Back-end cert or job prep?

I’ve completed front-end and data visualization certificates, worked on personal projects, and I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my craft.

Though I’ve completed all the tutorials and the first 2 API projects on the back-end certificate, my goal is to start applying for jobs in January. Since I realistically see myself starting out as a front-end developer, would you recommend I shift my focus to practicing javascript algorithms and fine-tuning my front-end performance, or continue learning the fundamentals of the back-end?

I’m no expert here, but my $.02 is …

The line between front end and back end is getting increasingly blurred. Many of the ads I see for FE jobs expect a little knowledge of BE, and vice versa.

I learned a lot by doing the back end section. First of all, it gave me a really good view of the big picture and how things were really working. Secondly, there are some cool BE tools you can use in Node (like webpack and create-react-app) that make doing front end work easier.

I would suggest doing both. Start getting your portfolio together and looking for jobs. But also work on the back end. You are still going to be able to work on “javascript algorithms and fine-tuning my front-end performance”. The Node environment is JavaScript. You will still have to do plenty of algorithms. And on the later projects, you put a FE on them so you’ll get plenty of practice there. (The first five are microservices and have little or no FE, but the last five require a FE.)

Keep in mind the BE section can be frustrating as the FCC training isn’t there yet so you’ll have to do a lot of research. I found the book Express in Action very useful (until you starts talking about Angular) and there are some great youtube videos.


Thanks. I’ve also benefited just from learning how the back end works. I have struggled a bit so far so I’m glad you recommended that book, I’m going to take a look.