AVAILABLE NOW: Front-End Developer Handbook 2017
What Is a Front-End Developer?
Typically, a person enters into the field of front-end development by learning to develop HTML, CSS, and JS code, which runs in a web browser, headless browser, WebView, or as compilation input for a native runtime environment. The four run times scenarios are explained below.
A web browser is software used to retrieve, present, and traverse information on the WWW. Typically, browsers run on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, but as of late a browser can be found on just about anything (i.e, on a fridge, in cars, etc.).
The most common web browsers are:
Headless browsers are a web browser without a graphical user interface that can be controlled from a command line interface for the purpose of web page automation (e.g., functional testing, scraping, unit testing, etc.). Think of headless browsers as a browser that you can run from the command line that can retrieve and traverse web pages.
The most common headless browsers are:
Webviews are used by a native OS, in a native application, to run web pages. Think of a webview like an iframe or a single tab from a web browser that is embedded in a native application running on a device (e.g., iOS, android, windows).
The most common solutions for webview development are:
- Cordova (typically for native phone/tablet apps)
- NW.js (typically used for desktop apps)
- Electron (typically used for desktop apps)
Some examples of these environments are: