What is a front-end developer?

Front-end developers specialize in creating the visible part of a website or application, the part with which users interact directly.

Their job is to translate design mock-ups into functional, aesthetically pleasing web pages, mainly using HTML, CSS and JavaScript (JS). 

These skills ensure that the interface is not only attractive but also intuitive and responsive.

Role and responsibilities of the front-end developer


Main responsibilities include :

  • Interface design and development: The front-end developer transforms mock-ups and prototypes into interactive elements. He/she ensures that the design is respected and that the interface is ergonomic.
  • Dynamic content integration: Using frameworks and JS libraries, they create interactive functionalities.
  • Performance optimization: Ensures that pages load quickly and are optimized for all types of devices.
  • Cross-browser compatibility: Tests and adapts sites for compatibility with all popular browsers.
  • Maintenance and updating: The front-end developer is also responsible for the ongoing maintenance of sites and applications, adding new features and fixing bugs.

Differences between front-end and back-end developers

The front-end developer focuses on the visible, interactive part of the site or application.

To do this, they use technologies such as HTML, CSS and JS to create a pleasant, functional user interface.
The back-end developer, on the other hand, works on the server side of the application. They take care of database management, user authentication, business logic and security.

Commonly used technologies include Python, Ruby, PHP, Java and frameworks such as Django or Node.js.

The two roles are complementary and essential for the development of complete, high-performance websites. While the front-end focuses on user interaction and experience, the back-end manages data, logic and server performance.

Essential tools for frontend developers

Code editors

  • Visual Studio Code: Developed by Microsoft, known for its speed, flexibility and large community of developers. It supports a multitude of extensions that enhance its functionality.
  • Sublime Text: Lightweight and powerful, appreciated for its speed and minimalist interface.
  • Atom: Open-source, created by GitHub. What's more, it offers a customizable experience thanks to a wide range of plugins and themes.

Version management systems

Version management systems enable you to track changes, collaborate and manage different versions of a project.

  • Git : The most popular version control system, used to track changes and facilitate collaboration between developers. Git lets you create branches, merge changes and manage versions in a decentralized way.
  • GitHub: A Git-based platform for storing repositories, collaborating with other developers, managing issues and tracking projects. GitHub is widely used for open source.
  • GitLab: A comprehensive release management and DevOps platform, offering similar functionality to GitHub with additional options for continuous integration and deployment.

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

  • WebStorm: An IDE specially designed for JavaScript and web technologies, developed by JetBrains. It provides front-end tools, including debugging and version management.
  • Visual Studio: A full-featured IDE developed by Microsoft, supporting a wide range of programming languages. It is particularly useful for large projects requiring advanced debugging and project management features.

Libraries and frameworks

Libraries and frameworks facilitate the developer's work by providing pre-built tools and design templates. This saves time and improves project quality.


React is a JS library developed by Facebook. It lets you build interactive, responsive user interfaces using a component-based approach.
Each React component can manage its own state, making it easy to build dynamic, modular applications.


Angular is a complete web development framework created by Google. It is used to build large-scale dynamic websites.
Angular adopts a component-based architecture and offers powerful tools for form management, routing and HTTP services. 


Vue.js is a progressive framework for building user interfaces. It is appreciated for its simplicity and flexibility, allowing developers to adopt it progressively according to project needs.
Vue.js combines the best features of React and Angular, offering a lightweight, high-performance solution for front-end development.

How to become a front-end developer

Becoming a front-end developer requires the acquisition of both technical and creative skills. There are several routes to this career, including academic training, self-study and the use of online resources. 

Academic training and career paths

Academic training provides a solid foundation in web development and programming. Here are a few options:

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science: A degree in computer science or software engineering covers the fundamentals of programming, databases and data structures. This knowledge is essential for understanding basic front-end concepts.
  • Web diploma: Many institutions offer specific web programs.
  • Certificates and short courses: There are also certification programs that focus on the front-end. These courses, often lasting just a few months, enable you to quickly acquire practical skills and prepare you to enter the job market.


Self-taught learning is a flexible and accessible route to becoming a front-end developer. Here are a few tips for those who choose this method:

  • Regular practice: Writing code regularly helps consolidate knowledge and improve technical skills.
  • Personal projects: Working on personal projects allows you to apply the concepts you've learned and build up a portfolio. This can include creating websites, blogs or small web applications.
  • Participating in communities: Joining front-end forums and online groups enables you to exchange ideas with other developers, ask questions and find support.

Online resources and courses

  • Video tutorials: Platforms like YouTube, Udemy, and Coursera offer video tutorials covering various aspects of the front-end developer's craft. These videos allow you to learn at your own pace and visualize the steps involved in the coding process.
  • Interactive sites: Sites like Codecademy and freeCodeCamp offer interactive courses that let you practice programming in real time. These platforms often provide practical exercises and projects to complete.
    Official documentation: The documentation for the technologies and frameworks used (such as MDN Web Docs for HTML, CSS and JS, or the documentation for React, Angular and Vue.js) are valuable resources for understanding functionality and best practices.
  • Blogs and articles: Many developers share their knowledge and experience through blogs. Reading these articles helps you keep abreast of the latest trends and best practices as a front-end developer.