The author of this article is tech expert Pieter Murphy.
In this article
In many cases, front-end development focuses on web development. Professionals in this arena spend time creating the interfaces end-users engage with when accessing sites through web browsers. They create the layouts, select colors, add navigation options, insert interactable links, place buttons, and set up popups. Plus, many work to ensure that websites show correctly when viewed on a variety of devices.
Along with handling UI/UX-related tasks, front-end developers spend time writing code. They may add animations to specific elements. Plus, they’ll create the code needed to extract data from servers to display information through the web-based user interface.
Often, back-end development includes data storage and cybersecurity-related duties and functions, too. That ensures that incoming information is properly managed and that all connected systems are suitably safeguarded from intrusions or other cyber threats.
As a full-stack developer, professionals have the knowledge and skills necessary to handle both front-end and back-end development duties. Essentially, they’re jacks of all trades in this arena, operating as a single person who can handle client-side and server-side coding.
After familiarizing themselves with various core concepts, moving on to web-based or online courses is an excellent choice. With many of these classes, students get to learn practical application. They’ll get to write pieces of code and test their functionality.
While the types of self-direct learning above can work well on their own, most professionals are well-served by earning formal credentials. The most straightforward option is to get a Bachelor’s degree in a related major, such as web development or computer science. However, bootcamps that come with certificates are also worth considering.
For professionals who aren’t sure what exactly to cover, reviewing entry-level job descriptions is an excellent way to find out what’s necessary. Those will outline the exact capabilities employers are after, giving aspiring pros a clear idea of what they need to know.
When working in a trainee developer job, professionals should focus on learning and professional development. These positions mainly exist as skill-building opportunities, so embrace the educational side of the equation as much as possible.
Many trainee positions are inherently short-term. When they are, the primary goal is building up the employee’s skills enough to move them into the next position up the ladder. However, some aren’t automatically timebound, essentially giving the selected professional as much time as they need to become suitably competent.
A crucial part of succeeding as a junior developer is asking questions and getting needed guidance. A lot of professional development occurs at this stage, so reaching out, when necessary, creates learning opportunities.
At this stage, developers often have robust troubleshooting capabilities. Additionally, they can create interactive features independently, write code effectively, and even assist with overall strategy. They’re also commonly familiar with code review techniques, refactoring, and unit tests, and they have an in-depth understanding of the core frameworks related to their roles.
During this career phase, professionals usually work on some of the most complex projects their employer has available. They’re often viewed as subject-matter experts, so they’re trusted with more complicated duties, high-visibility tasks, and scenarios where the stakes are higher.
Team Lead or Manager
However, these roles mean shifting away from being an individual contributor and focusing more on leadership-related tasks. Delegation, project management, coaching, oversight, and offering feedback to other employers are big parts of the equation. Strategic decision-making is also a substantial part of the job. Plus, it’s common to take on duties related to budget management, as well as communicating directly with stakeholders.
Team leads and managers may also have duties related to technology selection and implementation. For example, they may evaluate vendor offerings to select the ideal solution for the company, allowing them to introduce new technical capabilities to an environment.
It’s also typical for team leads and managers to have a significant amount of say-so regarding the composition of their staff. As a result, hiring and firing decisions are often part of the role, too.
Seizing opportunities to lead is also beneficial. By taking ownership of projects and coordinating the efforts of others, professionals prepare themselves for future supervisory or management roles. As a result, it’s far easier to advance when the time comes, as they have clear related experience.