Fundamentals Of Front-End Development | A Guide To Key Technologies And Concepts

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Fundamentals Of Front-End Development | A Guide To Key Technologies And Concepts

The Pandemic has favored the web and app development industry on a massive scale. Businesses are shifting from traditional physical operations to digital space. With it, numerous new opportunities are knocking on the door for investment. The boom of the industry has increased the demand for Front and Back-End developers.

Before hiring a third-party web and app company, you, as a business, should at least equip yourself with the basic knowledge of web development and skills required for it. Read this article till the end to learn all about Front-end development; the newest trends required skills and technologies involved.

Front-End Development Explained

Let's start with the basics:

What is Web Development?

Using codes, languages, and content management systems to develop a website is called the Web Development process.

Web development is divided into two parts:

  • Front-end
  • Back-end

Let's take a deeper look

What is Front-End Development?

The front-end can be seen as customer-side development and refers to the component of the program that customers can view and interact with.

The responsibility of a front-end developer is not restricted to the implementation of visual components alone. It also involves designing and managing interactive functions, such as navigation, buttons, and anything else that impacts the application's functionality.

To assist you in identifying some guidance in 2021, we've compiled a list of some of the patterns that a front-end developer should be familiar with.

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Headless Architecture

In today's fast-paced agile environment, decoupling your web application's appearance and delivery layer from the CMS makes a lot of sense. With enterprise-grade systems like Sitecore adopting headless, the future of developing sophisticated user-driven apps appears bright.

Isomorphic Applications

By increasing your understanding of server-side JavaScript in 2021, a front-end developer who already knows client-side JavaScript will be capable of creating a whole online application. You're undoubtedly familiar with Node.js, but have you heard about Deno, the new kid on the block?

Typescript

Typescript has been on an upward trend for a few years, and it will continue in 2021. Extending JavaScript to the maximum level of the languages commonly utilized on the Web by introducing static types. You do not have to go through everything. You may gradually add Typescript to an existing application as valid JavaScript will still run.

Micro Front-Ends

Micro front-ends are the logical extension of back-end microservices. When you merely made a slight change to one component, why deploy your complete front-end? How? Divide your monolithic front-end architecture into smaller, autonomous components.

Web Components

Web components will continue to grow in popularity in 2021 since they are framework-independent.

GraphQL

GraphQL allows you to get declarative data from a single endpoint. Sending only the data a client has requested, rather than the predefined data structures of the past, allows for improved efficiency and faster feature development.

JAMstack

The dynamic JAMstack, which was previously exclusively the domain of a pre-rendered static site, is now a thing; see Next.js' Incremental Static Regeneration' is a js function that performs incremental static regeneration. No server is required for automated builds, atomic deployments, or cache invalidation. What is there not to like about this?

Frameworks

Vue.js continues to rise gradually to the top but probably won't grab the crown soon. Maybe web-based frames such as Stencil will grow in 2021.

Component Driven Development

In 2021, solutions like Bit will continue to gain traction as a means of facilitating quick creation and the export of existing components into a dynamically reusable shared collection. Think of a sped-up version of a Storybook.

Progressive Web Applications

PWAs are still a thing, and we keep expecting them to take off every year. With recent browser improvements, more and more businesses are opting to integrate PWA features into their existing or new web apps rather than developing a separate native app, giving them the best of both worlds.

What Front-End Developers Should Know?

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the fundamental toolkit for a front-end developer. Package managers, CSS preprocessors, frameworks, and other front-end development tools can all be added to the mix.

HTML: the Key Front-End Technology

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a computer language used to build web pages that anyone can see with an Internet connection.

HTML is made up of tags, which are shortcodes that are normalized into a text file by the site designer. The text is subsequently saved as an HTML file, which may be viewed using a browser. The browser scans the file and transforms the text into a visually accessible form.

HyperText is the method of navigating the internet by clicking on hyperlinks, which are unique texts that lead to other pages. Hyper implies that it is not linear and can be moved anywhere because there is no predefined order.

This is how we gradually move to HTML5.

HTML5

HTML has seen a lot of changes since its original release in 1991. In 2014, HTML5 was published. It includes features like offline media storage support, more precise content elements (e.g., header, footer, navigation), and audio and video integration support.

CSS: Styling your Façade

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for creating style sheets. It's used to specify how HTML components should appear on a webpage in terms of style, layout, and modifications for various devices and screen sizes. CSS is capable of mastering the layout of several web pages at the same time.

CSS interacts with HTML elements, which are the building blocks of a website. CSS utilizes selectors to connect with HTML. A selector is a component of CSS code that specifies which HTML elements will be affected by CSS style.

  • A declaration contains properties and values that the selector employs.
  • Properties define font size, color, and margins. Values are the settings for these properties.

External style sheets are saved as.css files and may be used to determine the design of an entire website with only one file, rather than adding several instances of CSS code to each HTML element that needs to be changed. To use an external style sheet, .html files must have a header section that links to the external style sheet.

DOM: the Web Page Structure

The structure of a web page is known as the Document Object Model (DOM). A programming interface for HTML and XML documents is known as the Document Object Model (DOM). It interprets the page so that programs can change the document's structure, style, and content. The document is rendered as nodes and objects by the DOM, allowing programming languages to connect to the page.

How does it work?

Consider a web page as a document that may be viewed in a browser window or HTML source code form. This document is represented by the Document Object Model (DOM), which allows it to be changed. The Document Object Model (DOM) is an object-oriented representation of a web page that can be modified using JavaScript or any other programming language.

JavaScript: Making the Web Alive

JavaScript (JS) is well known for offering a complete technology stack for both front-end and back-end development.

JS improves the overall interactivity of a website. It allows you to create dynamic UI elements like picture sliders, pop-ups, and complex site navigation menus, among other things. JavaScript adds functionality to a website that would otherwise be impossible to provide using HTML and CSS alone. Web pages that utilize JavaScript may respond to user activities and dynamically refresh themselves. This procedure does not need a page to reload to change its representation, thanks to JavaScript.

How Front-End Communicates with the Back-End?

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The front-end does not exist in a vacuum from the back-end or the data-handling server. Let's have a look at some of the client-server communications ideas.

Asynchronous Operations

Asynchronous is the foundation of the whole toolset. The approach's most important function is to asynchronously refresh web content.

  • JavaScript - JavaScript uses website automation processes so that web developers don't have to change each instance of the procedure on a page individually.
  • XML (or Extensible Markup Language) is a markup language that allows you to send data from a page to the browsers that view it. This is critical for particular computer systems, which frequently cannot communicate with data formatted by another system.

How Asynchronous Updates Work?

Assume a user presses a button. The user continues to browse the website, and the client makes an XML/JSON request to a server-side script in the background. The data is obtained via JavaScript on the server-side, which then connects to the database if necessary and processes the data. It returns the data to the original client-side page that ran the entry using XML/JSON. A JavaScript callback collects the data and refreshes the web page component that needs to be updated.

REST and GraphQL

REST and GraphQL are acronyms for Representational State Transfer and GraphQL, respectively. It's a lightweight architectural style used to communicate between a client (front-end) and a server (back-end). RESTful services and APIs are web services following the REST architecture.

The current version of messaging is GraphQL. It's a query language for client-side apps to query databases. GraphQL describes how to present data to the client on the server-side and accommodates various sorts of clients and their data requirements. Read our post on GraphQL Core features if you want to learn more about this topic.

Here are some of the suggested top front-end development languages for you to select from, along with their perks, when it comes to developing and building the front-end of your website or program.

1. JavaScript - The benefits of this program are due to its capacity to generate dynamic and responsive web pages, making it one of the most popular programming languages. Interactive websites are not only great for user experience, but they can also help with paid advertising.

Famous websites

  • eBay
  • Wikipedia

2. CSS - CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It describes how the HTML components on your site are shown and presented on the screen when coded into the site's functioning.

Famous Websites

  • Angry Birds
  • Your Plan Your Planet

3. HTML - HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is used to create web pages for your website. This language represents the page's structure, and it will be made up of several distinct components that will display the page's planned organization.

Famous Websites

  • Fizz
  • Four Hundred Years

4. React - For those who are unfamiliar with React, it is a Javascript library built by Facebook. React is a user interface framework that makes it easy to add UI components to a web page.

Famous Websites

  • Asana
  • Airbnb

5. AngularJs - AngularJS is a programming language that combines functionality with the ability to build aesthetically appealing web pages. One of the most prominent aspects of Angular is the scalability it provides to web developers.

Famous Websites

  • Upwork
  • Netflix

6. Vue.js - This development language is preferred by web developers seeking inexpensive, budget-friendly pricing. It creates and simplifies the construction of websites. Vue.js is not only affordable, but it's also ideal for front-end developers who are new to the field.

Famous Websites

  • GitLab
  • Behance

7. Elm - Elm uses Redux's architecture to allow users to construct client-facing web pages without the inefficiencies that come with HTML and CSS.

Famous Websites

  • Elmify
  • UNLI Reverse Flight Search

8. TypeScript - TypeScript is another front-end programming language that can be used alongside JavaScript. Introducing additional types to the JavaScript support tools for use in a variety of browsers.

Famous Websites

  • Sky
  • Wix

9. JQuery - JQuery is a JavaScript library that helps users to design cleaner websites with less code. This front-end development language is simple to learn and suggested for newcomers because of its unique ability to simplify programming.

Famous Websites

  • Microsoft
  • Zoom

10. SASS - SASS stands for Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets and is a CSS-like programming language. With its distinct characteristics, SASS provides users with variables, nestles rules, mixins, and other capabilities for a more fluid front-end experience.

Famous Websites

  • Toyota
  • Vox Media

JavaScript Frameworks and Libraries and Why we Need Them

Developers may use JavaScript frameworks and tools to get distinct visual elements to interact with each other.

Frameworks for JavaScript are comprehensive collections of tools for constructing and arranging a website or online application. These are web templates that can be used to make a website or online application. They offer a structure for the whole project (such as a skeleton or scaffolding). While the framework creates the page templates, they also create a structure with specific places for embedding framework code.

Libraries are specialized tools for specific coding requirements, not a one-stop shop for grooming an entire project. Libraries are collections of prewritten code snippets that are used and reused to implement JavaScript's fundamental functionalities. The snippet can be easily integrated into an existing project code when necessary.

JavaScript for the Back-End

Node.js is a server-side and networking runtime environment that is open source and cross-platform. Node.js apps are written in JavaScript and run on OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux using the Node.js runtime.

Node.js also comes with a large array of JavaScript modules, which greatly facilitates the creation of Node.js web applications.

Blazor: Microsoft's answer to JavaScript

Microsoft also takes part in the framework competition. Blazor (Browser+Razor) is a new web development framework that allows to create browser-based apps utilizing C# and Razor syntax in addition to HTML and CSS. Despite its benefits, Blazor still stays behind JavaScript’s popularity.

How to Hire a Front-End Web Developer?

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Effective front-end developers and UI/UX projects integrate several criteria, including:

  • User accessibility
  • Navigation
  • Compatibility with their user base/audience, and
  • Sleek user interfaces

All of this works together to tap into the user's subconscious joys.

Front-end developers, in other words, are in charge of optimizing and customizing the sweet spot proportion of an appealing user interface.

What Does a Front End-Web Developer Do?

The following are the bare-minimum duties of a front-end developer for organizations with non-specific and general web development job criteria:

  • Developing novel user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX)
  • Build and deploy reusable code, frameworks, and front-end libraries for future applications.
  • Evaluate and determine the technical feasibility of UI/UX designs via mockups and wireframe presentations.
  • Optimize web applications with responsiveness, scalability, clean navigation, and speed in mind.
  • Aggregate user feedback and ensure that all user-level features and design methods are validated before submitting final versions to the back-end.
  • Collaborate with the full-stack ecosystem; work with other team members and stakeholders to configure UI/UX designs accordingly.

Front-End Web Developer Skills

These are the skills and expertise a front-end developer should possess.

  • Proficiency in HTML and CSS.
  • JavaScript basics
  • Cross-browser compatibility
  • Responsive design
  • UI frameworks and CSS-transforming tools
  • 2D and 3D graphics
  • User Accessibility
  • Graphic design and Typography
  • UI/UX design
  • Web template systems
  • Code versioning tools and utilization

How to Hire a Front-End Software Development Company?

Struggling to hire an in-house software engineer? Have an idea for a great product but don’t have a skilled team? The best solution is to look for a software development house. By outsourcing the development you gain access to professionals with experience in working on various projects and priceless business insights.

Choosing the right software development partner is the key factor in successful outsourcing.

What to look for:

  • Testimonials
  • Portfolio
  • Blogs

Key Criteria for Selecting a Front-end Software development company:

  • Price-oriented approach
  • Experience-oriented approach
  • Management-oriented approach
  • Communication-oriented approach

Read a dedicated article on How To Choose A Custom Software Development Company.

Capabilities and Key Expertise for Front-end Development Company

The company should be well-versed with the newest trends and technology. The developers should have the ability to handle the project with dedicated teams.

Staff Augmentation is another buzzing word for developers. When hiring a development company, you need to check the portfolio of the previously served customer using the technique.

Conclusions

There are several articles about front-end development that may help you choose the right technology, but in the end, it all depends on the details of your project and the objectives you want to achieve.

If you're having difficulties selecting which tech stack to use to create your project we encourage you to contact us. Our highly experienced staff can help you select the finest front-end solution for your specific company requirements. Look through our portfolio, which includes hundreds of successfully executed front-end projects for clients from diversified industries.

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