If you’ve been wondering how to become a front web developer, now is the perfect time to get started. Nowadays, having a computer science degree isn’t required to become a freelance web developer or even land a full-time job as a front end developer at a large tech company.
In fact, according to recent studies from Stack Overflow, over 60% of web developers are self-taught, which are staggering statistics! So, what do these statistics really tell you? Well, it shows that it’s really not hard to get a job as a web developer without a degree, as long as you have the skills and experience.
Web development is such a great career choice for those who want to work for a tech company or would like the freedom to work remotely and make money building websites for others. The need for web developers is in high demand and rapidly growing each year.
Today, the opportunities for web developers are better than ever thanks to an influx of new online businesses and startups that need professional help with their websites.
Many people, especially the younger generation are excited to get into this industry, but how long does it really take to learn the skills required to become a web developer without a degree?
There are many ways to teach yourself web development online and offline. I’ve taken some really great web development courses and web development boot camps that can get you up to speed quickly, even as little as 3 to 6 months, assuming that you learn quickly.
Now, this also depends on your previous experience, the type of web development courses you take and the time you invest in learning. I truly believe that experience is the best teacher. You’ll learn much more by immersing yourself into the web development world by practicing your coding skills every day, rather than just reading about it. Hands-on experience is key.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the definition of a front end developer, and the skills required to become one. Later we’ll discuss some of the best web development courses you can take and the steps you need to take to become a successful front end developer.
What is a Front End Web Developer?
Front end developers are also known as “web designers” They deal with the client-side of the website, which includes the design of the website and how the website looks.
Front-end developers are mainly focused on the user interface and user experience. This includes the visual layout, forms, text, fonts, images, colors, title, heading, content, buttons, links, images and drop-down menus.
Web developers are flexible and skilled as they usually have some working knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO), graphic design and programming.
Front End vs. Back End vs. Full Stack Web Developer
Back-end developer – This refers to the server-side application logic and code, which includes everything behind the design and how the website works. For example, a back end developer’s job would be programming the code of the website with languages like PHP, Java and .NET.
Full-stack developer – This refers to someone who handles both the front-end and back-end development, it includes everything from web design to programming code. In the tech world, a full stack developer is considered the jack of all trades, meaning they can do it all.
Front End Web Developer Skills Required
What is HTML?
- HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language.
- It’s important to know that HTML is markup language, NOT a programming language.
- HTML provides the basic structure of a website and tells the web browser how the content should be displayed on a web page.
- For example, “Hypertext Markup Language” or HTML “mark up” the data within HTML tags, which are used to define the data on a web page.
- HTML tags are simply the angle brackets that begin with the less than (<) sign and end with greater than sign (>) as shown in the image above.
- HTML tells the web browser how to display certain content such as which parts of the page should be embedded with videos or images or which parts of the page are paragraphs, titles, headings, links, data tables, etc.
What is CSS?
- CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets.
- Also, it’s important to know that CSS is a style sheet language, NOT a programming language.
- CSS controls the presentation, layout and format of a web page.
- CSS sets the “style” and customizes the “look” in HTML web pages such as background color and fonts. So it’s easy to remember, CSS is added to HTML to “style” your website and make it look beautiful.
Front End Web Developer Benefits
- High Demand – Web Developers are in high demand because of the shortage of skilled developers.
- Freedom – A freelance web developer has the freedom to work anytime and work anywhere. They usually don’t work for a specific company, but instead, offer their services to all types of clients around the world.
- Flexibility – Many web developers are self-employed or independent contractors, which means that they work for themselves and on a contractual basis. The offers the flexibility to set your own work hours and schedule.
- Be Creative – It’s important for web developers to be able to look at things from a different perspective and keep an open mind. Web development allows you to come up with creative ideas and solutions to make your clients vision come true.
- College Degree Not Required– It’s important to know that having a computer science degree isn’t necessary to pursue a career in web development.
How Do You Become a Front End Developer Without a Degree?
It’s important to know that you can become a web developer without a degree. Some web developers obtain a Science degree to work in this field but it isn’t necessary. If you have the skills and experience then you can do very well in this profession.
If you’re looking for ways to become a web developer without a degree, there are many free and paid web development courses you can take online to gain the skills and experience you need. We highly recommend taking the following course to get you started on your web development career.
What is a Front End Web Developer Salary?
If you want to make money as a front end developer, it all comes down to your skills and experience, especially if you’re doing freelance work. Some web developers charge either a flat or hourly rate, depending on the scope of the project and their experience. Let’s look at the front end and back end developer average salary comparison below:
According to Glassdoor, Front End Developers make $70,000 USD average base pay.
According to Glassdoor, Back End Developers make $117,000 USD average base pay.
Please keep in mind that these averages will vary depending on your city, state and web development experience. For example, the average salary for a Front End Developer in San Francisco, CA is $132,633 USD per year, which is 31% above the national average.
How to Become a Front End Developer without a degree? (5 Steps)
- Learn Web Development Skills – Whether you decide to become a front-end or backend developer, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with core Web development languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL. You should learn as much as you can about web development and how everything works. It’s a great idea to join GitHub.com. GitHub is an open-source web development platform where, you can host and review code, manage projects, and build software along with 40 million other developers.You’ll be able to connect with other developers and learn additional skills. There are also many free and paid online courses that can get you up learn web development skills. There are Web Development courses that will not only teach you how to become a web developer but help you create test projects that could be used in your portfolio if you decide to apply for a job or freelance. Here is a list of some of the best web development courses that can help you gain valuable skills in this industry.
- Set up Development Environment & Staging Site – If you want to become a front end web developer, it’s essential that you have the best web hosting and the best staging site and development environment. Often, web developers use staging sites as a testing ground for their client’s websites. A staging and development environment will allow you to create a copy of your client’s live website and modify it in a safe development environment. This can prevent errors from occurring on the live website and avoid any downtime or other issues that might arise. You can safely make changes, build and test a website’s theme, plugins, media files, and source code without changing the content visitors see on the live site. When you’re finished making changes you can easily copy your staging site back to the live website. This can make your life much easier when developing sites for your clients. We recommend using SiteGround WordPress hosting because they offer one of the best WordPress staging sites and development environments.
- Create a Website & Build a Portfolio – You’ll need a place where potential clients can see your work and hire you. A simple, professional website with contact information, examples of your work, testimonials, and referrals along with a simple, straightforward pricing structure, can help present yourself as an expert in your field. You will also want to market your website as best as possible through referrals and client testimonials in order to establish your reputation as a professional web developer.
- Join Freelance Websites – There are many freelance marketplaces that connect freelance web developers with clients in need of their services. This is one place that offers freelancers a great start to gain much experience and learn how to work with clients. Freelance sites, such as Fiverr.com is a great place to start. Many freelance web developers gain long term clients from these sites and are able to make a full-time income.
- Never Stop Learning – Web development is such an exciting industry that’s constantly changing and evolving. If you want to be in this business for the long term then you should never stop learning and improving your skillset. You should always be aware of the latest trends and updates with web design, programming languages, software applications, etc. This is something all your employer and freelance clients will expect of you since they see you as an expert in your field. There are many low-cost web developer courses on Udemy.com which allow you to get a front end web developer certificate once completed. All courses include a risk-free with 30-day, money-back guarantee and can be taken any time and at your own pace.
The most challenging aspect to become a web developer is starting out on your own. Some web developers earn a science degree, others take online courses or self-taught. Some web developers start working for a large tech company until they can gain the experience needed to go out on their own. Becoming a web developer can be an interesting, exciting field that offers the opportunity to make an impact in the tech industry while tapping into your creative skills.