So I’m a front end developer and have just passed the year mark on my first job in the industry. My first point to make is, it depends what you mean when you say ‘front end developer’.
I’m much more the latter, where my task is to take the rough designs from the designer and transform them into responsive robust user interfaces. My main challenges are asking ‘why’ each thing is like it is, and trying to build a system that’s concise and robust, rather than hacking styles on styles on styles.
Other ‘front end developer’ roles are much more of a ‘front end engineer’ role, which is often where React/Angular etc. come in. I don’t do any of these.
What I’m trying to say is, make sure you think about what interests you more, UI development (creating a great system of interfaces) or front end engineering (under the hood work).
Secondly, follow your passion as much as you can. If you genuinely enjoy what you do you’ll learn quickly.
I learnt the key skills for my job a month or two before the interview. Admittedly I’d been fiddling with HTML/CSS for about 7 years before in my spare time, on and off, but I think I could have condensed down all that learning into 3-6 months.
If you’re interested in the more UI developer role, then I’d really recommend checking out Harry Roberts ITCSS, which for me is fundamental to structuring a stylesheet and understanding how to apply styles in a re-usable manner.
Understand The Specificity Graph.
Seriously consider using BEM to make understanding how each part of your code is related to the code around it.
Look at how to combine ITCSS and BEM with BEMIT.
And here’s Harry Roberts advice to budding front end developers, might be worth a read.
That’s just a start, honestly if you’ve any more questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, I’m @fredrivett.
Hope that helps.