What is a Frontend Engineer?
Frontend Engineers are responsible for developing the “front end,” or consumer-facing, aspects of a website or product.
What’s the difference between a Frontend Engineer and other types of engineers?
Frontend Engineers typically work on consumer, or end-user facing projects (unlike Fullstack Engineers or Backend Engineers, whose work often centers around the backend servers or code of a product).
What is the typical background of a Frontend Engineer?
A Frontend Engineer will often have a bachelors or masters degree in Computer Science. Sometimes, Backend or Fullstack Engineers, as well as Designers, may also switch into more Frontend roles.
What are some of the typical responsibilities of a Frontend Engineer?
- Collaborating with Product design, management and Fullstack teams: A Backend Engineer will need to have strong communications and project management skills to communicate across other engineering, design and product teams.
- Bringing new features to life: Front Engineers are often responsible for bringing new visions for a product to life. Is your company working on a home page design? Or does the “Login” button need to move on a website so it’s more accessible? Chances are, a Frontend Engineer is behind the execution of both these projects.
- Testing and re-testing: A Frontend Engineer may often need to test what their product looks like across different browsers, or across different mobile applications (think Apple vs. Android) to make sure the user experience is consistent for these groups.
- Examining site speeds or other factors that impact user experience: A Frontend Engineer may work on initiatives that reduce page load time (this is critical for visitors deciding if they will return or not!), or helping marketing teams implement SEO tactics on a website.
What are some of the skills a successful Frontend Engineer should have?
- An eye for design: Successful Frontend Engineers can sometimes come from design backgrounds, and may often need to provide quality control or testing when it comes to bringing a product designer’s visions to life. Having an eye for design, and knowing when visuals or aesthetics of a product look “off” is a great asset for a Frontend Engineer to have.
- Experience in a variety of languages: A Frontend Engineer may need experience with Java, CSS, HTML, SaSS, or other languages. They may also need experience in frameworks like React, Angular or Node.is.
- Detail-oriented: Related to a Frontend Engineer’s need to have an eye for design, Frontend Engineers should also be detail oriented - so if there’s something that needs to be fixed, even if it’s a simple element, they can make note of it and troubleshoot.
- An understanding of the end user: Frontend Engineers will collaborate with UX designers, product managers, marketing, and other teams to develop an understanding of their customers. In order to create the best Frontend experience possible, a Frontend Engineer who understands the wants and needs of their company’s end user can be important.