For the past two and a half years I have been working as a Front End Developer. I have learned a ton since I started. I've been at the same job since I was hired late 2017. Day to day we use Vue.js, CSS, Cypress and mocha + chai for testing. I have come a long way since my first few months at work and still daily, I feel like I have a huge knowledge gap when writing and developing. Specifically, I get stuck when coming up with the logic for a component.
Last month I got really serious about note taking and started to add to my daily notes breaking down all of the sections of the Front End ecosystem I could find from multiple resources as well as what I have encountered at work.
I started taking notes at the end of the week of things I had learned from my co-workers not just about building a component but things like how we structure our app and why we do things the way we do. I would sometimes approach a ticket from the scrum board and be like, "Ya ok cool. So build this component and use it on this page". But around the halfway mark I would get stuck and be like "Wait a sec, how come my component works here but not here?" And when I would ask one of the more senior devs a question about something I was stuck on I would typically receive wayyy more info that I thought I was going to get, with so many more considerations. Then my feeling about building that component quickly escalated to "What in the F am I doing", and confidence levels dropped to an all new low for that day.
Let me be clear here though, I'm not chasing for comments and praise for my good work. I want to be able to contribute to our projects with confidence, which I can build off of which will lead to improving my skills. So why not learn what I can during the day, apply that to side projects and build cool shit outside of work. Well, I tried that, or so I thought.
I would get a great ideas for an app. I would tell my wife and be like "you know that new car we wanted?? I will buy it for you once this app takes off". Hmm...not really but I was so excited to work on my side project. Shortly after doing some scaffolding, base styles and planning out some UX I would stop. I got busy with another idea or got lazy. But that's not the real reason I didn't end up going through with projects. I stopped because I didn't actually know how to code the thing from scratch. I panicked at the thought of asking someone from work for help on it because it was a super "easy" app. I didn't wanna let them know that the person who works on cool components during the day can't code a small project from scratch. I told myself I would just stop attempting projects because I didn't wanna have to face myself and the feeling of failure. For a couple years now I have been feeling this inner pressure to pump out high quality side projects that display my skills and have fun doing it. But, I have not finished one side project to date since working full time. I have taken a ton of courses but the concepts never stuck quite the same way as they did as when I would f*#& something up at work and be like, ohhh got it now.
My former profession was playing and teaching drums. I taught quite a lot actually and had fun doing it. I knew what my limitations were and wasn't scared to let students know when I didn't know how to do something. I started teaching privately after playing drums for about 10 years. Maybe time = confidence? Meanwhile I took a 3 month coding bootcamp and was working full 2.5 months after completing it. WTF! Imagine you learned the drums in 3 months and then had a yearly salary with other professionals who treated you nicely and didn't give you a hard time for being a newbie?!
My hope is that I become way more confident in JS so that I can write clean, DRY components, help others learn and build cool shit that can help people. Nothing too crazy right? I know writing about JS on a blog is nothing new but you gotta start somewhere.
Please share if any part of this article resonates with you or someone you know! Also, it's been a while since I have written an article so any formatting or readability feedback is welcomed as well! I know I used "I" like 400 times. Thanks for reading :)