Advice on what to learn during 3 months off work

Hi everyone :wave:

I’m looking for advice, but let me give you a bit of context first, so basically I’ve been a junior developer for 3+ years now, I started learning web development by myself reading books, using free online resources, freeCodeCamp being one of them, and also some other online courses.

I’m comfortable using and I have commercial experience with HTML, CSS and Javascript, but I also studied Node.js, Express, React, Vue and APIs, which I never used in a commercial environment and to be honest I feel like I forgot most of the back-end bit as it’s been a while since I studied it.

I’ve been recently terminated at my job ( don’t worry, I’m actually very happy about it as I wasn’t feeling it anymore and needed a change ) so now I was thinking to take 2/3 months off, just to improve my skills, before starting to look for a job again, but I’m feeling overwhelmed by the many things/technologies I could learn

so my question is:
Considering my background and my commercial experience in Front-end…

  • What technologies would you learn to level up your skills?
  • Would it be worth it to come back to Back-end being Node and Express given the fact I don’t have commercial experience on it? or should I focus on being a better Front-end dev?
  • What do you think are the most on demand technologies?

And anything you would like to add :slight_smile:

Thanks :grin:

Yeah, since you have a basic stack, I might tell you to just build an app. Maybe team up with a few people and build something.

I don’t see a DB on there - if you want to do any b/e, you’ll need that.

What technologies would you learn to level up your skills?

I don’t know, what do you think you’re lacking? One easy way to figure that out is to just start building things - that showed me very quickly what I needed to learn.

Would it be worth it to come back to Back-end being Node and Express given the fact I don’t have commercial experience on it? or should I focus on being a better Front-end dev?

I don’t know, I’m no expert on the job market, but my perception is that it’s harder to get hired as a b/e than a f/e, especially in the beginning. But learning b/e will make you a better f/e dev. Plus it will help you build cooler portfolio projects.

What do you think are the most on demand technologies?

A google search will probably give better results than we can. But remember that there is a difference between the number of job openings and talent deficit - it doesn’t matter if tech X has 100k job openings if 500k people are aiming for those jobs.

I think it is impossible to pick the perfect path. Instead, aim for a good path. You have the workings of a basic stack. Fill that out. React is fairly in demand. Do you know the libraries that often go with it? Redux? Thunk/Saga? React Router? Some UI library?

I don’t know, we could go down a rabbit hole of libraries and languages here. Another way to approach this is to look at the jobs that you like, in your area, and see what techs they want. I always say that the most important techs are the ones that get you the job.

Hello @joe91messina welcome to the freeCodeCamp forums! Sorry to hear your not longer at your job, but it sounds like your taking it as an opportunity, which is always a good way to look at life in general :smiley:

So I think the answer sits with how you want to move forward, as since you can essentially go any route you want in terms of career goals. Right now if you have commercial experience with front-end, with some experience with other technologies like React and nodejs, you could lean into that more and go for full stack. Or you could even focus on something different.

  1. You could stick to front-end, focus on getting better there by getting up to speed with what is being used the most often in the industry on just the front-end. For example, re-focusing on React, all of its new features and the best practices tied to it. Possibly focus on other aspects tied to the front-end, like design.

  2. You could spread out and get more into a MERN-like stack with extra focus on getting up to speed with your nodejs and back-end skills

  3. You could spread out even more and focus on more specific back-end technologies, so you can get specific jobs, rather than learn a more “crowded” technology like a MERN stack. Learning something like C# for .NET jobs is an example

Really though, I’d look into what you want to do yourself. As unlike most people asking for advice on what to focus on in the forums, you have a few years of experience under your belt, so you can at least be a little more picky about what you like and don’t like. So I’d ask yourself whatyou want to go into, learn more about and use!

Good luck, keep learning, keep building!

1 Like

Hey @kevinSmith and @bradtaniguchi thanks for taking the time to get back to me.

As you guys say it’s really up to me, the possibilities are endless, I did have a look at what companies are looking for in a Full Stack Dev and it looks like they ask for so many things I don’t know, also I barely remember all the Back End bit I did when studying as it was over 2 years ago now, so I think I will be sticking with Front End for now, update my web page and do some other projects.

I like the idea of teaming up with someone, maybe a Back End developer, to build something together, something we can both show to companies, any idea where is the best place to look for someone that might be interested in that?

Thanks again guys!

You can search on Twitter, e.g. with the hashtag #freecodecamp or #100daysofcode.

Then publish your own tweet or search for some backend folks who use these tags.

“I’ve worked for 3 years as a Frontend Dev and want dive more into Backend. Anyone interested in teaming up with me to build a Fullstack app for learning purpose? Great opportunity for you to learn from my Frontend experience. Comment here if you’re interested.”

That’s great! thanks @miku86 will try that :slightly_smiling_face: