Have you ever fretted that front-end web development moves so fast that if you stepped away for a while, you’d be lost coming back? Rachel Smith has:
The hectic pace of needing to learn one thing after the next didn’t bother me so much because when I was 26 because I was quite happy to spend much of my free time outside of my day job coding. I was really enjoying myself, so the impression that I had to constantly up-skill to maintain my career wasn’t a concern. I did wonder, though, how I would ever take enough time off to have a baby, or have other responsibilities that would prevent me from being able to spend so much of my time mastering languages and learning new libraries and frameworks.
And then, as is inevitable for most of us, she did take a break. And as you read in the title, it was fine:
What I’ve learnt through experience is that the number of languages I’ve learned or the specific frameworks I’ve gained experience with matters very little. What actually matters is my ability to up-skill quickly and effectively. My success so far has nothing to do with the fact I know React instead of Vue, or have experience with AWS and not Azure. What has contributed to my success is the willingness to learn new tools as the need arises.
I might be extra qualified to verify this claim, as I work directly with Rachel. She’s better than “fine” as a team member and technological contributor, both on the front-end and back. She’s extremely good. And you will be too if you heed Rachel’s advice: be a lifelong learner and be willing to learn new tools as the needs arise.
It’s all about understanding the fundamentals. Fads come and go, but solid engineering skills are timeless.
Things are kinda slow now on the framework front. I think there’s a lot going on with tooling but regular devs don’t really want to deal with that anyway.
I think the biggest jump was from jQuery to React. That was a real paradigm shift. Declarative code was pretty mind bending for me.
Often go through a similar cycle of FE-FOMO. Something I wrote about (Tweet Week) years ago, but find I still have to continually remind myself. Thanks Rachel, your post nailed it!