An overwhelmed front end developer in need of a brain reboot!

twitter logo github logo ・1 min read

Recently, I have been utterly overwhelmed with many front end news, posts, top tips, “see what you can do with x and y”, learn more javascript, learn...

My brain is screaming “Stop!”. This is where I cannot complete any project I have been planning for over two years. My writing have suffered, my self esteem drops off a cliff, my confidence is nowhere where I would have like it to be.

A question for you all, how can you get back on track? Is it a matter of a small selection of people / blog to follow and go on from there? What are your thoughts?

twitter logo DISCUSS (14)
markdown guide

You will never read it all. It will keep coming. In addition the front end world is so vast, you will never learn it all. Pick one thing (after careful consideration) and learn/read/apply that.

If that one thing falls out of style, or doesn't apply to your current project, congratulations! You can pick a new one thing!

Years of doing this took me through JavaScript, HTML and CSS, on to jQuery, a daliance with SharePoint that lead me to Angular 1, then v2 and now Stenciljs and web components. Sure I've POC'd React and Vue, and there's a million helper libraries I've learned and forgotten along the way, but I always knew what that one thing that I was an expert in at the time was, and that helped me focus.

Don't put blinders on and start hammering screws because the hammer's your one and ONLY thing... But with a solid base in the vanilla technologies I'm sure your one thing will serve you well for a couple of years... And then you get to know a new one thing!

There's always time to learn, just point in one direction at a time :D


It’s crazy the amount of libraries out there for javascript and sometimes I often thinking “what’s wrong with just vanilla javascript?” Then realised I could be opening the flood doors!

“Solid base in vanilla technologies” << I must remember to remind myself this. Thank you!


Just pick one thing at a time. Let all other things go. Even if it means you are lagging behind. Finish one thing then move to another. Nothing stays relevant forever. Jquery is not much used as much as once it was. Soon react and angular will die the same death. Front end world is like fashion industry. It keeps changing. I have reduced a lot of feeds from my social media and usually prefer devto for finding new stuff.


“Front end world is like fashion industry” - absolutely right. I like this.


You got this!!! workout to destress, take a day off to relax your brain.

Frontend masters works as well

A great post that helped me


Great links. I will check out front end masters. That post about code review was something I absolutely needed. Thanks!


I reached a similar point earlier in my career. I decided I would check about once a week and make no other effort. In 3 years I haven’t missed out on anything noteworthy and I don’t plan to ever go back to how it was before.


Sounds like changing FOMO to JOMO (joy of missing out). That’s a nice site, simple and take your pick whatever you want to read.


Man, I struggle with the same thing! I have started to reduce the feeds I am subscribed to. I also try to assign 1 day a week to read them, this helps me focus on the remaining days and not get too caught up in the framework of the day.

I say, as long as you are creating products that work and give value, the end user doesn't care if you are using the latest tech. If you are effective and confident in the technologies, then who cares...not your users.

Sounds great that you are giving time to your hobbies, I think that is key!
Keep your head up and keep moving forward!


Much appreciated for the reply. I have reduced a lot of my feeds and feeling much better for it. Workout and hobbies are so important to have :-)


I wrote My Response to "How to never complete anything years back that might be useful to you.

As for the JS ecosystem, here's how I keep my sanity:

  1. I keep my eye on the Garter Hype Cycle to make sure that I'm on top of the emerging trends that really matter.

  2. I only occasionally drop into HackerNews and r/Programming as they both have pretty bad signal-to-noise when it comes to figuring out which technologies are important or not over a 3-year lifespan. I dodge Twitter complete because...Twitter.

  3. Since the start of my career 20 years back, I've focused on fundamentals. This means that while people were obsessing about the latest and greatest I was reading thick books on software design and architecture. This has served me well, as almost all "new" technologies can be described by some well-understood-yet-forgotten bit of knowledge smart people wrote about many years before. For example, "Micro-services" was an evolution of "Service Oriented Architectures (SOA)", SOA was an evolution of "Domain Driven Designs", and Domain Driven Design was an evolution of "Object-Oriented Design." True story: I became very unpopular after posting on an internal company blog that AngularJS was not going to be a framework I would ever use, because it had the same philosophy as JSF, MXML, and ColdFusion, all of which failed due to them using the questionable "Template View" pattern.

  4. I am very comfortable not knowing something, as the things I do know I know very well. Thanks to the specific choices I made in what I know, anything that I have an interest in building I can build. If I don't know something, and need to learn it to build something I want to build, I have no doubt whatsoever I can learn it - and quickly - as I've learned new things so many times before.

  5. I have adopted Richard Feynman's attitude on knowing the names of things.


These are solid advices that I will be taking on board. I am completely unaware about the Garter Hype Cycle which I will be keeping an eye on from time to time.

In the world of technology, people intends to forget the origin of programming! I wonder if the world of programming, people intends to have a goldfish memory...

I fully agree about 5. This is the trouble I have for many years because I never remember 'names' of things! Thank you kindly for commenting!


Yes! I got time off work starting in a week time and going to use it to pursue my hobbies.

Classic DEV Post from Dec 6 '18

How to Securely Store a Password in Java

A previous version of this article confused the process of "hashing" with the p...

Craig Butcher profile image
Front End Web Developer and Designer, love talking about design, development, accessibility and having to master the art of parenting level six. Oh, and he has a rad bionic ear.

Do you prefer sans serif over serif?

You can change your font preferences in the "misc" section of your settings. ❤️