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Last updated on 11/28/19

Find out about front-end developers

Let's start by exploring the technical career linked to the most obvious part of the web experience: what you see in your browser!

The person who codes the visual aspects of what you experience on a web page is called a front-end developer. As the name would imply, we could call what you see in your browser the "front end" of a website.

An important part of front-end development also involves consideration of how a website can be used by people with disabilities. This is called "accessibility", and it's crucial to think about! For example, can a person who can't see (and who therefore uses a screen reader) still use your website? I sure hope so! Check out this article on accessibility if you're interested in learning more: https://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility

The three main technologies that a front-end developer uses are:

  • HTML

  • CSS

  • JavaScript

You've already seen HTML in part 1 of this course. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and defines the structure of a web page. With HTML, you can say that you want to have a header at the top of your page, a large image in the middle, and maybe some paragraphs down below.

<h1>Hello!</h1>
<img src="cabin_photo">
<p>This is a photo of my cabin.</p>
<p>Aren't cabins amazing?</p>

HTML always results in boring black Times New Roman text though. Nasty. None of your favorite websites look like this (thankfully):

Default HTML appearance (basic black Time News Roman text)
Default HTML appearance (basic black Time News Roman text)

That's where the second front-end technology comes in: CSS! CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. Writing CSS code adds style to a web page. With CSS, you can change the colors of elements on the page, customize their sizing, or set specific fonts.

body {
    font-family: Helvetica;
}

h1 {
    color: green;
}
Looks better, right?
Looks better, right?

The last technology that a front-end developer often uses is called JavaScript. JavaScript controls how the page behaves and how it responds to user input. For example, you can create cool animations with it, or have a page fire off a cool transition when you click a particular button.

alert("You clicked a button, and now you're seeing this alert!");

Every website you visit probably has an extensive combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript written by either one or multiple front-end developers.

In the next chapter, we'll explore the people who write code that determines what servers should send back to your browser and that communicates with the database: back-end developers!

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Example of certificate of achievement
Example of certificate of achievement