web Development through their courses. It’s free and you would get medals and avatars upon completing courses rather than certificates.

The Computer Programming

The Computer Programming course focuses on all aspects of Web Development including,

  • HTML and CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Advanced JavaScript for Animation and
  • SQL.

Editor’s pick:

4. YouTube Channels

If you don’t require certificates, but want to go through the best tutorials for Web Development, YouTube is always a better choice. we have listed out some of the best verified YouTube channels below.

What’s Next!

Now that you have gone through about Front-End Developer skills and may be Web Development at certain instances, gear up and master all the required skills to grab your job. Work out through courses and projects, sharpen your soft skills, create an awesome portfolio with best content embedded, make a resume that speaks all your skills and apply for the best jobs. Good Luck!

Also, follow SwitchGeek to get amazing tech-related content and switch on your geek mode!

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