what is a front-end developer?

As a front-end developer, you build the client side of a website or software application. However, unlike other developers, you take an artistic and pragmatic approach instead of focusing on the technical aspects. That means your code determines how the web design is implemented online. Web Pages often combine structure, design, content, data and functionality. Without a front-end developer to create a user-friendly page, users cannot navigate the functions. Essentially, you transform the web layout by packaging the back-end technical dimensions to help users access the functions they need.

what does a front-end developer do?

As a front-end developer, you work on various projects focused on a website's appearance and user experience for end users. For instance, you turn websites into intuitive and visually appealing sites. You also create purpose-built landing pages for running contests, niche marketing and advertising campaigns. A front-end developer uses graphic design and code editing tools to create website prototypes. Front-end developers work in various industries to develop functional websites for their employers. For instance, you create websites for manufacturing, mining and construction companies. You can also work with IT consultancy firms.

view opportunities

average salary of a front-end developer

In New Zealand, the remuneration package of a front-end developer varies depending on their experience and qualification level. The mean annual salary of a front-end developer is $100,000, this can fluctuate based on experience and qualifications. Aside from the base salaries, front-end developers often receive various benefits and allowances.

how to increase the salary of a front-end developer

As a front-end developer, your remuneration package is determined by your experience and qualifications. Entry-level workers usually attract lower salaries due to their minimal hands-on skills and experience. As you improve your expertise, you will attract competitive earnings. Improving your qualifications or acquiring extra certifications boosts your job prospects.

The size of the company you work for also affects your earnings. Small start-ups have limited resources and cannot afford to pay high salaries. Working for large companies often attracts higher salaries due to their greater resources. Large organisations are more likely to recruit for complex projects, which pay higher salaries.

The hours you work also influence your salary. For instance, part-time workers are usually paid lower hourly rates than full-time workers, who receive full benefits such as annual leave and sick pay. The remuneration may vary depending on the project scope if you work on a contract.

view careers

types of front-end developers

Some of the types of front-end developers include:

  • user interface and user experience designers: as a front-end developer, you can focus on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). In UI, you improve the visual aspects of a website design, while UX involves testing to ensure a seamless user experience.
  • web designer: as a front-end web designer, your focus is on improving web design and requires minimal coding. You ensure alignment and balance are considered when developing the web layout.
  • wordpress developer: a front-end developer specialising in WordPress platforms helps clients create unique blogs by incorporating various themes from the platform.
  • mobile developer: your job is to create functional applications with attractive designs. You also ensure the mobile apps work seamlessly to improve the user experience.

working as a front-end developer

Becoming a front-end developer is an exciting career that allows you to explore your creativity to improve user experience. Read on for front-end developer's tasks, work environment and career expectations.

female looking at a website
female looking at a website

front-end developer education and skills

Becoming a front-end developer requires programming skills, but you don't need formal education. However, having the following academic qualifications improves your employability:

  • complete a relevant qualification: become a front-end developer by completing a qualification in computer science. Pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science or software development. You can also explore Polytechnic qualifications in information technology (programming) or a diploma in software development.
  • work experience: you require extensive work experience to become a successful front-end developer. Gain experience through internship programmes and entry-level roles that improve your skills. Take the opportunity to attend programming boot camps to learn new coding languages. Alternatively, explore certifications available in the role to improve your qualifications.

skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a front-end developer include:

  • curiosity: the website development landscape is constantly evolving, and it is important to keep learning and stay on track with emerging front-end components and tools. Curiosity will inspire you to research new trends and implement them in your work.
  • empathy: since you are developing a brand's visual image, the goal is to understand end users' experiences and remain mindful of how others perceive the colours and graphics you use. Empathy allows you to put yourself in the users' shoes.
  • problem-solving skills: the work of a front-end developer comes with various challenges, and you need problem-solving skills to help you break down issues and find solutions.
  • collaboration and team skills: you work alongside a team of developers and collaborate with back-end developers to ensure a website works properly. Team skills help you maintain positive relationships.
  • self-motivation: as a front-end developer, you work unsupervised and need self-motivation to complete your tasks. Self-motivation gives you optimism and initiative, which is useful when developing a new website.

FAQs about working as a front-end developer

Here are the most asked questions about working as a front-end developer:

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.