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I'm Not a Front-End Person

, 6 Nov 2012 CPOL
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Learning, experiencing, and becoming an expert at web development is not difficult.

Over the past decade, the Internet has exploded in popularity and crept into everyday life. In response to this movement, companies have shifted focus from desktop solutions to web based products. The need for highly skilled web developers is higher than it has ever been. Just as desktop computing brought an end to the mainframe era, the web is cannibalizing desktop software. Its ability to be hardware and operating system independent is the key to its success. Although native mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Windows are new on the scene they only add to the overall direction of the Internet.

With this knowledge, it is amazing how often the phrase "I'm not a front-end person" is uttered by developers. This statement is always disappointing to hear. Learning, experiencing, and becoming an expert at web development is not difficult. The time required is no greater than learning any other language. In fact, many say it's easier. Front-end development consists of three major areas. Once mastered, these concepts do not change. They are only enhanced from revision to revision. These areas are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Each has its own language and formatting but are easy to understand.

Most developers have built an HTML page somewhere in their lives, but voice a general fogginess toward CSS or JavaScript. In a general sense, HTML contains the objects of a web page, CSS controls the display of these objects, and JavaScript provides the ability to read and manipulate said objects. The following are a few excellent resources for getting started:
As with any technology, as the years have progressed each language has seen minor or even major revisions. Many of these revisions were due to changing times and provided much needed functionality. For instance, JavaScript almost became a historical cliff note, but enhancements such as JSON, XML, AJAX, and Web Sockets brought it back from the brink and into the forefront. In fact, back in 2008, Microsoft's Scott Guthrie officially announced support for jQuery (a JavaScript library) in ASP.NET.
Recently HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript library's such as jQuery have been hot topics. Additionally, vendor solutions such as Telerik and DevExpress are offering robust per-built web toolkits. It may be tempting for non-web developers to jump into these areas, but before learning these technologies it's important to start at the beginning. Once this basic understanding is achieved, it will create a proper foundation to build on.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Zac Gery

United States United States
Software Developer, Mentor, Architect and UX/UI craftsman. Also, a psychology nut that loves curling.
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