How to Become a Front-End Web Software Engineer

There is a good chance that if you majored in Computer Science in college you learn little to nothing about Front-End Engineering. Front-End Development is the practice of transforming day to day information into a visual platform, which allows users to interact with it through uses of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In other words, Front-End Development is what the users see when interacting with apps, such as Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

Why should someone consider being a Front-End Engineer over other Software Engineering positions? Through a discussion with a Facebook recruiter, I was informed that, although there are not as many Front-End Positions as Software positions, there are more than enough, as a Front-End Engineer will experience little competition when looking for employment.

In college, as a Computer Science major, you are either going to learn Java or C# ( C Sharp, for my non-technical readers ). When you seek internships or full-time employment corporations will test you on your ability to utilizes Data Structures or Algorithms. This is a standard procedure for most, if not all, corporations. Here is the problem… as a Software Engineer nothing sets you apart from other candidates. Some people are better test takers. Some people are better creators. Front-End Development gives you the opportunity express yourself creatively. Everyone may not know how to code, but everyone knows when they are looking a quality product. So how do you start?

HTML

HTML is the standard markup language for creating websites and mobile applications. Let’s say you want to build a house the bottom up. The first thing you need to do is build the home structure. How many floors does the house have? Does this house have a back door? How about a garage? A swimming pool would be nice. How many windows? Etc. Once you have decided the components of your home you can start designing it.

CSS

CSS is the presentation layers of your website or mobile application. Here you will decide the color of your own. How many square feet is the property? How big are the windows? What is the size of the pool? What is the color of the door? CSS is eye candy. It is what people will see and how they will judge the quality of your application.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a functional programming language. JavaScript adds functionality to your website or mobile application. What do doors do? They open and close. When you turn your faucet what happens? Water comes out. When you turn the key in your car, what happens? It starts and stops. Programming languages bring your application to life.

Website

There is no better way to show you are serious about Front-End Development than creating your own website. Your personal website can be used as a portfolio. Your portfolio should include personal information, projects, and a list of the technologies and programming languages you work with. You want to show employers that not only do you have a conceptual understanding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can actually implement it. You will be surprised at the amount of Software Engineers do not have their own website.

 

LinkedIn

If you are a professional it is inexcusable to not have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the ultimate reference website. Every application that has to do with Software Development will ask you if you have a LinkedIn profile. This is an opportunity show employers who you are and why you are the best person for the position. A corporation is going to do their best to get to know who the person they are considering for a position. Employers can see your educational and career experience. Having a mutual follower in common goes a long way. Though not necessary, do your best to have 500 followers. It shows that you are known, and have a social life outside of school.

GitHub

GitHub is a website based application used for version control. So what is Version Control? Let’s say you want to paint your house Blue. Currently, your home is painted White. You are unsure about painting your home blue but give it a try anyway. Turns out the house looked better White. Version Control gives you the ability to time travel. Version Control provides you with branches. Each branch represents a point in your application’s lifecycle. You are unhappy with any changes in your application, you can travel back in time to the branch of your choosing. GitHub also allows users to view your code, ( Assuming your repository is Public )  and activity, which gives employers an idea of how active you are as a  coder.

If you want to get to know me better you can follow me on Instagram, GitHub, or LinkedIn. If you have any questions, you can reach me on my personal site: www.iAmDarronBrown.com. I cover a wide range of topics from tech, to relationships, to self-improvement. Thanks for reading.

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About Darron Brown 8 Articles
Darron Brown has Master's in Information Systems from the University of Utah and works as a Software Engineer.