Starting as a web developer? Here are 5 things I wish I knew.
I made a lot of mistakes when I was learning web development, so I want to share some of the things that I learned along the way.
This article might sound a little like a zen blog written by a buddhist monk, but bear with me. A lot of stuff that helped me along the way had something to do with the way I was thinking about things.
1. Don't get frustrated. Take your sweet time.
When you're trying to build something and things aren't going as expected, don't worry. It's normal to not meet your standards of what you think a good piece of software is—especially when you're just starting out. It takes some time before you can get a handle of how things work and for you to get comfortable with your work.
So give yourself some time! It'll click as long as you keep on working on it.
Also remember that if you don't know a piece of technology, you have the Internet on your side. You can always search it and learn it.
2. Start small.
Don't bite off more than you can chew! When you're starting out, you don't want to tackle a huge, complicated project. This is tough because when you're a beginner, it's hard to tell how easy or hard something is. It might sound like a chicken-and-egg problem, but experience really is the key.
Instead of building the next Facebook, start with a single page.
Instead of building a page full of fancy UI and animations, start with a tiny widget.
Instead of building a website that thousands of people will use, make a website for yourself.
3. Know why you're doing it in the first place.
Why are you doing web development? You have to be honest with yourself so that you can decide on what you want to prioritize.
Are you trying to get a job as a web developer? What companies do you like? What kinds of technologies do they use? You might want to focus on learning the technologies that they use.
Are you trying to build a specific product that you have in mind? First you need to make sure if you should be making a software product in the first place. Realize that it takes a lot of work to make a software product and it's even harder if you're starting from scratch. See When should you start making products? and Why You Should Do A Tiny Product First. Be ok that it's going to take a lot of time so you need to be patient.
Do you want to be a well known member of the community who talks in conferences and teaches people? You might want to focus on open source and the problems that people run into.
4. Don't get jealous
There will always be people who are better than you. So don't fret! There are websites that you might come across that are just too difficult for you to pull off right now.
Getting jealous doesn't help with anything. All you can do is to get stuff done little by little and to focus on what you're doing.
You'll get there.
5. Don't get FOMO
It's easy to get FOMO when everyone on the Internet is talking about a piece technology.
That's totally normal.
Even though the urge to jump in the bandwagon is strong, try to avoid it. If you just want to try it out, go ahead. There's a difference between trying something out and feeling that you absolutely need to learn this piece of technology.
It's gonna be ok
A lot of times, learning something takes time. It even takes more time to be good at something. So relax. It's going to be ok.