Transitioning from Web Designer to Developer

This is my first topic here and I’m probably going to start with one that’s been discussed here before, but I’m hoping you guys can point me in the right direction. I’ve been working as a web designer primarily at a company for almost 10 years now. Over time, I’ve thought myself a few other things, but I never made the full jump into front-end web development. As of now I know HTML, CSS (SASS/SCSS preprocessing), Basic JavaScript and jQuery (I can make small simple plugins). Recently I’ve noticed that no one is really looking for a web designer, but developers who know various JavaScript frameworks, some PHP, MySQL, ASP, etc. I know I’m not going to learn all of this overnight, but what I’m hoping to do is get some general direction (and even encouragement) from those who have made a similar transition.

I’m confident in my ability to design, work with CSS frameworks, theme applications and even make small PHP-based addons. However, I’ve had trouble getting into the developers mindset. I’m hoping to learn at least 1 JavaScript framework (I’m looking at ReactJs, Angular and Vue). My hope is that will put me on the path to be able to land these front-end developer jobs that will take me to the next level.

What would be a good framework to start with? Is it worth also learning more PHP and do you believe other languages would benefit me? I’ve done some free codeacademy workshops to get my feet wet, but never came out feeling like I knew anything of substance. It’s also hard to retain this when my current job doesn’t call for me to do this on a daily basis.

So is there anyone out there currently like or was in my position? What did you do to try and make this transition? I know it won’t be easy, but I’m hoping it’s not impossible :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone!

every language you learn will benefit you in the long run. if you already have decent front end skills, then i would definitely recommend learning php, python, ruby, sql, or anything and everything else related to the back end. even if its free stuff like this or codeacademy. the more you learn about the back end the more you will understand the big picture and how everything relates to everything else and once you start to develop a good understanding of that, then it doesnt really matter what the language is. at that point its just figuring out the syntax of the language. you definitely want as much stuff on your resume as you can fit on there. just practice it from time to time so you will retain it.

it only takes a few hours to go through most of the stuff on code academy (the php, mysql, etc) so take a day every few weeks and run through the material and take notes in case you need to refer back to it. interviewers these days are smart and they will ask questions regarding stuff on your resume and the last thing you need is to finally get an interview and then blow it because you cant remember simple stuff due to not practicing it.

let me know if you have any other questions.

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