Are You Looking to get into Frontend Engineering?

Posted on 21 September 2022

In recent years, everything has moved online. There are becoming more reasons for people to have an online presence and creating online paths of communication has never been more relevant. On top of this, convenience means that things that were previously done in person, are now being done online, such as shopping, paying bills and setting up accounts.

For these reasons, jobs in software engineering have never been more important or popular. Every online application/interaction that happens involves a part in which users interact, and all this falls under the term “frontend”.

What is a Frontend Engineer?

In simple terms, a frontend engineer links together the world of design and technology, this means that they create ways for users to interact with interfaces. The key tech they use is HTML, CSS and Javascript. These elements include the design/layout, buttons, images, navigation tools and internal links within websites.

I recruit for frontend engineers only, and find myself talking to Frontend engineers, CTOs, and engineering managers daily. It’s for this reason I decided to ask around and see what they’re top tips would be for any of you graduates wanting to get into Frontend Engineering. Here’s what I found out!

1. Bootcamps

Something I was largely unaware of stepping into the tech world was the amount of bootcamps there are out there. Multiple times bootcamps were mentioned as a great way for someone getting into this market to gain some starter knowledge. Bootcamps are a great chance for beginners to learn the basics when it comes to certain languages and frameworks. These bootcamps are designed to help you gain the essential skills that are going to make you stand out when looking to apply for roles in software engineering. There are many bootcamps and government funded initiatives available across the county that offer this, you can check some of them out here: https://careerkarma.com/subjects/best-front-end-bootcamps/

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Pretty much every person I spoke to mentioned how important it was to them when looking to hire new engineers that they can show examples of practice they have had. When starting out early down a new career path, you’re not going to have much industry experience to back you up. It is for this reason that you need to show some self-initiative and take it upon yourself to practice in your own time. If you can show you have the skills and put them into practice, then this is going to make you stand out. Some great examples of this would be setting up your own website or GitHub profile to show off what you have been practicing. If you can do this alongside with the ability to solve problems, and show how you would solve them, you’re already one step closer.

3. Communicate What You Know

Communication is key! It’s okay to not know everything, especially if you’re only just starting out. In fact, its expected. Considering the last point, make sure you practice as much as you can, but on top of this, make sure you are able to communicate what you know and give reasonings for your answers. If you can do this, it shows much deeper understanding. Communication skills overall are very important in any job interview and did come up multiple times when speaking to these hiring managers about interview process. If you can talk about the ‘why’s’ of doing things this shows you are able to justify decisions you have made, this will set you apart from others.

4. Take the Feedback and Learn from it

There will be rejection and lessons to learn when attempting anything new. What’s important is how you process this information and what you do with it next. When looking for a job in software engineering it will be a rollercoaster filled with lots of feedback which is going to be vital to take forward with you on your path to becoming a developer. Having an eagerness to take on feedback and transfer it into willingness to learn will put you in good stead further down the line. This market runs quickly, and you are going to need to keep up!

5. Do Your Research!

This may be an obvious one, but it’s so important. This includes research on the company itself and making sure the role you are applying for is relevant to you (apparently applications to non-relevant roles happens more than you may think!!)

6. Just Go for it…

Trying anything new can always be daunting but if you prepare yourself correctly then you can be ready for any situation and what it may throw at you. A career in frontend engineering certainly won’t be an easy one but it will be a rewarding one, and if you are passionate and prepared then it doesn’t need to be a scary one!

I want to say a big thank you to the engineers, CTOs, and managers I spoke to who helped me out massively in writing this article:

Marius Rubin (Credera) – CTO

Jonathan Fielding (RVU UK) – Lead Engineer

Vikram Khatry (Rated People) – Engineering Manager

Andy Dunmall (FENESTRA) – Lead Engineer

+ others who wish to remain anonymous (but you know who you are!)

If you would like someone to speak to about getting into frontend engineering then I would be more than happy to have a chat with you and help you out in any way I can: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-martin-4792b2226/

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