Furloughs, layoffs, work from home. The job market for software engineers is changing drastically. However, one thing remains certain: there will always be a place for the strongest candidates. If you are looking to stand out as a front end developer, you are on the right mindset. Here is how to go about it.
Whether you are already searching for your next job or just want to remain on top of your game, it is worth it to gather expert advice. Bárbara Macchi, a talent acquisition expert at Ubiminds, shares what she screens to identify best candidates for front end software engineering positions.
Stand out as a front end developer for your Problem Solving Skills
First things first: to be ahead of the curve, you’ve got to be able to think outside the box. Repaint it, reframe it, rearrange it: do whatever you want, just don’t be square. By that, we mean that creativity is a very important skill in terms of figuring out new ways of doing things. A problem solver is able to identify and develop an action plan to solve said problem.
Having a creative mind helps directly with problem-solving, which is a must for tech, in general. This piece from MasterClass provides great advice on how to sharpen your skills. During an interview, you can showcase your problem-solving skills whenever they ask you what you would do in a situation, for example.
A very common thing people ask nowadays is why do I need to learn the basics of this? I want to do something new, something ground-breaking! Of course, you do. But one important component is missing: if you don’t know the basics, then you don’t know anything. Yes, sometimes it might be boring or tiresome, but you have to be aware that to reinvent the wheel, first you have to know how it works – and how to make a wheel from scratch.
If you don’t have a nice foundation, it doesn’t matter how innovative you are – you have nothing. So don’t forget about them. Think of it like a LEGO set: one brick at a time. Here’s a list of how to get started to get to the more fun stuff. Barbara explains:
“It’s important to remember that we look for candidates who are specialists in certain tech fields. But, most of the time, previous knowledge of the basics is what is gonna make a difference in your work: either regarding what you bring to the table in a determined situation, or working with the team on a day-to-day basis.”
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Be a pro with React, Vue, Angular, and other frameworks
Remember the LEGO set? Now’s the time to really start building. Frameworks help you with development, giving you basic structure and guidelines. Figure out which one works best for you. You can pick your favorite and deepen your knowledge, but get acquainted with others. This will drive and filter your career options.
Put yourself in the user’s shoes: UX and UI
This might sound completely unrelated, but bear with me for a bit: think of a fashion designer. They make artistic clothes for a living as a way of expressing their creative energy, but they always have the consumer in the back of their minds, because at the end of the day, if it’s a beautiful outfit but it’s not usable, did it accomplish its goal? (No). And the same is applicable here: just like a fashion designer, you’re organizing how the app is going to look, which is a key aspect of the final product. Make sure it’s user friendly.
Learn Cross-Browser Development
Cross-Browser Development is important for a front end developer because different browsers own different slices of the market. Chrome is one of the most popular ones, but Firefox, Safari, and even Internet Explorer are still used by lots of people.
Cross-Browser Development is constantly evolving, and technical issues happen less and less. But there are some key elements of certain websites that don’t work in browser A or browser B; either they behave differently, or just look weird. All of this needs to be taken into consideration. As long as it is a conscious decision from a product development perspective, it should be ok.
Mobile First is your mantra
Mobile First crosses a little bit into Cross-Browsed Development territory because even on mobile gadgets we use different browsers. But besides that, screen sizes vary (a lot): on desktop, most people use 1024×768, 1360×768 or 1980×1080 resolutions, but on their phones, it’s a whole different beast – without including tablets. Because mobile screen sizes aren’t standardized, a responsive layout needs to be flexible.
Screens are usually small, and we tap them with our thumbs, so it is necessary to take into consideration font and button sizes to make sure it’s legible and usable. Bottom line? Responsiveness is key.
Do you already stand out as a front end developer?
Good. Then Ubiminds might be the right place for you. North-American companies are broadening their horizons and looking for software engineers and developers in Latin America with our help. Join our community and be found.