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How to become a front-end developer?

A no-prior experience guide on how to become a front-end developer

In recent years, more and more people are getting interested in becoming software developers. It comes with no surprise considering the market demand is still growing and new job opportunities open to people who want to change their current occupation and pursue different career paths. To become a front-end developer seems to gain more interest since almost all customer-facing applications nowadays use HTML, CSS and JavaScript (alongside with its frameworks such as React, Angular or Vue). The challenge however is – where to start if you have no prior experience or no education in computer science whatsoever? 


This article is dedicated to a free-of-charge guide on how to start and teach yourself the basics of front-end development. It consists of free online courses available on platforms such as Udemy and Codecademy (FYI – we get nothing in exchange from these guys for directing to their content). Even though the courses are free, you’ll most probably have to create your account on the platforms (also for free). It’s based upon our own experience and has been tested among our non-programming team members as well.


The basics

First things first – let’s start with the basics and understanding how computers actually work. Below, the Udemy’s course is of great help when it comes to hardware-software interactions’ comprehension.


It lays down the basics and sheds the light on how computers operate and how programming languages are used to give it directives and ‘make them work’ the way we intend. 


Next, before we jump into the programming itself, it’s super useful to understand markup languages (HTML and CSS). Markup languages are used to display stuff in our Internet browsers e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge. They are not programming languages, but are critical to display your websites/applications to end-users.


JavaScript – programming language most widely used for web development

According to Northeastern University JavaScript is the second most popular programming language in 2020. Why is that and what stands behind its success? Basically, everyone is using it whenever they browse through the Internet or use mobile apps. It’s a cornerstone for the entire website and mobile applications development. 

Udemy provides quite detailed and in-depth but also easy-to-digest and understandable courses on JavaScript basics. One that we personally  recommend is this:


Once you’re done with learning the basics and watching videos it’s time to take the knowledge and put it into practice. Switching from Udemy’s content to Codecademy’s more interactive platform you can start testing your skills and do some coding with live examples. Solving different tasks with before-explained theory will facilitate your learning curve and improve your skills in writing and programming Syntax. Here’s our recommended one:


After completing Codecademy’s course (considering watching prior videos on Udemy) you should acquire sufficient knowledge and skillset to start programming basic web applications yourself. Nothing too shabby, however you should feel quite comfortable with the syntax and code structure. Of course, there’s still a long road ahead if you want to become an expert, but that’s a solid base to expand on your programming dexterity. 



Even though that’s ‘only’ videos and interactive courses take your time and don’t rush into binge-watching all at once. The whole content takes some time to digest and settle. If you really dedicate yourself to the proposed path you should be able to finish it within a week. However, it’s better to assume approx. 2 weeks with going back to materials, reviewing them 1-2 times more, re-testing different approaches and comparing acquired knowledge with live examples. Once you feel comfortable with all these materials – go on and test your skills in action by building your first JavaScript Arcade game! 🙂 


Last, but not least – practice, practice and practice! There’s no other way to properly learn a language (either programming or simply English or Spanish) than practising it over and over again until you become an expert.


Since it’s really hard to memorize all methods, properties, iterators and operators at once, feel free to use some helpful and condensed cheat sheets such as: 


It will provide you with examples and use cases whenever you stumble upon new problems and simply forget something while coding your first app.


Enjoy and good luck! 😉