Tech 101: What Does a Front End Developer Do?

What is front end development? Is front end development a good career? How do I become a front end developer? You have questions, we have answers!

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Front End Development?
  2. What Do Front End Developers Do?
  3. Are Front End Developers In Demand?
  4. Is A Front End Developer Role A Good Career Choice?
  5. How Much Do Front End Developers Make?
  6. Curious How to Become a Front End Developer?

What Is Front End Development?

Have you ever looked at your favorite website and wondered why it looked like that or how the buttons worked?

The short answer is front end development. The long answer is much more nuanced.

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While web design determines the way a website looks, front end development is how that design gets implemented on the web.

Front end development is a subset of software development that uses the coding languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build websites for the internet!

Everything you see on a website is built with front end development (sometimes also called front end web development) — and the people behind it have a name: front end developers.

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What Do Front End Developers Do?

A front end web developer is a software engineer who implements web designs through coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. If you head to any site, you can see the work of a front end developer in the navigation, layouts, and way that a site responds to screen size (thanks to mobile-first or responsive design).

The code front end developers write runs inside the user’s web browser (known as client-side, as opposed to a back end developer, whose code runs server-side using open source runtime environments like Node.js or with programming languages like Python).

A front end web developer is also in charge of making sure that there are no errors or bugs on the front end, as well as making sure that the design appears as it’s supposed to across various platforms and browsers. All of these tasks are important for a good user experience.

In addition to implementing web designs, front end developers perform the following job responsibilities, according to Glassdoor:

  • Work closely with the product, design and engineering teams.
  • Research new technologies and propose solutions to user needs.
  • Identify UI problems and bugs and devise elegant solutions.
  • Participate in code reviews and ship code on a daily basis.
  • Develop fully functional web applications that align with business objectives.
  • Mentor and onboard junior members of the team.

Front end development can be an exciting and fulfilling career choice for problem solvers given the job responsibilities. But is there a future in front end development? Is there a demand from front end developers? Keep reading.


📌 Front End, Back End, Full Stack — What’s The Difference? A back end developer is like the engineer who designs and creates the systems that make a city work (electricity, water and sewer, zoning, etc.), while the front end developer is the one who lays out the streets and makes sure everything is connected properly so people can live their lives. Full stack developers are comfortable programming with both front end and back end languages.

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Are Front End Developers In Demand?

Front end developer jobs (also sometimes called front end engineer jobs) are some of the most in-demand roles, and for good reason — we wouldn’t get to enjoy Internet black holes without them!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of web developers in the US will grow 23% from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Put another way, about 45,400 web developer jobs are expected to be added to the job market between 2021 and 2031.

And it’s not just the tech industry that requires developers. The finance and insurance, manufacturing, and public administration industries are among the top industries posting tech jobs. So as the demand for developers increases and decreases among industries, there will always be a demand for developers.

Front end development jobs are aplenty for years to come — great! Job security set aside, how do you know you’ll enjoy being a front end developer? Next, we’ll set the stage for what you can expect as a front end developer.


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Is A Front End Developer Role A Good Career Choice? How Much Do Front End Developers Make?

Becoming a front end developer is a good long-term career change. The career offers great job security, job mobility, and as you’ll see next, high-paying opportunities and flexibility.

According to Glassdoor, the base salary for front end developers in the United States is $84,196 as of February 2023. And during the same time period, there were over 10,000 open front end developer jobs across the United States on Glassdoor.

In addition to high-paying front end developer positions, these tech jobs offer a wealth of flexibility. Remote work is increasingly available among tech positions, as you primarily need an internet connection and computer to perform job responsibilities.

And the best part? You don’t need a computer science degree to land a job in tech. A four-year degree is a momentous achievement, but if university isn’t in the cards for you (because of finances, location, or scheduling), you can become a front end developer through a coding bootcamp.


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Curious How to Become a Front End Developer?

If this is sounding more and more like your dream job, then we’d love to share with you the exact skills you need to learn to get a job as a front end developer. These include:

For a deeper dive into front end developer skills check out our guide to The 15 Essential Front End Developer Skills.

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Author Image

Adda Birnir

Adda Birnir is the founder and CEO of Skillcrush. She was named one of 20 Women to Watch in technology by the Columbia Journalism Review, has been featured by Fast Company and the BBC, and serves as a member of the New York City Workforce Development Board. Adda is a graduate of Yale and lives in Queens with her husband and two sons.