How do I gauge myself professionally?

I have been learning web development for over 2 years now, however, I still feel like I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg. I am skilled in HTML, CSS, Vanilla JS, PHP, SCSS, and SQL…maybe with some of these on the lower-intermediate end.

I have lightly touched on Node/Express, Vue, and Laravel thus far.

I am a slow, gradual learner compared to others I know, but I work diligently to educate myself.

I find it difficult to keep up because web development is evolving so rapidly. One day a technology will be in the spotlight, then it becomes the technology of the past in the matter of just a few years.

I’ve been coding since 1983, or thereabouts. I’ve developed on Mac, PC, mainframe, and Amiga (yeah, how’s THAT for old-school??).

I develop in, I think, nineteen-plus languages. I work in SQL and NoSQL, I understand hybrid networks, I get RESTful API development, and I dream in code.

And I know I don’t know anywhere NEAR as much as I’d like.

Professionally, are you able to deliver what an employer might be looking for? Are you currently working in the field? If so, do you understand the spec when your team lead hands it to you?

Often we’ll look at other developers and think “well crap. I don’t know all THAT, so I must suck.” Well, no. That’s not the way. You’re on your own journey, and they have had experiences that led them to a different place.

Have you learned more than you knew six months ago? Then professionally, you’re probably better prepared. Are you more focused on front-end? Then professionally, as a Front-end developer, you may be better prepared.

It’s all subjective. Your value is determined by what you think you’re worth, but also by what prospective employers are willing to pay you. Get out there and try, and challenge yourself. You might be surprised.

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If you are aiming to be a regular full-time employee, then start applying for jobs and/or reaching out to recruiters to ask what the expectations are. If you want to freelance, start looking at jobs posted on freelance services. Can you form a clear plan of how to do the tasks? Could you execute that plan quickly enough to meet the schedule and actually make a living wage?

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