DEV Community

loading...

What's your biggest challenge deciding what to learn next?

kball profile image Kevin Ball ・1 min read

In a recent JSParty episode (JS Party #80) the topic of "What is the biggest challenge folks have as web developers" came up.

Special guest Chris Ferdinandi highlighted the #1 question he gets:

There is one response that comes back more than any other. It’s at least half the responses I get… And it’s some variation of “I don’t know where to start. I am overwhelmed by the need to keep up with all the things” or “I don’t know which framework to pick first.”

A recent inquiry I sent to Friday Frontend subscribers about the same topic turned up a similar result:

There’s too much to learn, not enough time, too many resources. It’s hard to focus, to stay ahead, or even to know how all the pieces fit together.

I think this is a huge challenge in our industry, and I was wondering if we could brainstorm together about what is underlying this issue. Here's the prompt:

When it comes to figuring out what to learn next, what is the single biggest challenge, frustration or problem that you’ve been struggling with?

I'll go first: I really struggle with knowing when a new hyped-up framework or tool is "mature enough" that learning it isn't going to be an exercise in frustration of changing APIs and poor documentation.

What about you?

When it comes to figuring out what to learn next, what is the single biggest challenge, frustration or problem that you’ve been struggling with?

Discussion (7)

pic
Editor guide
Collapse
buphmin profile image
buphmin

Definitely "will this actually be useful". There are many things that I can learn but only a small subset I can actually use at my current job.

Collapse
hwolfe71 profile image
Herb Wolfe

Absolutely this. I have the same problem. There's little to nothing I can learn that will help me at this job.

The languages and technologies that I find interesting won't help me find a new job here, and the ones that may help me find a job just don't excite me.

Collapse
buphmin profile image
buphmin

Yup, just got to try your best to learn what you can and try to apply it where it makes sense.

Collapse
pickleat profile image
Andy Pickle

I applied for a junior dev job recently and when I followed up said they were still gathering applications so I just went ahead and asked them what they wanted most, and they said React (+Native) and Laravel.

Collapse
kball profile image
Kevin Ball Author

Ah interesting. So perhaps what might be useful is something that puts the various “hot” technologies in context with what they actually solve relative to other tools?