I want a career in frontend development, though I’m unsure what continuing education will look like once I have a job. There is so much information in the documentation that isn’t covered in any course. How do you perfect and stay up to date with your skills when you are working? I thought maybe competitive coding like Code Wars, but I want to hear from people who have experience with this. How do you learn the nitty gritty of a language while working? How do you stay up to date with new updates?
HI @laurencollins1109 !
This is a great question and something I had asked myself before I had started working as a developer.
For the first couple of months on the job, there will be a lot of new information thrown at you. My advice would be to just ask as many questions, pair with other developers, and take your time going through the tickets they assign you. When you get hired on as a junior, especially if this is your first job, they are not expecting you to hit the ground running and contribute a whole lot right away.
Take your time going through your work and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you are working with new libraries and frameworks, it is completely fine to take some time to read through documentation and pair with other seasoned developers to learn that new piece of tech.
As a junior, you are getting paid to learn and grow.
Take advantage of that.
A lot of your learning will be done on the job.
Reading documentation, articles, and pairing with other developers or asking questions when you get stuck.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to learn outside of work too.
But you have to be careful with this, especially early on.
A lot of juniors, including myself when I first started, felt like they needed to code a lot outside of work.
But you don’t want to overdo it because it could lead to burnout.
In the very beginning, I would advise you to not do a whole lot outside of work just because it could be overwhelming and you will still be getting used to things.
Once you get the swing of things, then you can start to learn a little bit or work on personal projects if you want. And if there are days where you are tired after work, don’t force yourself to code anyway. You just spent 8 hours around code all day.
The key is to find a healthy study plan without overdoing it. Learning should be fun, not overly stressful.
Sites like codewars, leetcode, and exercism, are great for getting prepared for job interviews, but they don’t mimic real world development.
If you wanted to keep practicing your frontend skills, then frontend mentor would be more appropriate. Or building personal projects. But again don’t over do it.
By picking up more complex tickets that involve detailed feature work.
In the beginning, you will probably be working on small bug fixes and getting up to speed with the project. But as you grow, then you will start to work on larger features. That is where you will grow a lot.
After you have been on the job for a few months, start to pick up some more involved tickets. You will learn a lot about how to approach that feature, how to break down the work and designing a solution that works best for that application. If you are in a healthy supportive environment, you will have mids and seniors that will pitch in and help you arrive at that solution.
A lot of this might depend on where you work sometimes.
For me, I work at a web consultancy. So we do a lot of projects that use Angular, React and Vue but also new frameworks like Solid, Svelte and Qwik.
If I am put on a project that uses some new framework, then I will start with a small ticket and jump in the docs and learn by doing.
Hope that helps!
Thank you! I saved your answer to reference later. You have awesome advice.