#PeopleStories: Front-End Developer

Front-End Developer. Curious of what that might be? Read more as Whong Zhixiang shares insight of his career.
Whong Zhixiang, Nico
Front-End Developer

What do you do?

I design and create the user interface, implement interactivity and enhance the overall user experience of a website. That’s what you see when you first enter a website. From there, I check and troubleshoot our company website for bugs and any design flaws. For example, I currently work in a tourism company, where we have a huge website to ensure traveller satisfaction. Whenever we get reports about a new bug or introduce a new feature for the website, I’m involved in tending to it. If a task is particularly huge, both front- and back-end developers will cooperate to undertake it accordingly.

How did you get here?

I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do before university. I thought I would either be a video editor or a graphic designer. I then enrolled in Multimedia Technology in Asia Pacific University (APU). The course offered a broad range of subjects - I learned animation, web development, programing, video editing, 3D-modeling and audio development - pretty much a jack of all trades. 

After completing my course, I still hadn’t really decided on my career path but I knew my plan had changed. I did some reading on web development and it piqued my interest, so I started to learn web development more in-depth on my own and joined a short course on it at the same time. It really helped me get to where I am today.

Why do you do it?

The first thing that motivates me is that the challenges are different every day. It feels like solving a mathematical equation; it’s satisfying. At the same time, I get to learn something new every day because there are so many methods to complete my tasks. Besides that, my working environment here isn’t overly stressful. Everyone is friendly and helpful too! Best of all, my company discourages us from bringing work home so that it doesn’t affect our personal time, as work-life balance matters the most.

Who should do it?

I think the most suited for the job would be those who are tech-savvy, willing to learn and perseverant. I think anyone can be a front-end developer, but it all depends on their interest and how much effort they put in. Anyone who is humble, friendly, honest, willing to learn and ask when they don’t understand would be able to pursue this career path.

The skills that you need to be a front-end developer is knowledge of HTML, CSS and JS. With these three basic programming languages, you can already start building a website. All that is left is just designing skills for the user interface of the site. From the basic languages, you can start learning new ones such as PHP or even a new syntax such as SCSS. 

Where can you work?

Currently, most companies already have or are planning to run websites for their businesses. They need front-end developers to create, maintain and make changes to their sites. Not only that, websites for e-commerce companies are crucial as their dealings are solely online. It is important for their websites to be of the highest quality to ensure that their consumers can continue using them with ease. Another area of work would be for the agencies that create and sell websites to companies which do not have front-end developers of their own.