Product Design

Nov. 29, 2018

/ code & tools

Is front-end development still a good career path in 2019?

Luiza Sadowska

Considering a career in IT? There are many paths to choose and what is really exciting in programming and web development environment, is the ability to constantly improve. However, since some years the hype to start frontend career is huge but is it still worth to learn it or better dig into machine learning, automatic testing, full stack or another IT-related job?

Frontend developer career path

There are several reasons to learn frontend which is the most common choice for everyone who wants to start with the IT adventure. Learning HTML5 and CSS3 is something that we don’t need to mention, it is a must-know to even start considering going further. What else a frontend developer should know is JavaScript - a proper programming language. Then different types of frameworks and libraries should be slowly added to the frontend dev skillset although it usually depends on the project on which you are going to work. There are plenty of expectations toward frontend devs cause this knowledge can be applied in a variety of cases but we have checked some offers and picked up required skills which are recurring: 

  • HTML, CSS/SAAS navvy
  • experience in JavaScript
  • experience with GIT (or other version control systems)
  • knowledge of at least one: React, Angular, Vue, Ember
  • good English
  • experience with RWD
  • knowledge of at least one: Bootstrap, Foundation

Nice-to-haves:

  • familiarity with SCRUM methodology
  • familiarity with Node.js, TypeScirpt, Gulp, 
  • good communication skills

The pros of working as a frontend developer

Well, the best part of frontend is that you don’t have to worry if soon it is going to extinct. The blossoming period of website applications is still on but of course, from time to time it is good to add some skills and never stop learning when it comes to software development. Changes in the IT world are common, sometimes there is a hype for a particular language or desired library but if you want to stay on top - always enhance your skill set and… be an expert in your field. 

Additionally, if you are already experienced enough, it won’t be that difficult to make a little switch and change your career path. Transition to full-stack, product development, UX or becoming a SCRUM master could be the next step in case you are afraid of getting bored with CSS styles. Kidding, there is always something new you can learn or do in frontend ;) 

And the cons...

As in every job, there are a few! Well, it actually requires constant catching up with changes and at the same time, it makes it more difficult for new developers to get started. Another aspect is the unclarity - frontend is a wide discipline and you can either become an expert in one particular area of expertise or get a little chunk of everything (progressive web apps, server-side technology and so on). This might be exciting and frustrating at once, depends on the perspective.

Does frontend pay off?

Let’s bear in mind that it always changes in regard to the context and the country in which you are working. Looking at the report prepared by No Fluff Jobs and comparing offers of main software houses in Polish cities like Warsaw, Poznań, Wrocław, Kraków and Gdańsk. 

The median salary of a frontend developer varies between 8500 -  14000 PLN (B2B, gross) while for a regular job contract is a bit lower and starts from 8000 PLN (gross). However, comparing job offers at pracuj.pl, a regular gross salary is claimed to be 7700 PLN. It is necessary to understand that the salary range is different depending on the location. 

On the other hand, even if you are living in a smaller town without a proper software house or any kind of company that offers a competitive salary, in IT environment a remote work is always possible. 

JavaScript Developer

Knowledge of JavaScript is one of the essentials for everyone considering a frontend career path but there are positions tailor-made for those who don’t want to bother much with HTML and CSS. JavaScript is a language that makes the website or application interactive which nowadays is a must, however, it is not that easy to learn it - even though only the basic math (logic) is required, it takes time to get satisfactory results. For a JavaScript developer, there are few more requirements like experience with Redux in connection with Angular or React, know-how when it comes to working accordingly to BEM methodology and obviously good CSS commands. In case it sounds like something for you, check the open position for Regular JavaScript Developer at Merixstudio

How to find a job as a frontend developer?

Lately, without a doubt, becoming a frontend developer or a Python developer is a common goal for a huge amount of people which want to retrain and drastically change the career path. The good part about frontend is that in comparison to backend, full-stack or big data, not much math is necessary to get the basics. Although in software development, a logical thinking is a key to success even if there are no sophisticated math patterns required. However, what could be an advantage is knowing the design. An eye for details, some graphics programs at your fingertips, fundamental UX/UI knowledge and experience with layouts, matching colors and so on - merging skills is a way to go, if you really want to stand out from the junior devs’ crowd. 

Is frontend still a good choice for a career path?

Of course, a lot depends on personal skills and predispositions but for everyone who has an eye to details, likes to actually see the results of the work in a project and can understand in a breeze while looking at website what doesn’t work well there - frontend is a perfect choice. Career-wise it also pays off, especially if you put some effort into learning JavaScript well. 

Web development is not going to dry out as a job market and due to huge demand, many companies are still going to need web devs either to create and work together on a project or to adjust it to the market needs, add some features and so on - possibilities are endless. A high-quality code is always wanted and this won’t change soon

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