Many job listings for web developers that I've seen describe ideal candidates who know a variety of technologies, with specifics which vary from shop to shop, but of course they all have one subset in common:

jQuery (usually)
XML (occasionally)

Is there a single term to describe this closely-related set of skills?

I've considered "HTML5", but "HTML5" refers to the most recent versions of each of these technologies/skillsets, not the technologies in general. It doesn't really fit.


4 Answers 4


The most common term to describe these skills is "Front end developer", although mentioning the particular set of technologies you use won't hurt.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_end_development

  • depends who you are talking to -- seems like front-end developer is more commonly used within the industry. Web developer is more recognizable outside as well.
    – mcknz
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 20:09
  • 2
    I agree, but since the OP mentioned he's talking about job listings, companies usually know what they are listing and the commonly used terms in the industry.
    – Charmander
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 20:11
  • Flash developers and some Java developers are also front end developers. Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 21:26

It depends on your purpose.

If you are looking for a generic way to describe someone who uses these skills, then I would agree with Charmander's answer. A person who uses HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and their associated frameworks (like Bootstrap or jQuery) would be called a front-end developer. A broader term may be web developer, as these are typically technologies and tools used to build web sites. However, the term "web developer" may also be used to describe the skills used for back-end development or even include skills like graphic design, usability or user experience, and search engine optimization that you don't mention in your question. The term you use would probably be best picked based on your audience - a recruiter or technical person may understand "front-end" and "back-end", but someone off the street may not.

If you are looking to capture skills on your resume, it may be better to be more explicit and enumerate them. This would be more likely to get through less informed people or automated screening mechanisms that may be used to rank or filter a resume or application. If you're writing a job description, it may be more useful to also list the specifics rather than a generic term to allow candidates to see what specific technologies you use. For example, you could identify JavaScript, but also particular JavaScript frameworks like jQuery and AngularJS. For similar reasons as resumes, this makes your job posting easier to find by people searching for jobs with a particular need.


I would say Front End Developer as well but I think such term will result in a mixed understanding depending on who you're talking to. A very large company will likely have distinct rolls for Front/Back End developers but a smaller shop may include both tasks which encompasses the much broader term "Web Developer." I would also say back end developers will have a play in making sure JavaScript code is correctly working.

If you are solely a front end developer, I would put that under your objective like, "Front End developer seeking role to develop interactive UI utilizing modern framework." However if you done front end development but consider yourself beyond that, I would make that clear in your objective.

  • I think when it's both ends it's referred to as "full stack." Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 21:30

In my company, I'd pushed to extract the term "front end developer" to "front end developer" and "UI Developer".

My logic was this:

When we put out posting for front-end developers, we get people with javscript (Angularjs), css/html skills -- which is great, and we can always use talented front-end developers -- but as a UI/UX designer, I have a hard time working with these developers who can't tell one grey from another grey, and can't see something is 2 pixels off (or even 20 pixels off) -- which, by the way, has been 99% of the front end developer in the company.

I advocate a UI developer title -- developer who cares about the UI aspect than functionality and has an eye for design. Someone who can turn a UI picture to pixel perfect html/css and javascript appearance (animation and other interaction).

Of course, not every company has such distinction, and every company has different definition. So you can go to indeed.com or linkedin, type in UI developer, front-end developer, javascript developer, html5 developer... and see how many results show up and the job description for each.

  • I've never heard that distinction between front-end dev and UI dev. I've seen UI designer/developer, or something similar. The term developer usually excludes design ability, since the combination is pretty rare.
    – mcknz
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 23:04

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