Front-end Technologies — A Detailed Guide

What is front-end development, how does it benefit entrepreneurs & what you need to start creating apps.
Front-end Technologies — A Detailed Guide
Hamza Iqbal

The exponential evolution in app development is no surprise to us, because the rapid growth of the app market further encouraged more people into learning programming.

When looking at front-end and back-end development, it seems as though most people catch a fancy towards front-end development. It kind of makes sense, though; the front end displays the more artistic side of development. Web development practices are one of the biggest trends in this digital world.

This article reflects on detailing different types of front-end web technologies. Before we deep-dive, starting from listing the web technologies, let’s start from zero.

What does “front-end” mean, anyway?

“Front end” is quite a self-explanatory technical term. Have your screen open up to a browser and open any website. There you go — whatever you see is the front end. The header, fonts, buttons; each element and animation you see laid out before you happens to be the work of a front-end developer, aka ‘an artist.’

The front end mainly refers to the part of an application where the user can view and interact with it.

You’ve probably used Instagram before and found its elegant and smooth front end absorbs you into the content — that’s why front-end development is super powerful. What’s even more exciting about front-end development is that it’s constantly changing and evolving, because developers are always pushing the boundaries to create more elegant, engaging and effective solutions.

Creativity doesn’t have limits.

Front-end development?

Front-end development deals with the outlook of a web app/website. For example, designing and coding the UI (User Interface) of a website — that’s front-end development. In other words, the front end mainly focuses on client-side development — what the users should see and how they should interact with the app/website. This includes the web pages, designs, and more.

Front-end development is the first step of any app development process. First, you think of an excellent app (what it does and how you interact with it — the problem it solves), then perhaps you’ll have in mind what should it look like and how can you ensure a seamless and graceful user experience? It’s true, back-end developers and designers often initially figure out the front end before even starting to code the back end.

In today’s world, what’s trending is entrepreneurial small businesses, and having a seamless app and/or website with an exceptional front end for your business can help it grow more and ensure an online presence — which is reasonably needed today!

Now that you’ve been brought up to speed with the definitions of ‘front end’ and ‘front-end development’, let’s take a look at front-end tools and technologies 😎

Overview on front-end technologies

To construct a house, you need tools, and that’s also the case in app development. You need tools to build the front end and back end. Creating the front end helps build your idea into an actual working app. As a developer you’d probably want to use top-notch front-end development tools to create a phenomenal web app from scratch.

Various tools are defined to yield a different user experiences. Choosing the best tools for the job is therefore important to develop a unified web UI.

Types of front-end technologies

When it comes to front-end development tools, you may find a puzzlingly vast and diverse ocean out there. On top of that, nothing remains constant for long — especially on the internet. So, you’ll probably find yourself using a particular stack now and then a completely different stack in two years’ time as technologies advance.

However, here’s a list of front-end web technologies that you’ll always need to be an excellent UI Developer:

  • Language
  • Framework
  • Methodologies
  • Task Runner
  • Package Manager
  • Module Bundlers
  • Linter and Formatters
  • Testing Tools

All of the aforementioned have some popular brands. Let’s explore a few!

Front-end languages

Front-end development is one of the critical aspects of creating a user-friendly app. In effect, to build one, you must know front-end languages as they play the most crucial part in front-end development. Without them, a no-can-do situation might befall you. Not to mention, coding languages enable developers to bring their ideas into reality.

Essential front-end languages that’ll get you started:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

Front-end frameworks

Frameworks offer a platform for the best possible use of programming languages. Understanding Frameworks is no rocket science. Consider a pen as a programming language and the framework as a notebook 📔🖊️

The features of a framework should be considered:

  • It should help the developers to write & navigate code in a much faster and simpler way,
  • It should enable code fragments to be reused to create a highly accessible coding environment for the developers,
  • It should have many types of built-in libraries that cater for various functions that the developer might need.

Although any framework can help build small-scale projects, you might want to reconsider frameworks when you have a large-scale project. This is because the proper framework for the project can facilitate the precise amount of libraries, tools, and other high-function features that can make the development process pretty much trouble-free and consistent.

Moreover, web frameworks support enhanced integration and are used to build a channel of communication with other front-end tools, which can be helpful at a larger scale. So, it makes it easier for many developers when they want high security and straightforward scalability; the framework should have them covered.

Some web frameworks to consider:

  • Angular
  • React
  • Vue.js
  • Bootstrap
  • Semantic UI

Front-end methodologies

It has never been the case that a proficient programmer develops apps without following certain practices. When it comes to app development, specific development methodologies must be followed in the app development cycle.

Sure, you can take up projects and start building right away, but there is a high chance you might miss out on something important in the process. This is why you must stick to specific methodologies to yield high-quality products and eliminate the chances of errors and bugs.

These methodologies apply to almost every project development procedure.

Front-end development entails specific segments that need execution strategically. Additionally, methodologies/models help you to fully comprehend and maintain the development process more efficiently.

Some app development models/methodologies:

  • Agile
  • DevOps
  • Waterfall
  • Rapid

However, in front-end development, you need to work with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) a lot, used for styling web pages. Therefore, there are specific CSS methodologies you should be working with as well.

CSS methodologies:

  • Block, Element, Modifier — BEM
  • Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS — SMACSS
  • Object-Oriented CSS — OO CSS

Task Runner

After successfully choosing the suitable languages and frameworks, you should consider picking out a task runner tool for faster development, although it’s not mandatory.

Task runners help you to streamline and ease the hassle of recurring coding.

Yes it’s true! Task runners automate fragments of the coding process and throw out the need to expend energy on coding similar tasks over and over again. In programming, repetitive coding comes up a lot, which is why you should do yourself a favour and choose an effective task runner tool for stress-free coding.

Here are some JS-based task runners:

  • Gulp
  • Grunt

A few other ways to automate code:

Wrap Up

The rapid growth in front-end tools and technologies has opened up a niche for beginners to realise their ideas through front-end development. Today, IT & Computer Science graduates can more easily turn their business ideas and solutions into actual living apps. Several entrepreneurs hire in-house as well as outsourced developers to build their apps, since an app is the most effective way to boost your business in our digital-first world.

If you want an excellent app with an all-in-one solution, Cubix ensures to develop your app idea into a digital reality.

In the end, front-end development is really about transforming your vision into a reality.

About the author

Hamza Iqbal is a Digital Content Producer for a software development company. He develops and implements content strategies for Cubix, along with aligning content marketing activities with business goals. He actively contributes articles related to app development cost.

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