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Discussion on: Why Everyone Is Fighting About CSS/UX and JS

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visualizertrue profile image
Aaron Barnett • Edited on

I do have to say that topics like these (while they were excellent and revealing reads) fill me with a ton of anxiety. I'm about to graduate this semester with my BA in Comp Sci and just recently within the last few months got into exploring and learning about web development. It's been the most fun I've had programming in a long time during my university experience and I feel more inspired and passionate than I've ever been before. It felt amazing to finally have some direction and know what kind of career I believe I wanted.

But there's just SO MUCH to web development. Picking up vanilla JavaScript wasn't too bad because I already was taught good, basic programming fundamentals, but there's just SO MANY tools, SO MANY different libraries and frameworks, and SO MANY things about web dev that I didn't even know I didn't know (if that makes sense). Since getting a good handle on I've JS been learning Node, React, and good HTML/CSS fundamentals but I wish I had discovered how much I like web development sooner because I feel like the clocks ticking 'til the time I graduate and I'm filled with a lot of dread that when it comes time to getting interviews I'm going to be revealed as a fraud who doesn't really know anything, because to be honest that's kind of how I feel at the moment.

** Edit: Thanks to everyone who responded for all the encouragement. You've all calmed my anxiety about my future and I'm very grateful.

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kmwill23 profile image
Kevin

Meh, nothing to be scared about. You are looking at entry-level with a thin portfolio. Employers are familiar with that. Build up that portfolio, gain confidence, and be adaptable.

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simonhaisz profile image
simonhaisz
  1. Imposter system applies to people regardless of their experience. Your fear of being revealed as a fraud who doesn't really know anything puts you in the company of some amazing and skilled people.
  2. Libraries, frameworks, languages, tech in general - it's always changing and yesterday's new-hotness often becomes tomorrow's old-and-busted. Don't worry about not being an expert on the latest everything because it is impossible. And the people who expect otherwise? Those are the ones who actually don't know anything, with their job requirements of 10 years of experience with React or Docker.
  3. If you have good programming fundamentals and can learn new things then that's all you really need.
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gksander profile image
Grant Sander

You'll be alright, just keep learning. Being curious is the best tool when it comes to being in the field of web development, and good employers should recognize that. Even after a couple years of doing web dev full time, once a day I learn something new and think to myself, "damn. How did I not know that?" But that's a good feeling if you're curious - keeps things interesting.

Also, one thing I found useful: be peripherally aware of the trends in the various fields of web dev, but pick up a couple tools to use as your primary tools. Otherwise you might find yourself always learning and never building instead of doing both.

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visualizertrue profile image
Aaron Barnett • Edited on

Thank you for the kind words of encouragement, Grant. Focusing on a core set of tools and skills has definitely been my mindset thus far. I'm super grateful for all the amazing tutorials and learning materials that are available online for these tools.

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rickrogahn profile image
Rick Rogahn • Edited on

This is nothing new. Before the web it was cross process communication, Data protocols and OS API stacks that one would need to explore and had little exposure to prior to graduation. Don't sweat it. You are hired as a junior engineer for a reason.

Yes I'm dating myself, but when I graduated, web devs (all encompassing) were barely a thing and "weren't really engineers". Forgive me, but these battles (not war) are trivial :). Try arguing that people who write code of any kind for the web are actually engineers. Thank those that fought the real war 20 years ago.

P.S. The last part needed a proper shake of the fist and a "Git off my lawn". :)

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simonhaisz profile image
simonhaisz

Are you going to -f those kids of your lawn?

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madhadron profile image
Fred Ross

A lot of what you're seeing is incidental complexity. The fundamentals remain. Learn:

  • HTML, including image srcsets, flexbox, and grid layout
  • CSS
  • how to manipulate the DOM in vanilla JavaScript
  • enough HTTP to be able to put parse a request and send a response (probably HTTP 1.2, 2 and 3 are very different but the basic ideas remain).
  • how to expose an HTTP endpoint in some language (PHP, Python, Go, Node, whatever)
  • how SSL works and how to set it up
  • browser security, CSRF, etc.
  • web accessibility
  • how to structure a GUI application with MVC[1]

These are the highest value uses of your time. React and other frameworks can be useful, but they are ephemeral and they can't help if you don't know the fundamentals. They're distractions from the real stuff that is going to last.

[1]: Before someone starts chiming in about React or other things obsoleting this, they don't. React's flow is just inversion of control in MVC.