Frontend Development: Stuff you need

To start doing some Frontend Development used to be quite expensive. With all the tools needed to do just the basics. Fortunately that has changed. Nowadays all the tools you need are absolutely free and easily available. In this post we will explain which tools you need to get started doing Frontend Development using the Essence Framework. Or any asp.net/C# development in general for that matter. Since we want developers to benefit from the general skills already acquired on other projects, the Essence Framework is integrated seamlessly with asp.net.

To start coding

To do the actual code you need a code editor or IDE. For asp.net which is from Microsoft, the most obvious choice is Microsoft Visual Studio. And for that you can pick the free Community version that has all the features you will need. For developing Web-applications (like with the Essence Framework) it also has a build-in web-server. It also has powerful debug options so you can easily track what's happening in the background and find out where you're code is not doing what you want to.

 More information and Download at: https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs/community

To store your data

When building web-applications you have to store the data your users enter somewhere. For that you will need a database. Now there are several types of databases available and for the Essence Framework we choose to stay in a Microsoft oriented environment and picked Microsoft SQL Server. It's a robust server that is scalable so you can upgrade to versions that are designed for more users and heavier workloads without having to change anything to your web-application.

Now the more heavier versions are all paid licenses, but trust me. You will have more than enough with the free Express Edition for many years to come. By the time you will need more than that, your business is doing so well that getting a paid version will be the least of your worries.

Besides the Database Engine itself, you will need to tools to control it. For that you will need the SQL Server Management Studio. This is the tool that allows you to create and design your database, write SQL queries and much more.

Database Engine:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-editions-express

Management Studio: 
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/ssms/download-sql-server-management-studio-ssms?view=sql-server-2017

A lighter alternative

To run Visual Studio and SQL Server you will need a decent machine with at least 4 GB of RAM. Now if you are just starting and want to stick to HTML, CSS and Javascript, Microsoft Visual Studio Code is a great IDE to start with. It's also free and it gives you more than needed to do great websites. There are also a lot of free extensions for it so you can expand the possibilities as you go along. Be sure to get the Live Server extension so you can run your web-pages on your own machine as a web-server. It also looks cool too!

https://code.visualstudio.com

That's all you need!

There you go. That's all you need to get started as a Frontend Developer. Without heavy upfront investments you are ready and set to start a great new carreer! All you need now is to acquire all the skills, but that will be in another post.