Tech

A Guide To Front-End Techniques for Beginners

What are the steps to become a front-end developer and what to study in 2021? This tutorial on frontend development will assist you figure it out.

Professional skills

As before, front-end development is based on three pillars – HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

It is important to understand all the basics and principles of this area before starting to seriously engage in such a difficult task as frontend development.

Html

Without understanding the markup, you can’t go further, because this is the skeleton of the site. You should learn basic tags and attributes, understand the anatomy of HTML markup, and be aware of accessibility and SEO basics. Don’t forget about HTML5, the fifth version that appears in the requirements of every first job. HTML is not evolving fast, so you have a big advantage if you already know the markup language.

CSS

It is also important to learn how to style elements with CSS and do it correctly, such as reusing styles for the same elements. First, become familiar with the box model and content positioning — the layout, alignment and centering of elements, and their visibility. Read about responsive and responsive design. Next, go to media queries to take into account the technical parameters of various devices. Skill with CSS Grid and Flexbox is a nice bonus. Then deepen your knowledge by studying architecture and preprocessors.

To get the first practical skills in working with HTML and CSS, you should lay out several pages: this can be done using the templates from the given articles, or you can write a completely independent project.

JavaScript

So how do you become a front-end developer without knowing JavaScript in 2021? The functionality of the site falls on the “shoulders” of this language: actions on pressing buttons, filling out forms, listening to events, launching triggers and much more. Do not neglect the basics and go straight to learning the “fashionable” framework – learn the language gradually.

So, you need to master the syntax and basic constructions. Note that JavaScript is a weakly typed language, meaning it performs implicit type conversions automatically. This means that you can write something like 10+ “1” and not get any errors. On the contrary, the result will be string – 101. You can read more about this in a large study called WTF JavaScript.

It is important to become familiar with the DOM, the Fetch API for handling HTTP requests and responses, AJAX and XMLHttpRequest technology, ECMAScript 6+, the modular approach, and web components. Also go over the listed concepts like strict mode and shadow DOM.

Web security

Do you know what OWASP is? It is an open source project that collects statistics and aims to ensure the security of web applications. To become a front-end developer in 2021, you need to pay special attention to security. Although there are more ways to protect yourself, the attackers are not standing still either.

So, you need to understand the advantages of HTTPS over HTTP, how CORS works, Content Protection Policy (CSP), and regularly check the OWASP site for updates.

Read articles on how to protect a web application and what pentesting tools are used by information security specialists.

Instruments

Everything is simple here:

  • Master the Git version control system and choose a convenient service for hosting projects.
  • Use linters and formatters to improve the quality of your code.
  • Use taskrunners and bundlers for assembly.
  • Get in the habit of working with the npm and yarn package managers.

Frameworks

3 main frameworks for working with the front-end:

  • js
  • Angular
  • js

GraphQL

It is the primary language for API requests for front-end developers. The Apollo platform, in turn, is a GraphQL implementation for transporting data from the cloud to the UI of a web application, and Relay Modern is a framework that uses GraphQL and is designed to work with data-driven applications.

Conclusion

So, to become a front-end developer in 2021, you need to be proficient in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, be able to secure web applications, be proficient in basic tools such as Git, Prettier, ESLint, npm scripts and Webpack, learn at least one of the basic JavaScript frameworks and get the hang of GraphQL. But by no means stop there. You can find out everything about the front-end, back-end and all aspects of quality web design here: https://www.halo-lab.com/.

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