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    Who are Front-End/JavaScript developers?

    13 09
    2022

    Who are Front-End/JavaScript developers?

    group-767 Author: Michał Saletra

    Michał Saletra – Front End developer since 2017, in ITDS since 2021. Michał graduated from Civil Engineering, but learned coding during a bootcamp and later gained experience in various projects. Nowadays he works for Millennium Bank as an engineer in ReactJs team where he is responsible for maintenance and development of the bank’s main web application.

    If you are reading this article, there is a high chance you have asked yourself this question more than once. Well, if you ask me, an FE/JS developer is a person that puts ideas into practice. Similarly to Geppetto, a front-end developer starts with “dead” mockups and logic designs. Then, after spending some time on his craft, he is able to witness it come to life in a production environment. There is a little less magic involved in computer engineering, but seeing one’s work used by people in practice, which also leads to measurable improvement of a company’s finances, is magical in its own way.

    That was a bit philosophical, wasn’t it?

    So, if we adopt a more technical approach – being a JavaScript developer is a form of specialization that has evolved from the front-end developer position. The JavaScript is developed constantly, to the point that it has also become a BE language. More logic and app functionalities can be handled by the browser and the one and the only language that is supported by browsers is… JavaScript. Once ReactJS, AngularJS, Vue and other popular front-end libraries were released, some developers (myself included) had the opportunity to focus on their JavaScript specialization. Of course, knowing JavaScript is not necessary to use those libraries, but if you want to excel in your career, you will have to master it at some point.

    What are the responsibilities of JavaScript developers?

    Now, the responsibilities always differ depending on the technology used in your project, the company’s management methodologies and your experience. Nonetheless, the essence of the developer’s work remains the same – introducing new features and maintaining old ones on the client’s side of the web application. Of course, if you ask any developer what they would rather do – develop a greenfield project or debug some old, forgotten module, most of them would choose the former. Unfortunately, being employed means doing what needs to be done. As I like to say: “it’s not always about the code”, which for JS dev means: code reviews, updates of libraries, migrations to new solutions and, last but not least, spending numerous hours on meetings with business stakeholders. Personally, I prefer to treat all of these as a part of my daily responsibilities. It is important to realize that not writing code does not mean you are not doing your job well. Time spent on code review or technical tasks is not time lost (as long as you don’t have a deadline coming up and decide to implement a new library in your solution).

    Skills needed by JS devs

    Let’s start by pointing out the obvious – the most crucial skill for a JavaScript developer is the knowledge of the language itself. JavaScript is weird (https://jsisweird.com/) and has many nuances which make it a very useful, yet surprising programming language.

    FYI: in this case everything is just a matter of experience. If you want to start developing web applications, you should learn how the Internet works in general: how the http requests work, what a RESTful API is, etc. Like every craftsman, a developer needs to be keen on his tools. Mastering code editor functions and browser debugging features will surely make your life as a developer much easier.

    Which companies need/employ Front End JavaScript devs?

    According to GitHub’s data of language usage (https://madnight.github.io/githut/#/pull_requests/2022/1), JS is ranked #3, which directly correlates with the job market potential. That being said, I cannot imagine a modern IT company without JavaScript (aka web, aka FE) developers. Not only because developing applications with modern JS libraries such as React is time-efficient, but also, as already mentioned, because it is the only language supported by browsers. I myself have already worked for a marketing agency and a software house, and currently I am employed by a bank (thanks to ITDS), and all that only 5 years after entering the job market! I used this example to showcase that JavaScript developers are needed in various organizations – in fact, they are always needed whenever business solutions involve any sort of web application.

    How to become a JavaScript developer?

    The answer to this question is simple – start coding. A good place to start are educational platforms like udemy.com or YouTube, obviously. For those who prefer to take part in classes and have some sort of a mentor (like me 😛), there are also plenty of courses (on-site and online) available. “You don’t know JS” (https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS), a well-known series among developers, is worth reading as well. Furthermore, and I cannot stress this enough, every line of code is important when you start learning, so make sure you find the time for writing it. Once you get some experience, it is good to create some sort of a portfolio: a GitHub repository or personal site is a good addition to every resume. For more detailed roadmap on how to become a JS developer, take a look here: https://roadmap.sh/JavaScript.

    Read more: Changing your career to IT. Is it difficult?

    Career growth opportunities of a JavaScript developer

    JavaScript is a language that develops constantly. Nowadays, it is widely used on the client’s side of the application. Very often libraries like React (https://pl.reactjs.org/) or Angular (https://angular.io/) are used because of their high utility and reliability in terms of web development. A JS developer can choose to specialize in either of those libraries (or both). This alone is incredibly valuable on the job market. Moreover, for those more interested in back-end technologies, learning JavaScript opens a career path as well. Thanks to Node.js (https://nodejs.org/en/), the language can be run in a server environment making it a fully competitive back-end technology. As you can see, it is possible to become a full stack web-developer knowing just one programming language – JavaScript. Finally, there are various libraries that allow JS to work on microcontrollers, which means another universe of possibilities.

    Where to look for a job as a JavaScript developer?

    An obvious source of open jobs are job search portals and websites of IT Outsourcing companies, such as ITDS. LinkedIn is also a great platform to look for innovative projects. Each of the above can lead to a potential job offer, so don’t limit yourself to just one.

    Working with an IT Engineer Outsourcing company

    One of the most common problems among front-end teams is the burnout and the boredom that come if you are constantly working on the same application. My experience shows that an average developer changes jobs every 2 to 3 years. It is of course an effective way to gain experience on various projects and in different organizations, but it often comes with the stress of finding a new job in the first place. There is a simple solution to that problem – outsourcing companies. They hire developers as their consultants and offer them to organizations that do not have the time and resources for candidate sourcing. Usually the recruitment process needs to happen anyway with each different vacancy the developer is aiming for. Personally, I find working with ITDS very satisfying, mostly because I am able to change the project I work on at any time and the company is very helpful at every step of such a process. Click here to check out latest IT job offers.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, the job market is still in great need of web developers, no matter the specialization. Whether it’s Node, React or advanced CSS, you are very likely to find a job with these technologies. That is, obviously, if you are at least half decent at using them. There are many places and sources you can learn from; the only obstacle at this point is finding the time and putting enough effort into the learning process. Once you find your first job, each next one will be easier to get, so be patient. If you don’t like searching for job offers on your own, you should definitely consider working for an IT Engineer Outsourcing company like ITDS.