Front-end web development is not what you think it is.
Muna Mohamed Nov 22 '17
"My name is xxxx and after studying with TreeHouse for six weeks, I got a job as a Front-End Developer."
How many times have you seen this advert play on YouTube? The number of times I’ve seen this advert, I have lost count.
There are so many stories out there of people who’ve learned to code in 6 weeks, 6 months, a year and now work in the tech industry (or any industry that requires coding). And you know what? Good on them.
But, here is the problem; a lot of people have been led to think that this is true for EVERYONE. Including me, in the beginning.
In reality, it is not.
After almost a year after deciding to take on Front-End web development, here are some truths I’ve come to realize.
It will take some time
There are a lot of topics to cover in Front-end web development and at times you will feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things that you have to learn. And with new frameworks being released in what feels like every day, it can feel like a never-ending struggle.
However, don’t let this discourage you. This is completely normal.
It has been said that in order to master a new skill, you’ll need to put in at least 10,000 hours of work. Whether or not this is true, it is to be expected that in order to become better at something you must put in the work and Front-end web development is no different.
The bottom line is, everyone learns differently and you are no different. Put in the time; it’ll eventually pay off in the long run.
You will make mistakes — a lot of them. Get used to it.
They may even bring you to a point where you will feel like quitting.
Almost a year in, and I still make stupid mistakes pretty much every day. In the beginning, the frustration alone would discourage me. I’d feel stupid and feel like quitting. Eventually, I’d go back and try and figure it out. The more I figured out, the more I felt like I was getting somewhere.
Mistakes are a part of the journey. With every mistake, there is a lesson to be learned. Learn to embrace them.
The learning never stops
You will learn that things in the tech world are pretty much ever-changing, which can be seen as a gift or a curse depending on how you look at it. On one hand, learning new things may feel time-consuming, a constant burden even. But on the other hand, it can make life easier. In my case, after learning SCSS (a CSS preprocessor), I wouldn’t go back to coding in CSS if you paid me!
Practice, practice, practice
There is no way of getting round this, I’m afraid.
In pretty much everything in life, you will need to practice in order to perfect it, right? Front end web development is no different.
Say you miss a day or two, maybe a week of practising to code . You’ll still be able to remember most if not all of the stuff you’ve learned so far. How about a month or more? Will you still have retained all the knowledge you accumulated before that?
Therefore, the more you practice, the better you become. It is as simple as that.
Google will become your best friend
Google has all the answers. Well, at least 99% of the time.
Whether it be troubleshooting your code, getting advice on front-end web development related questions from frameworks to learn to interview tips, Google has it all.
So don’t be afraid to utilize the tools you have at hand. It’s not cheating. Unless you’re copying chunks of code without understanding what they mean… (I joke).
Switch up your method of learning
For some topics, doing courses on websites like CodeAcademy and FreeCodeCamp can be all the resources you need. But there are a ton of other resources you can make use of that will enhance your learning experience.
Resources such as blog posts, video tutorials, books, even podcasts can really enrich and solidify your knowledge and allow you to understand some topics on a much deeper level. The internet is a goldmine of resources so use it!
The journey is different for everyone so do not feel discouraged. It’ll take time and perseverance but overall, it is all a part of the ride!
For all those who are beginning this long (and ongoing) journey into the world of front-end web development, remember that you are not alone.
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