Note that I’ll only be focusing on frontend-related technologies in this post.
Learn a Frontend library or framework
Popular frontend frameworks and libraries
- Angular is a bit older framework with built-in support for all aspects of front-end development, including routing, data binding, and testing. Even though Angular is not the easiest technology to pick up at first, it’s still the go-to choice of many developers for larger projects.
- Vue.js is another frontend framework similar to Angular but with less complexity. It has been increasingly popular among developers in recent years. Today, Vue is often used to build single-page applications.
While this isn’t necessarily bad, it diminishes an IDE’s ability to make automatic suggestions and locate errors to give you a better development experience.
To be honest, better IDE support is not the biggest advantage you gain from using Typescript. The biggest advantage is how these static types let you write code with fewer bugs, especially in bigger projects with several collaborators.
Learn a CSS framework
I’m making this recommendation assuming you already know your way around CSS. If not, now is a good time for you to learn how to style websites with CSS.
They allow you to write less code and spend less time styling by giving a collection of pre-built stylesheets. You can use their styling blocks out-of-the-box with minor modifications to quickly generate the design in your mind.
Popular CSS framework
- Bootstrap, now in version 5, is one of the oldest CSS frameworks. It comes with built-in themes and UI components that you can add to a page by using relevant class names. Its highly responsive grid system allows you to make a website mobile-friendly without special handling.
- Tailwind CSS, another popular CSS framework, takes a slightly different approach than Bootstrap. It contains a set of pre-designed widgets that you can use to build your website block-by-block. This makes Tailwind easier to customize based on your needs.
There are many other CSS frameworks you can find today other than these two. No matter which one of them you pick, what’s important is learning it to the end without giving up halfway.
Learn testing tools
Knowing how to test an application is a piece of knowledge valuable for any area of programming, not just frontend development.
Testing an application is not a single process. It involves several rounds and types of testing that look at the app’s functionality from various angles. Here, I have listed a few such methods developers use to test the frontend.
|Method||How does it work?||Examples of tools used|
|Unit testing||Single units (functions, classes) are isolated and tested independently to ensure there are no misbehaviors.|
Interactions between units are tested to ensure there are no misbehaviors. Examples of such units:
|Functional testing||Tests the application functionality end-to-end from a user point of view.|
|Cross-browser testing||Test application’s compatibility with browsers of different types and versions.|
You don’t have to learn all these test types in one go. A decent unit and integration testing knowledge are more than enough to get started. You can learn the rest over time as you gain more experience.
Fortunately, the options available today are numerous and diverse.
You have the freedom to choose a path that fits your preferences and become an expert at it to prepare for a future job. You may want to find better technologies to handle dynamic frontend functionality. Or you’d like to design more user-friendly websites. If none of them is your pick, you can learn how to ensure the quality of your applications through testing.
As a field that is constantly evolving, one thing I can guarantee about the frontend is that it’ll never run out of new technologies to excite you and your curiosity.