From the 1st tutorial to your 1st frontend developer job
Every beginning is tricky…but that’s not a reason to give up pursuing your career in frontend development! Here are a few life hacks that will help you on your journey to landing your first job.
Today, everyone wants to be a developer. Being a (frontend) web developer is an awesome career choice that requires a lot of dedication and work, but are you working on it properly?
People usually choose frontend rather than back-end because they think that the job is similar to what designers visually do, but in reality, it differs. There is much programming on the frontend, in heavy web app creation particularly. Browsers are becoming more complex since the barrage of applications moved to the browsers. Front-end is also used for writing business logic, and probably the most interesting benefit of it is that it has subdomains in which companies need experts, such as UI/UX, web security, or animations. Also, SEO and accessibility are becoming even more complex in addition to technology changing and advancing, resulting in creating a lot of room for frontend developers.
When talking about web/mobile development, people usually think frontend exists “just for displaying data”, but there is more to it. At the moment, things are changing. In my opinion, frontend became the main character in selling your product and creating web traffic. Basically, the frontend is a good commercial for your product which will be available for whoever connects to the web. Frontend unites design, logic, and user experience. Also, present websites must work on almost every device, so the adaptivity and responsiveness of websites are crucial factors. Also, as a frontend developer, you must adapt your work to the smallest mobile devices and huge 4k screens. If you are craving a journey like that, then this is the right blog for you.
Becoming a frontend developer is not so easy, obviously.
My experience was pretty much both very positive and sometimes a little bit tedious, but every job has its ups and downs. To be honest, the reason for it is that when you are learning, there’s not much that can go wrong, but the problem appears when you start landing job interviews. It’s not hard to watch crash courses and read the documentation. What’s hard is to implement the knowledge in your work on your own, which is the key to landing the first interview. But if you work on it on your own, most of these key concepts just click together.
Web development is very complex, so it’s important not to skip any steps in learning and to remain motivated from the start because you are improving your skills drastically. Whatever you read, study, and listen to is very valuable. That said, your mindset is the most important thing when getting into something new - including frontend web development. A good mindset can help you a ton when it comes to the learning curve. Stay positive and take your time while learning.
I would suggest you make a plan for learning since planning is a good way to set your goals and motivate yourself. Try not to overthink if things don’t go exactly as planned. As you learn and improve, success will come. Doesn’t it sound easier now?
Learning methods depend on personal preferences. I used a method of simultaneously reading documentation and watching video tutorials while I coded. When it comes to getting familiar with a theme, I personally prefer coding short, simple examples based on tutorials.
Make yourself comfortable, get a cup of your favorite beverage and get ready to start!
Separate your studying sessions into shorter ones, and take a break whenever you feel overwhelmed. It’s very important just to take a break from learning and coding so you can return to it with a fresh perspective and get ready to study again. When you are studying, it’s important to comprehend the topic you are covering, which means understanding means more than memorizing the facts. Save everything you studied, cheat sheets, code samples, tutorial samples, etc., because later, you can refer to those resources. Give yourself time to go through this studying process, even though it might seem really tough.
Be your own teacher
As we discussed before, planning and organization are keys to success and getting over some of the concepts you’ll come across as a frontend developer. Save documentation and video materials for later so that when you finish the current one, you can switch to the other. This way, you can make the process of learning more fun and fluid.
But in general, try to be your own teacher.
Web development - where to start?
The main goal is to get familiar with programming languages, so try to start working on the basics and try to cover them to fully comprehend them. Sometimes it requires days, but in some cases, you will need months or years to fully grasp something. Don’t feel scared or discouraged; it’s a pretty normal phase in the programming-learning process. Don’t skip the basics and main foundations of language since they are the main building blocks; skipping one thing can really make things more complicated when you get more into it, and sooner or later, they will return to haunt you.
Then, try to create small projects, which you can find on the web, since they can really boost your knowledge. Apply the knowledge that you gained because practice makes perfect. The web is full of mini projects for whatever technology you are searching for, so try to refer to the materials you are watching or reading as studying and code along. There are a lot of easy-to-use online sites for your first touch with the code.
Also, better check some great YouTube channels like NetNinja, Academind, freeCodeCamp, Traversy Media for example. While researching and learning the basics, already mentioned crash courses are a great choice since they get you familiar with the topic in a few hours, depending on the author’s teaching method, but they are usually short, straight to the point, and easy to understand. Here are some popular and very influential tech people that are worth following: Anthony Fu, Evan You, Eduardo San Martin Morote, Harry Roberts. Of course, you should pick the method of collecting information and learning that best suits you.
The market is really huge, so don’t be narrow-minded when it comes to choosing the framework. Some additional technologies can be helpful and are becoming more popular, such as TypeScript. But don’t overwhelm yourself with all these advanced technologies and practices; novice developer positions exist for a reason. If you pick up all these basics and at least some elemental knowledge about one of these frameworks, you are becoming an all-rounded novice frontend developer who is ready to hit the first job interview.
A bit of pep-talk before you dive into it
I think that web programming is awesome, so if you are thinking about becoming a frontend developer, you are in the right place. These are some core steps to jump into the frontend development world. By following all these steps, you will be ready for your first programming position.
Investing in yourself is always good, and it sticks forever. The same goes for programming. I promise you that with this approach to learning and an adequate mindset, your success is guaranteed.
Please don’t dwell in a mindset where you think nobody needs you or wants to hire you since you are a beginner because that’s not true. Good quality novice developers are very important for the future of web development because companies invest in their work. In time, they usually become a valuable part of their working collective, influencing the company’s development. After that, novices progress to juniors and are motivated to become seniors one day. So ask yourself what your goal is at this moment. Obviously, you want to be the best developer you can be. It’s okay to push pause sometimes, to rest, and get back to the flow. Set goals and go for it, day by day, line by line.
I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors - happy coding!
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