So back in the day, I was a professional entertainer. It was a great gig, and I loved it. I would do magic, balloon animals, stilt walking, storytelling, juggling… all around entertainment stuff. And I would often hold workshops, teaching others as much as I could in a one- or two-day seminar setting.
But the question always came up with juggling: When you master juggling three, and you’re doing some cool variations, someone will always ask, “Yeah, but can you do four?”
So you invest the time, spend months breaking your brain of the “three” habits and trying to learn a more abstract way. You drop stuff. You cuss a lot. You eventually get four, and realize you can do many of the same patterns and have a LOT of fun! Yaay! And yet, same guy: “can you do FIVE?”
So back to your basement cave you go. Juggle drop drop thud cuss juggle…
Do you see my point? You will never learn enough. You will never learn it all. You will likely never overcome impostor’s syndrome. In talking to coders on a variety of languages and platforms over the past thirty-plus years, there’s a common thread. Many if not all feel we’re living “the Emperor’s New Clothes,” waiting for someone to realize we’re faking it.
We’re not faking it, we’re actually very good at what we do, but we are never, in our minds, good enough.
Got all that? Still feel like you’re lacking in front end skills? Then yeah, add things like React or Vue or some similar framework. But remember, the framework is not the language, it’s simply a convenient overlay!
So what about backend? Well, that depends on your experience and your interests, far more than it does on what “big tech companies look for.” It’s like Dilbert – the big tech CEOs are less about how to do a thing, and more what can you do?
So find languages that appeal to you. For me, I have zero interest in compiled languages. I’ve always had a happy spot for interpreted languages. And yes, that’s arbitrary and solely my opinion, so there it is. For me, I started with MS-BASIC back in 1985, then after a dark time (mainframes, and COBOL and RPG-II), I found my way to perl, and PHP, and languages like that. And now, for me, it’s all about Node.
Find the languages you like, or that make sense to you, and push yourself and the language to the limit. Then bend the limit outward. The employers will be far more impressed with that, than with the fact that you know 18 different languages. Know two or three well, and the world’s your oyster.
And before you all flame me, this is totally from my own experience and my own opinion. You’re entirely welcome to hold your own, and share it. Please do.