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10 Useful Things That Front End Developers Should Learn In 2020

Front end developers are in high demand, find out what skills leading front end web design and development experts use the most.

10 Useful Things That Front End Developers Should Learn In 2020

2020 is here with us and from the look of things, it is going to be a great year for front end web design and everything to do with front end development. Unlike the recent times where front end developers in their space just had to something on jQuery, HTML or CSS, front end developers need to take the bull by its horns and face the dynamic ecosystem of skills necessary for developing libraries, tools and frameworks so that they can master the craft.

 

Delving into the past, it is evident that the past couple of years has blessed individuals in the front end development space with some amazing new frameworks and libraries including VueJS, Svelte and ReactJS that make use of JavaScript for powering up to major web applications. As a developer, you will find this article quite interesting while it sheds more light on some of the few core things you should strive to focus on to up your developing game in case you are an entry-level front end developer or already have a grip of things. Nowadays, there are many IT job opportunities for those who want to apply.

Here are the top 10 things to get you started this year.

 

  1. JAMstack

This is a combination of JavaScript, API and markup. This combination is an interesting approach of developing apps and websites for purposes of bettering their performance and at the same time scaling down the costs involved. It functions to offer a developer a better experience while providing higher security. This makes learning this an interesting objective because all of them don’t depend on a webserver to function. For instance, if you take a look at a monolithic app that has some reliance on Node.js or Ruby back end or any site that is developed with such a server-side CMS as WordPress or Drupal, you will realise that all of them are not JAMstack developed. However, to learn working with JAMstack, some of the following best practices are crucial:

 

  • Automated builds: The use of automated builds is near perfect because every instance of markup is prebuilt with programs like cloud services or webhooks.
  • Instant cache validation: You definitely have to find a way of learning anything to do with instant cache validation because at that point any site goes live, it should be your responsibility to ensure that your CDN has the capacity to handle any form of instant cache purges for any kind of change to get visible.
  • Serving your project on a CDN: Since there is no need for a server, you can serve the whole of your project on a CDN, which gives you the ability to unlock performance and speeds that are unbeatable.
  • Atomic deploys: It would be in your best interest to avoid any case of inconsistent states by redeploying a large number of files in a large project. This practice will come in handy since it waits for every file to be uploaded just before any changes finally go live.
  1. GraphQL

2020 should not pass before you get your way around working with GraphQL. This is despite the fact that for a long time now many people have considered REST as the effective measure for the design of web APIs since it offers concepts like stateless servers. This is because RESTful APIs are seemingly inflexible because they do not easily adapt to any changing clients wishing to access them. That is why Facebook developed GraphQL to fight the challenges that many developers face while dealing with RESTful APIs in the process of web development. The program will enable developers to send a query to its server with the data requirements, which would then return corresponding data with JSON object.

 

  1. Testing

As an entry-level front end web developer, you should learn on the importance of testing because no code that is untested should go into production since they are mandatory in commercial projects. There are different tests you should keep in mind including:

 

  • Integration tests, which test any form of interaction between components.
  • End-to-end tests, which are instrumental in testing full-blown user flows in browsers.
  • Unit tests, which are essential in testing functions in isolation or a single component.
  1. Soft Skills

As a front end developer, you might e tempted into overlooking the acquisition of skills but mark you they are just as important because they help in not only communication with team members but also help in the understanding of the technicalities of things. The most common soft skills you should learn to acquire in 2020 include:

  • Patience.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Teamwork.
  • Empathy.
  • Open-mindedness.
  • Communication.
  • Time management.
  • Creativity
  • Accountability

 

  1. Git

This a form of a standardized version of control in web development. Therefore, it is only necessary that as a front end developer you strive to know and understand some of the basic concepts and workflows in order to effectively work in all sizes of teams plus understanding the underlying concepts. Some of the popular commands to know include:

 

  • git add
  • git config
  • git clone
  • git commit
  • git init
  • git branch
  • git push
  • git pull
  1. Frameworks

There is a need for developers, especially those making use of JavaScript frameworks to focus on Vue and React since, in the recent years, these two have seen tremendous growth, especially in enterprise projects because the past year has sen two giants, VueJS and ReactJS starring a number of stars as compared to Svelte and Angular.

 

  1. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

PWA will soon catch up since more and more businesses and companies are choosing to go the PWA way over choosing native apps because they get a richer mobile experience from them. This has been mainly bolstered by the fact that PWAs are becoming more reliable because they can work without an internet connection with instant loading capabilities. These PWAs are also engaging in terms of user experience with that native-app feeling. This means that users can easily utilise the use of service workers for functionalities offline plus a full-screen experience that is enabled by a web-app manifest.

 

  1. Code Editors/IDEs

VS Code by Microsoft will seemingly continue prevailing in 2020 as the go-to editor just as it did in 2019 for most front end developers. This is because the editor offers developers such IDE-like features as highlighting and code completion with the ability to extend infinitely through its extension marketplace, which is what makes the editor more appealing. Therefore, some great extensions to take note of include:

 

  • Prettier.
  • ESLint.
  • npm.
  • Vetur.
  • Live Sass Compiler.
  • JavaScript (ES6) code snippets.
  • Beautify.
  • Liver Server.
  • CSS Peek.
  • Debugger for Chrome.
  1. Static Site Generators

These generators effectively combine the power of single-page applications and that of server-side rendering, which is very instrumental in initial load time and SEO. Therefore, if you believe you are serious in the front end developing, then you should consider projects like Gridsome and Nuxt which are Vue-based and Next and Gatsby, which are React-based. These projects will definitely draw some heat in 2020 since they come with such features as module bundlers, markdown support, integrated test runners and more.

 

  1. Clean Code

The ability to write clean code is increasingly becoming more desirable and in high demand in many organisations. This means that learning the fundamentals of clean coding in order to strategically place yourself in 2020. Clean code should not only be pleasing to read and elegant but also focused. This means, as a clean coder, you will have to learn to:

 

  • Create codes that speak for themselves without the need for comments.
  • Create codes with functions that have few arguments and small in nature.
  • Create names for classes, methods, functions and variables that are meaningful.

 

All these things should have you encouraged to get busy to see to it that you have successful developing in 2020.

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