A front-end developer is a programmer, whose job is to create a visual layer of web applications. His or her role is extremely important, as he or she is not only responsible for the aesthetics of the design, but also for its proper operation and responsiveness; he or she must ensure that the website looks good, and functions well, both on a computer and on screens of mobile devices with different resolutions. The Front-end Developer works closely with the Back-end Developer, who is responsible for the “invisible” elements of the system to the user, and with the UI/UIX Designer, who is responsible for creating the visual design of the website.
Until a few years ago, knowledge of HTML and CSS was enough to become a Front-end Developer. Today, with the huge competition in the junior market, and constantly evolving technologies, this is definitely not enough. A Front-end Developer should have the following skills:
In addition to the hard skills mentioned above, a good Front-end Developer should also have a number of soft skills, such as the ability to solve problems independently, communication and teamwork skills, and a willingness to learn and improve their qualifications.
There are three main career levels in the IT industry: junior, mid, and senior. Depending on the level occupied, responsibilities look slightly different. By convention, a person with up to two years’ experience in the industry is assumed to be a junior, up to five years’ a mid, and from five years upwards – a senior.
A junior position is characterised by first gaining experience in a particular field. This is the time to adapt to the specific nature of working in the IT industry, to learn about project methodologies, and to learn how to collaborate with people in the same and/or related positions. At the beginning of his or her career, a junior works under the supervision of senior colleagues, but with each completed project, he or she becomes more and more independent, finds it easier to estimate realistic times for completing projects, and to price them, and learns to carry out given project-related duties, himself or herself, without having to delegate them to a third party.
A mid is a specialist who is already completely independent in his position. He or she knows good code writing practices, his or her projects work correctly, and is well versed in the technologies in which he or she works. Interestingly, many people declare that they want to remain mid in their career, as it is already a well-paid level , and not as demanding as that awaiting the senior.
A senior is someone who can not only write code almost flawlessly, but can also adapt it ‘on the fly’ to meet clients’ requirements. Often, it is also the programmers at this level , who are given juniors under their wings, whom they teach to work on the job and, consequently, their keen eye finds errors in other people’s codes.
Front-end has been breaking records in popularity over the last few years. People who want to enter the IT industry, and are interested in programming, usually start by learning front-end languages and later, look for jobs as specialists in this particular field. This fact has led to an over-supply of juniors in the front-end market , compared to mids and seniors. It is important to bear in mind that, due to this huge competition, potential employers have quite high requirements for candidates and, despite many job offers, it may not be easy at all for juniors to get a full-time position. Mid- and senior-level professionals, on the other hand, should have no problem finding a new job.
The most common requirements include excellent English language skills, knowledge of front-end programming languages, and specific frameworks. More specific positions, such as React Developer or Angular Developer, are also seen more and more frequently ; for these positions, knowledge of the front-end is, of course, still required, but more emphasis is placed on particular frameworks or libraries.
The most frequently recurring benefits declared in job advertisements for front-end development jobs, include a high salary, on-line recruitment, remote or hybrid working, or a fixed contract length. In addition, some offers weigh in with business travel, training budgets, paid holidays on a B2B contract, and the possibility to start, immediately.
Average salaries for Front-end Developers on contract, depending on the position are: PLN 7,000 – 10,000 for a junior; PLN 11,000 – 17,500 for a mid; and PLN 15,000 – 21,000 for a senior. Average earnings on a B2B contract range from PLN 120 to 190 per hour.