Being a front end developer is a challenging job. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, there are always ways you can improve and raise the quality of your work. You need to be willing to put in the time and effort to learn and improve the skill. Begin to build good habits like proper planning and even learning when to say no. Here are seven tips that will make you a better front end developer.
Find your mentor
Be on the lookout for someone who is more experienced with developing and who is excited about helping you learn and improve. Who should be your mentor? Think of a person who you would like to emulate. Someone who you respect and can help you avoid the mistakes that inexperienced developers are prone to making. It could be a supervisor, a co-worker, or even someone you know online. A good mentor will advise you on how to move forward on projects and help steer you in the right direction when you are struggling.
Learn to plan
The first mistake both inexperienced and experienced developers make is ineffective planning at the start of a project. Proper planning is important because it saves time later on, can reduce stress, and helps you finish your projects on schedule. It doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. All you really need to do is make a list of elements you need to convert, or reduce difficult parts into simpler components in a list. If you plan out your work, you will be better organized, experience better concentration, and identify potential issues early on.
Save samples of your own code
When you’re looking for a new job, one of your best assets is a sample of your code. A lot of young front end developers are unable to show recruiters a clean sample of their code, and it hurts their chances. “It’s pretty common for developers to present their code on live sites in these situations, but you really don’t want to do this. It’s much better to take your best samples and display them at a place like GitHub so it can be easily reviewed,” suggests Jodie Sharp, developer at Origin writings and Phd Kingdom.
Put in the time
Front end developing is like any other skill, the more time you spend at it, the better you will become. Don’t take this to mean you should spend a bunch of money on expensive courses or books. All it takes is you putting in the time and effort to learn and improve. It takes around 10,000 hours to master something, which translates to four years, if you work at it 40 hours per week. Try and throw yourself into it by experimenting with new plugins and checking out developing websites in your spare time.
Watch out for bad plugins
There is nothing worse than your hard work and good developing being undermined because of a bad plugin. Be careful when selecting a plugin by paying attention to its rating, last release date and update, and popularity with users on GitHub. “Look at its code as well. Does it look clean and organized or is it a bit of a mess? You might even learn something from looking at another programmer’s bad code,” writes Jessica Ammons, project manager at Academic brits and Next Coursework.
Know when to say no
It’s important to be able to say no to a project you don’t think works with your skillset or does not pay enough. Supervisors and clients can be demanding, but you don’t want to say yes to everything and end up working way too hard for not enough money. Don’t let your skills become devalued by becoming too agreeable. It’s also perfectly okay to point out that something will require senior assistance or is outside the scope of the project.
Stay healthy and active
Working as a front-end developer means you’ll spend a lot of time inside staring at a screen. It’s important to maintain a balance by getting outside and exercising. Make your health and diet a priority, because a healthy body creates a healthy mind and you need that to do good work. Schedule in some physical activity for your week, whether it’s a walk, bike ride, or a trip to the gym.
Front end development is an exciting and challenging career. It’s a job where you can constantly learn and improve your skills. The more you invest in yourself and your knowledge, the more fulfilling you will find your work. Follow these seven tips to become a better front end developer.
Katrina Hatchett writes for sites such as Brit Student, in addition to her many projects. She loves helping teams identify and solve project issues and aims to improve communication for her clients.