Many individuals flock to front-end development because they think it is pretty easy to learn, and the payoff is well worth it. In some regards, it is. However, good front-end development is far from basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Genuine front-end developers are a mastery of not only UI but other aspects of application creation.

Front-end development is complex because most individuals think it only consists of learning basic HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. When in fact, the landscape of front-end development changes continuously and rapidly.

Let's look at the factors that contribute to why many individuals think front-end development is complex, why so many technologies are involved, and what factors contribute to this. We'll also look at how the ever-changing technological world plays a role in UI development.

Why Front-End Is Hard

Front-end development could be seen as complex for a few reasons. The first is that the front-end development landscape keeps changing in terms of its fundamental structure. This means that many programming languages need to be studied, and new ones are being developed. At the moment, there are at least 20 top frontend technologies that you can sink your teeth into if you choose.

Another reason is that coding for front-end UI encompasses a lot of minute details that are often overlooked but are very important, which we will discuss in detail.

One could say that because UI experience is getting easier for non-developers to achieve, this could be problematic for the field of front-end developers. However, consider this. The UI that is able to be completed by using simple interfaces and online tools is nowhere near what an actual front-end developer can execute. Think about your favorite web applications like Gmail, Twitter, Twitch, etc.

There is no drag and drop feature to make those applications, and without proper front-end developers, they would not exist.

Front End Development Is Ever-Changing

For example, let's say that a front-end developer is working only in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. They have not dedicated enough time to building applications from start to finish (from the data layers to the server-side APIs) They have only focused on the front-end UI for specific applications or sites.

Now, this is perfectly fine; however, after a couple of years, they will discover that the front-end landscape has changed, and if they were stuck in a job that only focused on obsolete front-end technologies, they would have to learn a new framework and gain experience in it.

Coding Is Not That Easy For Front-End Development

Even though HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other languages may seem to be accessible at their core, they can get pretty complicated because of what they need to be able to do on various devices.

Remember that a web application, or any application for that matter, does not just need to run on a browser but on many browsers that can run on all devices. Even though front-end developers specifically code front-end applications and UI for browsers, these browsers still need to function on computers and mobile devices.

Coding For Screen Sizes For Front-End

Many different devices boast many different screen sizes. One of the jobs of a front-end developer is to adjust the UI to be able to accommodate all of these sizes without breaking immersion in their browsers.

Why such a fuss about developing UIs for all screen sizes? There have been 100 million new android tablet users In the last year, and a growth of 92% for Chrome OS.

Windows has incorporated breakpoints to make things a little easier for front-end developers. Because Windows apps can run on many devices like TVs, mobile devices, desktops, laptops, and more, they have actually categorized width categories to make things a little easier for front-end developers.

Hence, even though front-end development may be considered hard, some features make things a little easier. Here is a table breaking down the Width Categories. Then how a browser should be sized according to the device.

Breakpoint (Width Category) Browser Size Table

Size Class Breakpoint (Width Category) Screen Size (Typical) Device Window Size
Small Up to 640px 20” to 65” TVs 320x569, 360x640, 480x854
Medium 641px to 1007px 7” to 12” Tablets 960x540
Large 1008px and above 13” and above PCs, Laptops, etc. 1024x640, 1366x768, 1920x1080

Coding For Browsers Front End

Browsers are considered to be pretty frustrating for front-end developers. If you are reading this and thinking about going into front-end development, you may be thinking, what's the big deal. There are probably around 3 or 4 browsers.

As of this list updated in 2018, there are over 100 browsers. Yes, that's right. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Samsung Internet
  • UC Browser
  • Brave
  • Tor

We won't list them all, but as you can tell, trying to code a UI that will work on the most popular browsers can be a nightmare. Moreover, trying to code a UI that would work perfectly on all of them would surely be impossible.

However, this is the job of a front-end developer. For example, a company needs their web application to work on a tablet that uses opera and a phone that uses chrome, or a PC that uses Firefox. This can be a logistical nightmare, and no matter how many apps come out saying that they are all browser compatible and friendly to front-end developers, the truth is they are not always.

Technological Changes In How Front-End Works

We have progressed far today regarding technology and what you can accomplish with it. One may even think that a full-on front-end developer's job consists of that which you can achieve by building your drag and drop website - this can not be further from the truth. Today's front-end developers have progressed just as much as technology has, and they need to implement several skills to be proficient at their job.

A front-end developers job includes but is not limited to:

  • Deciding with the UI/UX designer the webpage design and structure
  • Developing features that enhance the user's experience
  • Balancing functional and aesthetic design
  • Make sure that the web application and browser run on all devices
  • Make sure to build reusable code for future use and future-proofing
  • Optimize the site for speed and scalability
  • Understand and implement SEO on page
  • Be able to problem solve
  • Have great interpersonal skills
  • Be proficient in many coding languages such as CSS, HTML, JavaScript, or React

What Should You Do As A Front-End Developer Or Become One?

If you are looking to become a front-end developer and the job appeals to you, you should definitely look into it as a career choice. The average front-end developer (skilled, we might add) earns approximately $100 thousand a year in US.

If you are finding it difficult as a front-end developer or just starting, we suggest learning the fundamental languages first and then using them in actual testing environments. There is no better way to practice than actually doing something rather than studying and answering questions out of a book or online courses.

We recommend starting with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS in terms of learning to code as a front-end developer. These languages (although different) share similar thought processes, and you will be able to pick them up quickly when studying together.


The job of a front-end developer can be fun. They build great applications and software that the user gets to interact with and, when done correctly, bring about a fulfillment like no other. However, many front-end developers nowadays only barely touch the surface of the profession and think that learning a bit of HTML and CSS is what it takes to do the job. In reality, excellent and proficient front-end developers are few and far between and are highly sort after.