Shifting to front-end developer from being a web designer

I was working as a web designer (html, css, jQuery side of things) for almost 5 years in total (and had a senior role), then another two years as a senior UX, but recently shifted (for almost a year already) into a full-time Front-end Developer role (javascript, react, and all that) within the same company I was doing UX for. If I wanted to apply for another job, how do i position my years of experience? If a company is looking for a front-end developer with 2-3 years experience, will I fit for the role? Since in reality, I was partly doing front-end for quite a while (but just no backend integration). I’m sort of at entry-level when it comes to the entire javascript & react ecosystem… but not at entry-level when it comes to web front-end as a whole… Any advice would be appreciated!

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Id say you fit into a 2-3 years of front-end experience. I mean its always better to up-sell yourself when applying, if they ask you can specify your situation, with as much a positive spin as possible, for example: “I actually have 5 years of total experience, as I was doing X but limited experience using React, I only started using the framework recently and have achieved Y”.

React is still a relatively new technology, so having limited experience is OK, if you have relevant experience.

I’d definitely focus on understanding how a front-end React app, or any “web-app” would connect/communicate with a back-end. As regardless of front-end framework, odds are your front-end will be “talking” with some back-end, and knowing how that work is pretty important for any complex app now-a-days. A good step would be build a simple full-stack app yourself just so you get your hands dirty and get a good perspective on the entire stack as a whole, rather than just a part of the whole stack. I wouldn’t focus to much on the back-end technology beyond getting something working quickly and easily, but the communication between the front-end and back-end is what I’d focus on. If your using React, then it would be a good time to gain experience with the framework in a realistic environment too.

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