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A guide on getting started on Angular frontend development

Whether you are a fulltime Angular developer or are just getting started, it is vital to have a clear list of steps you need to take to get up and running.

It's easy to feel intimidated by the number of new tools the latest Angular brings in, so it's best to remember that this toolset is designed to solve common problems. To get your project up and running, there are several steps you need to take that will allow you the freedom to start building more quickly.

Make a list of tasks for yourself

A good frontend development process starts before you even open up the code editor. First, you need to know what you're trying to achieve with the applications (which will likely change as a work engagement continues). You'll also want to start by making a list of the things that need to be done to accomplish your goals. You can think of this as a feature list or a bug report – it doesn't need to be pretty or detailed, just enough information so that you can see what needs to be done.

To make your life easier, it's best to think about things at a high level first and then decide how you want to break up all these tasks into manageable chunks. Consider some set-up tasks that will help you get started using the Angular framework: learning new commands with Anglular CLI, getting familiar with the directory structure, and allowing yourself to stay consistent when building web applications. You'll want to ensure that you're taking advantage of all its features. This makes it easier for you and anyone else who will be doing work on a particular engagement. Each person can take an item from the list and work on it without stepping on other people's toes.

Think about the components you will need

What does it mean when we say "component"? It's an essential question because it should frame your understanding of how you want the project to develop over time. Are you building small individual pieces of functionality that work together? Or are you building large modules with many moving parts? Components can be hard to define at the beginning of a project, but they're important to consider because they are sometimes the only way you can manage your codebase as it grows.

In other words, think about the different components of your application and make sure that everything starts in a logical place. If there are tools that can help make this process easier for you, use them! Things like charts, forms, menus, or tooltips are examples of things that might be useful in an app. You can also start preparing your shared components that will be used by all other parts of your app like buttons, inputs, panels, modals, etc.

Consider the structure of the engagement

As with any web development project, when you begin a new Angular project, you need to ask yourself what the project's goal is and what it will be used for. See this Angular style guide which details application structure and NgModules that may help with the structure of your project.

  • Are there any existing structures to which you can adhere?
  • Are there specific requirements that will dictate how you structure your project?

If so, make sure you're taking those into account.

Customers want nice things, like consistency and clear structure. To make your code easier to understand, think about how it needs to be organized. You can define which files are the master ones, which ones are part of the main app, which ones are part of a separate feature of the app, etc. By defining this structure early in the process, you'll have an easier time later when developers who don't have as much context about your project will come on board. At least they'll have a clear idea about where everything is supposed to go for their contributions to be consistent with your overall goals for the workflow.

When building a scalable Angular project, it's important to remember that it's not just about the code you produce. It's about the code other people will use, too: your teammates and the developers who maintain your project in the future. You'll want to ensure your reusable components are as sophisticated as possible so that they can work well in any project, no matter how complex.

Understand Angular CLI and schematics

When you start a new Angular frontend project, it can be tempting to dive right in and start writing code. Resist the urge! It can lead to serious headaches when you realize that you're in a position where you have to go back and change stuff – because what you've written can't be changed without significant overhauls of your files.

When coding, you should look at your framework as if it's a guest in your application. You want to make that guest feel safe and comfortable, or else they might leave.

Enter the Angular Schematics toolkit. This is a collection of pre-made scripts and commands to help you get started with a new engagement for Angular development.

Food for thought: When starting a new project, you mustn't get too wrapped up in the details of how one Angular directive might work or what different directives can do for you. Instead, take some time to think about how your code will fit into the context of the broader development system. It can be beneficial to write out a list of questions that need to be answered before any code is written:

  • What backend services (APIs) will my code rely on?
  • What data modules must be created?
  • How will my code hook into those models/services?
  • What UI elements does this app use?
  • Which ones are supported out-of-the box in Angular?

Get to know the tools you're using

The best way to use tools effectively is to get to know them well and test how they're used in Angular development.

Once you've identified what your project needs, ensure that you have all the relevant tools for building it. These should include a code editor or IDE, a version control system like Git, unit testing frameworks like Karma, Jasmine and Cypress. While these tools aren't specific to Angular development, they are all absolutely vital and typically used by angular developers.

One of the most important things to do when building an app is to test each part of your code as you put it together. That way, when you get ready to launch the app, you'll know that it works and that everything is in place.

Test each part of your code as you put it together

One of the most important things to do when building an app is to test each part of your code as you put it together. That way, when you get ready to launch the app, you'll know that it works and that everything is in place. It also allows you to spot and fix any bugs or glitches in the app before they become a big problem. You’ll want to make sure that everything works together as it should – if one part of your code is broken, it could cause other features of the site to break down as well.

There are many ways to test your Angular code:

  1. You can test each component separately by writing unit tests for each one and then running them individually before putting them together as a whole.

  2. You can also write integration tests that test how well all the pieces work together by simulating how a user would interact with the whole application. This is especially useful if multiple people are working on different parts of the code at once.

Angular is a powerful framework. There are some best practices you want to follow so that you may create a quality Angular application. Putting together a production-ready Angular application takes dedication and effort. However, the reward is well worth it because you're going to have an efficient and productive application that can be used without fail by your users. You'll find that, due to the overall structure of the app, development time is shortened, and errors are eliminated.

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