How to Become Front-End Developer in 2023

December 25, 2022

3 min read

How to Become Front-End Developer in 2023
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While you can make good money working remotely as a designer, marketer, content creator, or product manager, those careers can be challenging to get into through self-learning online. At the same time, there is still a high demand for programmers, they are well-paid, and it's easier than ever to acquire the skills online for free.

There are different flavors of programming careers - you can code games, do machine learning, or build mobile apps. Yet, I would recommend going with front-end development because most software needs user interfaces and companies need specialists who can implement those interfaces. Also, with a good front-end foundation, you can expand into doing back-end or mobile development.

As a front-end developer with five years of professional experience, I strongly recommend focusing on the fundamentals first. Become proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript before learning any frameworks. Yes, you will likely use React or another library at work, but those are just layers of abstraction; you still need to specify logic with TypeScript or JavaScript, and style HTML tags with CSS.

The great thing about learning front-end is the abundance of free, high quality resources that make it possible to learn the skill without spending money on college or bootcamps. I suggest starting with freecodecamp's three front-end certifications: Responsive Web Design, JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures, and Front-End Development Libraries. Another resource is the Front-End Developer Roadmap, which provides an overview of the skills you need to learn in sequence.

As you learn from these resources, practice what you've learned by making projects. Start small and simple, so you can practice the skills you've acquired. Then, you can move on to creating simplified versions of existing web apps, websites, and games, or come up with your own ideas. Not only will these projects help you learn the skill well, but they can also serve as proof of knowledge or a portfolio when you start applying for jobs.

Once you've completed the fundamentals and other programming-related subjects on freeCodeCamp and the roadmap, continue by becoming proficient in building projects with a specific front-end framework. I recommend React, as most companies rely on it to build web apps. To convince them that you are efficient with the technology and can build quality apps with React quickly, show off your portfolio and pass the interview. As a junior developer, you should be excellent at one thing, and being a solid React developer is a great way to get your first job.

Becoming a developer through self-learning is possible, but it can be easier to learn with others in a cohort-based program. That's how I learned front-end. I attended a free program called Rolling Scopes, sponsored by large companies that hire good students. It's a win-win for everyone: you can learn the skill for free, and if you work hard, you'll get a job. Companies will get a junior developer with proven knowledge for the job. This program is specific to some post-Soviet countries, so you may want to look for something similar in your region.