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General Discussion

Tell me what to do.

Ok, it's gotten to the point where I'm starting to get a little frustrated with peoples' vagaries. I'm trying to execute a career-change, and if someone was trying to execute a career-change into my CURRENT field, I would be able to give them solid, step-by-step advice, if that's what they wanted. i.e. learn this, then learn that, then do this, then do that etc. Really specific.

After trawling many forum posts on here and on other sites, I can only conclude that the true professionals may simply not be posting, because the advice is always so vague.

Now, I know 'it depends what you want to do', but if I offer up a fairly specific goal, I fail to see why a full-time experienced professional couldn't offer up a reasonable step-by-step plan.

So let's give it a go: I want to get a full-time on-site job as a front-end developer. I would say in the UK, but I understand that most of the audience here is American, and that's ok - you can talk as if I'm in the US if you like.

So, to achieve that, what should I learn and when? What should I do and when? A specific order, please.

There may be one path, but each path should be clearly defined and separated.

As I know I could do this for someone coming into my field, I see no reason why someone couldn't do this for a different field.

I don't know how to make myself any clearer; please be equally clear in your responses. Thanks.

11 Answers

Wayne Priestley
Wayne Priestley
19,579 Points

Hi Andrew,

I would think that posting that question on a forum that is mostly used by people who are in the process of learning May not get you the detailed response you seek.

If I were looking for that type of information I would be contacting companies who employ people doing what you wish to do. Contacting individuals who are freelancers in that field would be another option, I've spoken to several such people and found them open and willing to share their knowledge, but you have to understand that it may take a while to get a detailed response as their time is limited.

Good luck whichever avenue you choose to follow.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

I would think that posting that question on a forum that is mostly used by people who are in the process of learning May not get you the detailed response you seek.

Pretty much.

Jacob Miranda
Jacob Miranda
19,075 Points

First, check out this video which explains the different careers in the tech industry to really understand what you want to jump into. (There is also a course on Treehouse in the business section that goes deeper into the different careers)

I would recommend jumping into the Front-end Web Development Track if you're interested in Front-end Web Development.

Hi Andrew,

Here's what a few employers are looking for in this ambiguous field; take your pick. By the way, what is your CURRENT field?


Sr. UI Developer/ Front end Dot net developer North Point IT Corp Fairview, TX, 75069 Posted today Hi, Req 1: Position : Sr. UI Developer/Front end developer Location : McKinney, TX Duration : 12+ months contract Top Skills: Javascript /Kendo UI/ Knockout JS / Bootstrap Jquery MVC Req 2: POSITION: UI Developer Location: Dallas TX Duration: 12 Months+ In-Person Interview Top 3 Skills 1. Kendo UI 2. KnockoutJS 3. MVC Job Description: This person would be a contributor for the d...

Front end Java Developer and Java Developer North Point IT Corp Frisco, TX, 75034 Posted today Hi, REQ 1: POSITION:Front end Java Developer Location: Frisco, TX Duration: 2 years Top Skills: Front end (angular JS or heavy JavaScript) positions REQ 2: POSITION: Java Developer Location: Frisco, TX Duration: 2 years Very Sr. Developers Top Skills: Java Rest Webservices positions –...

Front End Developer / Web Developer Kforce Inc REDMOND, WA, 98052 Posted 3 days ago RESPONSIBILITIES: Our client is seeking a Front End Developer in Redmond, WA. There is a defined project and this resource will be given a set of streamlined/straightforward tasks. Project: Experimentation Platform Users are external and they are creating the next version to support the next version of Windows. REQUIREMENTS: 3+ years of frontend experience required. HTML, CSS, JavaScript (kn...

Sr. Front-End Developer (JavaScript MV* Developer) Tomax Corporation Salt Lake City, UT, 84101 Posted 4 days ago What we say about ourselves! We are a new team focused on R&D and innovation for retail operations! This is an exciting, fast-paced environment building products that are receiving great market enthusiasm even in their infancy! Cool technology abounds in our little group including iOS, Scala, Akka, Play, Java, HTML, Hadoop, AWS and now AngularJS! And we are part of Tomax Corporation, a long-time...

UI Developer (Front end developer) with Backbone GlobeTech New York City, NY, 10185 Posted 7 days ago WE ARE LOOKING for a FRONT END DEVELOPER WITH 3-6+ YEARS EXPERIENCE, STRONG JAVASCRIPT, BACKBONE, HTML5, CSS3 for my direct client in NYC This is a full time position with excellent benefits and salary in NYC that offers an excellent work/life balance with generous paid vacation Interview phone/in person, so candidate must be local to NYC, URGENT REQ – will interview quickly MUST HAVE ALL SKILL...

Direct client: UI developer /UX developer FORTIRA Inc Jersey City, NJ, 07304 Posted 11 days ago Direct client req Please call : 732-319-1751 Email resumes to : Skills: UI developer Location: Jersey City or NYC (candidate can choose) UI Required · Very strong with JavaScript · Strong JQuery skills · Experience building responsive front end applications with AJAX and JSON/XML · Experience developing modular JavaScript UI applications § · Ability to create JQ...

JAVA UI Developer / Android Developer Cygnus Professionals New York City, NY, 10001 Posted 11 days ago

1.Sr. Java/J2EE Developer with enterprise web service development experience to join their team for a 6 month plus project. As the Senior J2EE Developer, you will join the team in Lorain, OH. You will work with a team of full time developers in order to convert a current C# .NET application into a service oriented architecture. You will be the senior developer on the team. You must have proven ex...

Java UI Developer (Front-End Developer) Wellington Steele and Associates Palo Alto, CA Posted 13 days ago Overview: Java UI Developer (Front-End Developer) Candidate should be a Java Front-End developer not a UI designer. Job Summary Web UI tier design and development of document and business process management applications. Successful candidate will implement dynamic user interface designed by UI designers utilizing state-of-the-art Web UI technologies. The candidate will also participate in th..

Python Developer / Front End Web Developer Xsell Resources, Inc New York City, NY, 10179 Posted 25 days ago Immediate need for a Python Developer / Front End Web Developer for a job opportunity in Midtown, NYC. Interested Candidates can send resumes directly to or apply through this posting. LONG TERM CONTRACT- 12-18 months Python Developer / Front End Web Developer Requirements: • 3+ yrs web development experience with Python • Experience developing rich user-facing web int...

Direct client: UI developer or Front end Developer FORTIRA Inc Raleigh, NC, 27601 Posted 11 days ago Direct client req Please call : 732-319-1751 Email resumes to : ***** Skills: UI developer UI Required · Very strong with JavaScript · Strong JQuery skills for selection and DOM manipulation · Experience building responsive front end applications with AJAX and JSON/XML · Experience developing modular JavaScript UI applications § Charting with Highcharts · Ability to cr...

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

Someone wrote up a great article about becoming a junior developer in 9 months, he learned Ruby on Rails which is not front-end development but it should give you some ideas.


"Deciding what you want to do" aside, I'm beginning to see that backend and particularly coding is a MUCH more sought-after skillset. It's harder, so less people can do it.

What do you think about that?

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

I think there are a lot more jobs that require an identifiable backend skill set.

On the front-end things can get muddled, design, UX, JavaScript, CSS finding a job that requires your particular skills / interest presents a bit of a search problem.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points




Intermediate Skills

  • Treehouse
    • Console Foundations
    • Sass Basics
    • Compass Basics
  • CLI Crash Course
  • Code School
    • Git Real
    • Mastering GitHub
    • Git Real 2
    • Shaping Up With Angular.js

For projects I'd recommend

Remember to commit projects to github using git command line to get practice using that

I'd also recommend:

Wow that's quite alot. I'll bookmark this page!

Part of the challenge for me is maintaining the belief that my goal is possible - it's made more challenging by the fact that'll be living outside of the uk, but trying to get a job IN the uk. Not being able to attend meetups and network properly is definitely a challenge. However, not impossible I think.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

Wow that's quite alot.

The size of the list is probably one of the reason people are vague. You have to know quite a bit of what's available to be able to provide a useful curriculum.

Do you know of any similar stories from people who landed a front-end development job, rather than a coding job?

A job like this doesn't seem to be too far out of reach. Even as a first job, I would think that if you had a portfolio of websites you've built for people with CMS's, and can persuade them that you are fluent with the process, so can work quickly, I see no reason why they couldn't hire you.

I'm wondering if it's ALWAYS worth learning to code first, before specialising in ANYTHING?

I have been a freelance web designer for years and I have decided to start the interview process for a Front End Web Developer and this is what I have experienced so far. Recruiters want you to take an HTML5 , CSS and a Javascript test before they even submit you for the job. Some direct hiring places want you to do a Photoshop to HTML5/CSS as fast and accurate as possible. (they want speed!! time is money! )Then after you do that they want to interview you and have you code in front of other developers on the team, on a "Whiteboard" You should know Dreamweaver but do not do your code that way use a text editor like sublime otherwise you will be considered a novice. With this being said I think learning Html5 is the first step, then CSS then Javascript and memorize the basics!! So if you had to do it on paper in a pinch you can! Then learn Wordpress!! PHP and MYSQL --and make sure you can understand and use Photoshop and Fireworks. This has been my experience so far.

So you're using recruitment agencies? I'm a Brit in the UK btw.

How To Get A Job As a Frotend Web Developer: (http://blog.danielna.com/getting-a-job-as-a-front-end-web-developer.html)