Frameworks or Node.js after finishing the front end curriculum

So I’m coming to the end of the front end curriculum and I’m starting to look at what to learn next. My aim is to get a job as a web developer as quickly as possible, so employability is my main focus really.

I’m having a tough time deciding on whether to learn a framework next (Angular 2 or React), or to go straight to Node.js and the associated technologies like Express, Mongo, npm and so on. Should I really be learning a framework first or is it fine to jump straight into the back end? I guess my long term interest does seem to lie in back end, but at this point as I say, I’m primarily concerned with employability and getting my foot in the door in that first developer job. If it makes any difference because of the job market, I’m based in London, UK.

If a framework is recommended next - does anyone have any good advice or external articles posts on React vs Angular 2 in terms of learning for a newbie, employment opportunities and so on?

I went from front end to backend, skipping React, and I was really happy with that. I finished the microservice projects and now I’m doing React before I go back to finish the ‘full stack’ backend projects.

I think doing the microservices gives you a nice taste of the backend stuff so you can better determine if your preferences are more front or backend.

I also found that my backend stuff really needed a better understanding of making my code modular, which is a good lesson to learn prior to React. That said, you can learn modular code from the React stuff too, and then apply that to the backend.

I can’t speak to what is the best do the London job market, I’m afraid, but the job alerts I’m signed up to in Melbourne suggest that Angular and React are more in demand than Node.

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One other thing that crops up in job ads all the time is Testing, and this isn’t covered by FCC at all yet.

So maybe look into Mocha, Chai, Karma, Sinon…etc

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually done much on testing myself yet :slight_smile:


Btw, I see this mega post from @P1xt as my personal roadmap to job-readiness:

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Yes. If you haven’t done any testing yet, look into that. I think it’s actually been one of the hardest subjects to learn because 1) It’s not a fun, sexy, new framework, so no one wants to teach it, 2) It’s best done along side whichever project you’re doing, so any good test-driven development lesson would also have to include a full project, 3) I’m pretty sure the skill is kind of rare, even amongst hot-shot Youtube stars, and 4) programmers are lazy and don’t like the thought of writing so much “extra” code. In other words, there’s simply a lack of learning material. While I don’t think you’ll find too many jobs listing TDD or Jasmine as requirements, I think that good test practices demonstrate a sense of professionalism that could set you apart.