In brief, a Front End Developer works on everything that the user can actually see when they are browsing the internet. This includes images, animations, videos, text, colours, designs, widgets and any other aspects that the end user may interact with. Today, this also includes smartphones, apps, tablets as well as desktop computers.
Front and back end
The front end is all the visual that an everyday person will interact with, while the back end is the program platform and language, and all other behind the scenes work and programming that the end user will never be aware of.
The overall aim of a Front End Developer is to make the web browsing experience an efficient and enjoyable one. It's not just about pretty pictures and looking good (that’s what a designer does), it's more about how the user interacts with the interface and how easy it is to navigate around the site.
Part of this role includes conducting consumer reviews and testings on a new or modified website, to see if the end user can navigate easily, as well as testing the speed of processes.
There are also compliance issues these days for websites. The prime example is how a website collects and retains personal credit card information. The Front End Developer will need to ensure they have an up-to-date knowledge of domestic and international laws regarding these issues.
In a larger organisation, the Front End developer will work closely with both the designer and the developer. Once these other roles are ready with their work, the Front End Developer then combines the two and works on the code that makes the end website look good and function well.
It is of course essential to have a working knowledge of SEO and coding, but it's also important in today's rapidly changing technology to keep updated with common connection speeds, processing capabilities of computers, and even screen sizes, particularly when working on the increasing amount of mobile devices emerging onto the market.
Ultimately, a Front End Developer is a highly complicated role, but focuses on one key area – the way the consumer interacts with the website. This means coding and platform knowledge is essential, but having the ability to think like an everyday computer user is also required.
This blog is the second in our eight part series exploring what it's like to have a career in the digital world. Our next piece will take a look at the ins and outs of being a Digital Marketing Manager.
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Want to know more about careers in digital or what a digital agency can offer you? Check out our blog series on Careers in Digital.