Career opportunities arise in front-end Web development

Following the introduction of HTML5 and other newer technologies, website development has made remarkable strides, bringing more interactive and diverse elements, attributes and behaviors.

Due to the multifaceted functionality of sites, two types of Web development professionals have emerged: front-end and back-end Web developers.


The collaborative link that brings together design and development is front-end Web development. Front-end development will continue to comprise components that make websites engaging while back-end development will remain focused on the server and database.

The role of front-end developer is relatively new. The creation of HTML5 and CSS3 evolved the languages in ways that gave more capability to front-end developers. They can use more creativity in the design process using a mix of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, the three main languages for presenting websites. Each language contributes to site design in different ways.

“CSS3 is now packed with functionality that allows front-end developers to achieve just about any look and feel thrown at them by a designer,” says Andrew Walpole, innovation technology development manager at Jack’s University of Jack in the Box in San Diego, and instructor at UC San Diego Extension.

Additionally, front-end developers have increasingly taken on application development roles that used to be exclusive to back-end competencies. Walpole says the rise of REST API’s, decent authentication protocols like OAuth and OAuth 2.0, and a handful of other notable new Web technologies, have allowed JavaScript to become a programming language that handles the logic of an application on the client (in the user's browser) rather than on the server.

“As the expectations of a front-end developer continue to grow, so too does the demand, which makes it a great time to be one,” said Walpole. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job-growth rate is significantly faster than average at 20 percent, with an average salary of $62,500.

The key is to become proficient.
In response to this growing demand and need for mastery, UC San Diego Extension has created a specialized certificate in Front End Web Development. The program will provide instruction on how to design and code websites and applications. Students will learn how to develop responsive sites using some of the latest technologies, including HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and jQuery. At the end of the program, students will create a portfolio website using techniques taught throughout the certificate program.

“The specialized certificate is designed to provide skills in technologies used for advanced web publishing, but also include the current knowledge to create sites that are interactive and reactive,” said Hugo Villar, Ph.D., MBA, director of science and technology at UC San Diego Extension.

For more information about UC San Diego Extension’s Front End Web Development certificate, visit or call (858) 534-9352.

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