It's tough being a web developer—there's honestly a lot of stuff out there. It's easy to run into advice on the Internet like these:
- "Definitely try learning jQuery and Bootstrap."
- "You should probably learn React because it's fast."
- "Underscore makes JS sooo much nicer."
- "Either Mustache.js or Handlebars to make HTML better."
- "Node.js so that you'll be able to call yourself a full-stack dev!"
- "Try learning AngularJS. It makes writing web apps a breeze."
- "I highly recommend learning Sass if you already know CSS."
- "Gulp is easy to learn. You should definitely use it!"
There's a lot of tools and technology out there and they come out almost daily. Just check out Hacker News and see if you start getting anxious about all the things that you're missing out on. Then again, maybe don't. Save yourself the heartache. ;)
So I already talked a little about (ok, a lot about!) what you can do to always be learning including the habits that you need to know:
- What you can do after going to a code school.
- Contribute to open source.
- Be content.
- Steal websites.
- Think small.
Unfortunately, I still have things to say about the topic. So keep on reading! 😬
Never ending cycle of learning
In our industry, there will always be things to learn. You need to let go of thoughts of getting there, because nobody ever gets there. Wherever that is.
So don't be frustrated about learning. It is a thing that you need to do for as long as you're doing web development. You simply can't escape it. You can't make everyone slow down.
What you can do is to prioritize things and learn on the job. Do you actually have to learn this thing? Maybe you can learn it when you need it.
Don't just gobble up new tech when you come across it. See if you can actually use it for something.
So even though there's a deluge of shit out there, don't fuss. Be content that you're not always in the know.
The big three
You already know that are always new frameworks and build tools and stuff, but don't lose sight of the big three! After learning JS, HTML, and CSS, doesn't mean you're done with them.
There are different and interesting ways to solve problems in CSS. Don't believe me? Check out this video from Lea Verou.
There are new things being added to CSS all the time. CSS grids and shapes, anyone? Check out this page from Jen Simmons.
Variables aren't limited to Sass these days since CSS has them too! (Except for Edge)
Markup and stylesheet encapsulation with the Shadow DOM.
So even there there are frameworks and build tools flying right in your face, don't forget about the big three! Sometimes, they're everything you'll ever need.
A balancing act
So it's really a balancing act that you need to do when you're a web developer. Our medium changes all the time, but we can't possibly learn everything so you have to pick and choose.
Unfortunately, slowing down is not an option, but what you can do is to try and filter out all the shit that's out there and only choose the ones that are important.
Till next time!