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As a non-web-developer, which are the things you'd like to learn to become a web developer?

ederchrono profile image Eder Díaz ・1 min read

There are a lot of topics around web development, but as a person that has never written code for the web (ie: c, c++, java for embedded systems, etc):

  • Which are the most appealing ones?
  • Which would make you or made you change careers?

Discussion

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Best practices around project structure and packaging. The sheer amount of user preference or framework divergent structures is amazing.

Coming from a JVM world, and a spring framework mindset, I know where to look for things. Looking at a nodejs project, besides for "public_html" and "npm_modules", everything else is gibberish to me.

 

Bit of a different perspective here, I am (mostly) a systems developer (that is, low-level userspace type stuff, sysops and netops tools, etc), and last December i decided to jump off the deep end into web development for an app I wanted to write. I don't know that I'll be changing careers, but I have liked it so far (mostly, I curse the JavaScript standards committees on a semi regular basis under my breath for the questionable choices that have been made over the years).

The two biggest selling points for me were (and still are):

  • Contrary to popular belief, the web is actually insanely portable compared to most things. Java's touted 'write once run anywhere' mantra seems like a hollow promise in comparison. Pretty much, as long as you don't need to care about IE or Opera Mini, and can take the bit of effort to work around weird iOS crap, you can literally write code without issue that runs on everything by just paying a bit of attention to what you are choosing to use. This level of portability is a large part of what won me over for this project when compared to anything else I had similar levels of experience with.
  • Your users need exactly zero extra libraries or software to run things you write. Everybody has a web browser, and you can even count on it being reasonably up to date most of the time, unlike things like Python (my main language of choice outside of web development). In fact, you don't even need an installer provided you write a PWA and make the service worker sane. Sometimes it may make sense to have a local install, but for a lot of things, it really doesn't (many social media sites don't really need native clients for example).
 

Nice! That's actually a great insight

 

I'm coming from an angle that might be interesting; I'm a UX-designer with some dev experience and I'm currently building a functional design system (aka utility first) for designers and developers from the ground up. On purpose for the purpose of learning to master the basics before any frameworks.

But there's a catch-22 in this all; front-end is soooo much more complex on the surface due to all the frameworks and fanboys of React, Vue and the likes. They are all making things work "their way" and I'm more of maker then a faker who jumps on a bandwagon. It's why most designers are affraid to code because they don't understand the logic of things.

Personally I decided to learn JAMstack and learn everything from the ground up since so many new cool technologies (CSS-grid over FlexBox, CSS-modules, Styled Systems, Serverless & Web-components) are coming up that change the game from the ground up. Having a deep-dive into these topics first will actually help you set up a front-end strategy before you commit to any system design to begin with.

In the future I hope to be a ux-engineer that can build the best development experience possible for designers & developers alike. A designer can be a programmer's best friend, not their replacement, so as a web-developer you might want to learn how to work & educate them since most designers don't know jack shit about CS principles, or creational design patterns for that matter.

Development is way more design then design will ever be, and that's coming from a designer, not a dev. I've made sure to seperate concerns and expectations so that I can be in controll of the front of front-end (theming, scales, lay-outs, brand, etc..) so the devs can do the back of the front-end (infoArchitecture, component libraries, frameworks, etc..).

Also, designers are simply programmers who can't code (yet) and draw boxes in "art" boards. Be patient with them, they will realize it's all just a box-model and their tool was making their work look beautiful.

 

For me it was web UIs and all about user interactions.
I got into web development by making web mini games and flash sites and then started to see the REST (pun intended).

 

a java developers guide to js would ROCK.