Why you should be a Front-end Developer
Few weeks back, A guy sent me a friend request on Facebook and we started talking about web development since we are both web developers. Part of what we discussed is our area of interest and specialization. I told him I am more of a front-end developer than a generalist web developer. He smiled and said I am being lazy and asked me why I am limiting myself to one thing as there are so many other aspects in software engineering/web development like data science, machine learning, full-stack web development, and many more.
This new friend of mine isn’t wrong about new aspects of web development or software development, but specializing in an aspect of web development does not mean I am lazy. It means I like exploring front-end development because it interests me. At one point during our learning or career, we wish to be grounded in all areas of web development, but there are always some aspects that interests us.
Why being a front-end developer is awesome
I am a front-end developer myself and the reason why I love it is because I am passionate about design. Design is the main reason why I decided to learn how to code in the first place. There are some reasons why front end development is awesome and they are:
You get to specialize on a specific aspect of web development
Although It is good to know a lot of things about web development, but many web developers out there do too and if you want to stand out, you need to have an area of specialization. I like the fact that I am referred to as a front end developer even though I currently do a lot of back-end work this days. I don’t have to be very good at back-end development to do my job. All I did was to have a primary skill which is front-end development and a secondary skill which is back-end development.
More career opportunities
For the last 2 years, I have had 14 job opportunities through physical contact and my linkedIn profile, but mostly my linkedIn profile. 11 of them were front-end development jobs, 2 were UX Design jobs and 1 web development job specializing in core WordPress development. You would expect that recruiters will want to hire a generalist web developer. Yes, you are right, but serious and big companies in Nigeria want specialists, they don’t want mediocrity. So, If you really think being a generalist with no area of specialization is the way, you need to think twice.
How to be a front-end developer
Invest your time wisely in reading books, blog posts and learning materials you can find out there:
The internet is filled with resources in form of writing articles, digital books and video tutorials. You need to pick whatever medium you are most comfortable with. You should also know that the best way to learn how to code is to write code, so experiment with what you have read and practice by imagining projects or redeveloping popular websites.
Get a mentor:
A mentor will direct you and give you tips on how to improve, but your mentor must be someone who has a lot of experience and time to help you. You also need to think carefully while selecting a mentor because very good web developer are rare to find.
Enroll for a web development class:
Not everybody can take up books, read them, and understand them. There are some people that prefer to be taught in a classroom style. If you fall into that category, enroll into an academy and get the best out of it. There are some web design academies I can recommend in lagos and they are CKDigital Academy and Cregital Academy. CKDigital academy offer a specialized course just for front-end development and I am the tutor. But if you are not in lagos. You can contact me and I will give you pointers on how to get started.
Never stop learning:
One of the mistakes learners make is to see every module or aspect of what they are learning as a milestone. A typical example is a student who told me he has finished learning CSS animation and transition. I wondered and asked what that means. You can’t finish learning because new features come along everyday and you have to keep learning them to stay updated.
There is a huge demand for specialists and quality web developers and If you want to stay ahead in your career. Pick an aspect of whatever you do and be the best at it because that is the competitive advantage you need.