Let's take a look at some of the tools and techniques, inspired by software engineering, with which front-end developers are increasingly becoming familiar.
Here are some of the engineering techniques with which front-end developers are increasingly becoming conversant.
Also known as file versioning, revision control, and configuration management. This discipline is essential for teams working in distributed fashion on a project, but it also repays the investment in learning for an individual working alone on his or her own computer. The essential version-control tool is Git (created by Linux kernel innovator Linus Torvalds). Git is command-line focused, but a number of GUI tools have been introduced for it -- this page list nine of them. Git also underlies the highly successful social development network GitHub, which just raised a $100 million investment.
Not so long ago, Web developers used to type in pretty much the same characters that View Source would later show to a site visitor. More often than not now, HTML is generated by another program or is served out of a database. And more and more CSS developers are working with tools that enhance the capabilities of standard CSS. SASS and Less are among the most widely used such tools.
A few months back the selfsame Rebecca Murphey put together an invaluable list of the things a modern front-end developer needs to be familiar with, in order to keep up with the ongoing global conversation. She calls it a baseline for front-end developers, and it makes an excellent starting point for discovering and learning about the tools you need to know.