The position of a front-end developer looks tempting not only because of the salary, but also because of the high demand for this position among employers. Layout designers and front-end developers have been in the top of the most demanded specialties in the IT field for a long time. If you are reading this article, you must have thought of joining the ranks of front-end developers too.
If you already had time to study information on the Internet, watch videos about what a Junior front-end developer should be able to do and where to start studying, or monitor a list of requirements for vacancies, you are probably a bit embarrassed because of the list of all these necessary skills, even for the Junior position. At first glance, it may seem that the stack of necessary knowledge and skills of a web developer is so large that the desire to take the path of study may disappear immediately.
Why Are The Requirements For A Junior Web Developer Overstated?
Today front-end development is the second opportunity after QA to enter IT. Accordingly, the number of self-taught layout designers and those who have just graduated from front-end development courses is growing every day. Despite the fact that this position is quite in demand in the labor market, such a large number of those wishing to start their way in IT forces employers to tighten the selection of potential candidates, thereby deliberately increasing the requirements for the position almost to the level of a middle developer.
In addition, the company may simply not have an actual separation of junior, middle and senior levels. It is easier and cheaper for many business owners and startups to roll out a list of necessary skills for each specific project and find a person who is ready to independently study technologies in order to get the coveted junior position, despite the fact that in fact these requirements may refer to the middle level.
It should also be noted that very often incompetent bloggers, freelancers and other authors who are not related not only to development, but to IT in general, post information about the necessary requirements for junior web developers.
As a result, due to such inadequate requirements, many juniors are simply afraid to go for an interview, because they believe that they have a lack of knowledge. You shouldn’t wait for the right moment or “sufficient level”, master the basic skills from the list below and start practicing at different companies. After a few interviews, you will gain new experience and make sure that the same questions are often asked. You will also learn about them in this article.
Frontender is able to create functional applications and fill layout pages with complete data. Modern sites are becoming more complex and require new solutions, which is why very often it is not enough just to make a page. In any case, high-quality layout is a base that must be mastered confidently and freely both by the layout designer and the front-end specialist.
All the necessary knowledge and skills can be divided into hard skills, that is, technical, and soft skills – personal qualities.
The technical base of the essential basics that you should master is:
Understanding the markup language is the very first must-have in your skill set. You should understand the anatomy of HTML markup for a web page and master the base tags, their attributes, and nested elements. You also need to know how they should look right.
You should learn how to style the elements, and do it correctly, without leaving huge canvases of unused styles. First you need to master:
- block model and content positioning (float),
- layout and alignment of items on the page (flexbox),
- cleaning up a stream and its methods,
- aligning and centering elements,
- visibility of elements (display, visibility, overflow),
- xbox toolbar,
- the specificity of selectors and how it works,
- basic knowledge of CSS grid layout
- responsive design (layout for mobile devices),
- mobile-first / desktop-first approaches at the level of understanding,
- cross-browser layout.
- basic understanding of the language and its features,
- data structures,
- strings, numbers, objects and arrays (you need to know the methods to add a value to an array, turn the word backwards),
- closure and scopes (how it works and what it means),
- object methods (Bind, Call and Apply),
- execution context and function call stack (you should understand the difference well and be able to use it by examples)
Understand how the GIT version control system works. Working in a team, you must be able to control your code, for this knowledge of 3-5 commands will be enough.
In fact, this is all that a junior front-end developer should know at the outset. It is also important not only to familiarize yourself with the information, but to immediately apply all knowledge in practice. The more you practice, the faster you get results.
These skills reveal your individual characteristics. Mastering them is necessary both for teamwork and for your own personal growth, so it is important not to neglect them, but to treat it as responsibly as you treat your technical knowledge.
Self-management is the most important skill, because you will need to become your own boss. The position of a junior front-end developer requires constant self-study, and you will have to learn how to independently find answers to all questions. In a smart company, you will have a mentor who will help you understand complex issues, but in a programming environment, asking the same thing several times is considered to be bad manners.
Learn to immediately memorize information, or at least write it down. The quality of your code should improve and the number of comments should decrease. If the team sees that after six months you are standing in one place, this can be your last days in the company. Therefore, it is very important not only to show the desire for self-study, but also to prove it in practice.
Teamwork. This also includes communication and communication. Listening to people and listening to other people’s opinions will help you move forward on the developer journey. More experienced colleagues will give the necessary information faster and more compactly than if you taught it yourself. It is also important to be able to form and defend your opinion.
English language. It is very important for a junior web developer to be able to speak (even if there is no perfect knowledge of grammar rules) and to read the documentation in English.
Additional but not required skills
Having this knowledge at a basic level will definitely be a plus:
JS DOM (Document Object Model) basics:
- know about the document and page objects (learn to navigate the DOM-tree of elements, find them in different ways)
- understand the basics of working with events (hang up elementary handlers, know about the event propagation model, be able to intercept, process and cancel them).
Basic ES6 syntax concepts (fetch, async / await, promise).
CSS preprocessor (SASS / LESS) – nesting and creating variables.
CSS Framework (Bootstrap / Foundation) – It is enough to understand the architecture and how it is used.
JS framework (React / Angular / Vue) and JQuery – the basics.
Front-End Junior Developer Interview Questions
A technical interview for a junior front-end developer 99% of the time starts with questions about HTML. And the most common question a front-end developer needs to know is what Doctype is and why is it needed.
Next, you will be asked about the semantics of HTML. Here you do not need to tell the information on each tag and its attributes, but you must understand the general structure of their construction, and be able to explain the difference between tags for headings, sections, navigation. Also, you need to understand how to arrange them correctly.
You may be asked about the types of input fields and their features. Also, you may be asked to tell what tags you are using, for example, for a form, and how you will create it.
It is very important not just to say the result, but to tell the sequential chain of your actions, to demonstrate your algorithm of the thought process for solving the problem.
Show in the interview that you are passionate about the front-end, that you are constantly learning and want to grow. Technologies in IT are developing at a rapid pace and you must be ready not only to constantly learn new things, but also to monitor the updating of existing knowledge. It is very important here to learn how to filter information and not be scattered over many articles “about everything and about nothing.” Self-study can take more than a year, while optimized courses will help you master the front-end direction in 5-7 months.