If you are looking to become a frontend developer, or simply to dabble in a bit of code, these might be the first questions that pop into your mind.
Today, we’ll go over a few strategies to get you started on your path to becoming a fantastic frontend developer. I’ll also attempt to give you a realistic idea of how long it takes to learn a new programming language.
I’ve divided this guide into the following sections:
- Wrap-up and final words
To start learning this or any other language, it’s essential to understand the syntax of the language first. Learn what the following are:
Statements: JS statements are “instructions” to be “executed” by the web browser.
Comments: To create a single line comment, you place two slashes “//” in front of the code or text you wish to have the JS interpreter ignore.
Once you’re familiar with these, try building something! Write a “hello world” webpage or create a contact form to submit basic information. Both of these exercises will help you appreciate the big picture and put newly acquired skills to use.
Try to solve problems for topics you’re good at. If, for example, you are good at math, create a calculator app. If you are good at marketing, create a landing page for lead generation. The main goal is solving a real-world problem.
Frameworks are important, but…
Don’t waste your time
When I was a young frontend developer making websites for small and medium enterprises, jQuery was the best! All websites and animations were made with jQuery. If you didn’t use it, your website was old and didn’t offer much to the user. Naturally, developers who knew it made more money than those who didn’t.
So, I made my very first purchase from Amazon: a book titled jQuery in Action. This book taught me everything about the jQuery world, from selecting an element from the DOM to creating complex AJAX calls to REST APIs. I felt like I was a ninja in the coding arts. But guess what? jQuery was replaced by HTML5 and ES2015 and modern browsers’ support of a new set of native APIs that soon will render jQuery useless.
The moral of the story is: invest 80% of your time in learning fundamentals like clean code, design patterns, domain-driven design, and object-oriented architecture. Like frameworks, technologies come and go, but these fundamentals will remain. What you learn will be portable across companies, teams, and domains, and your knowledge will be less likely to be rendered irrelevant.
What about the other 20% of my time? Leave it for frameworks, libraries, and tools. Be smart about it: the longer a technology is on the market, the safer the investment it is. Don’t rush to learn new technology—we don’t know its lifespan. Let time show you which technology is worth investing in. Time is your best advisor. Learn to wait.
Build your exercises around real-world problems to gain an understanding of the language and its applications. Be patient and don’t give up! Learning any new skill takes time and dedication.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a frontend developer, check out these guides:
- What Does It Take To Become A Web Developer? Everything You Need To Know Before Getting Started
- The 7 Essential Tools For Frontend Web Development
- A Guide To Landing Your First Job As A Junior Web Developer
- How To Launch A Career In Web Development Without Quitting Your Job