What to move on to next?

Hello Campers!

I’ve recently finished the first 6 certifications, including the projects required for the legacy front end and full stack certifications. I am intent on going back and re-doing some of the projects as I feel I relied to heavily on tutorials or looking things up, and I also want to review some of the concepts that appear to be highly in demand (React for example). However as I’d like to someday hold a developer job, it seems I need to focus on either front or back end skills to find an entry level job. I think I enjoyed working on the back-end projects more, as I liked focusing on the functionality rather than the more design-y points of front end. However it seems like actual back-end jobs require a lot more as far as
other coding languages and web development knowledge not provided by FCC. On the other hand, front end doesn’t seem to have as big of a gap between the concepts taught on FCC and actual jobs.

I guess I’m wondering if anyone has any advice as far as figuring out what kind of developer they should be, and a way to choose what to move onto after finishing the first “half” of FCC. I’ve already moved on and started some of the python lessons, but I wanted to seek some advice first.

Sorry for the long post, Thank you to anyone takes a look!

HI @eygis !

I think you should start building your own projects away from a class.

Building your own projects and deploying websites will teach you a whole other skill set and expose you to new issues.

Focus on building up a portfolio of projects to use for jobs.

I would focus on one tech stack for now instead of chasing down all of these other options.

There are so many backend choices to choose from. (PHP, Python, Java, Node, etc.)
Also there are so many databases to choose from too. (Postgres, MonogoDb, MySql, etc)

I would focus on building awesome projects in one tech stack like the MERN stack to show employers.

You want to show employers that you can learn and you are up for the challenge. :grinning:

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I don’t agree with this assessment. If you’re looking at going into web development, being a full stack developer is a strong point in your favor. In my experience, even employers with big teams that specifically hire “frontend” and “backend” developers would really like it if you are at lease semi-competent in both. For companies that use NodeJS as a backend especially, it’s expected that you would do both server and client side work because it’s all JavaScript.

It depends. Honestly, I would suggest focusing on growing really strong JavaScript skills. Most employers know that if your core skills are good, then you can learn the specific tools and technologies on the job.

Start working on stuff that you think is cool. You’ve done assignment projects and maybe some other tutorial projects. Think that as a shallow pool of projects. Now it’s time to go deeper. Spend months continuing to work on something that you care enough to put that time into. It can be your own personal project(s), or you could get involved in contributing to an open source project that you care about. Actually using your skills for a specific purpose will increase your skills dramatically, but it will also help you get to know yourself better as a developer.

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I am intent on going back and re-doing some of the projects as I feel I relied to heavily on tutorials or looking things up,

I wouldn’t bother redoing them. The problem with curriculum/tutorial projects is that hirers have seen thousands of the same apps. Build new ones. I’m not saying they have to be terribly original, but they also shouldn’t be cookie cutter apps.

and I also want to review some of the concepts that appear to be highly in demand (React for example).

Yes, review. React (or something like it) is good to have on your resume. I would read through the docs a few pages a night. But I would also learn by doing - build apps with it.

However as I’d like to someday hold a developer job, it seems I need to focus on either front or back end skills to find an entry level job.

I’m of the opinion that it is harder to get a backend job as your first job (especially without a degree). That being said, even a frontend dev is supposed to be able to do some basic backend. I think the best idea is to focus on frontend, but do some backend too to build your understanding. Plus, it will allow you to build better demo apps.

I think I enjoyed working on the back-end projects more, as I liked focusing on the functionality rather than the more design-y points of front end.

Yeah, a lot of developers don’t like doing design. But also don’t worry about it too much - they probably have people doing the designs. But you do want your demos to look half decent - just don’t worry if they don’t look perfect.

However it seems like actual back-end jobs require a lot more as far as other coding languages and web development knowledge not provided by FCC.

You can do backend based on what is taught on FCC, Node/Express/Mongo. That is a solid backend, though I would probably add a SQL to it. But of course there are many other ways to do backend - but you wouldn’t be required to know them all. FCC may not have spent a lot of time digging in to the backend, but the building blocks are there, with a few libraries added in.

I guess I’m wondering if anyone has any advice as far as figuring out what kind of developer they should be…

The kind that gets you hired for your first job. I still say that “frontend dev that knows a little backend” is your best bet.

I’ve already moved on and started some of the python lessons, but I wanted to seek some advice first.

Python is great and those lessons are cool. But I’m not sure how vital they are for someone looking for work as a MERN stack developer. I think there are better ways to spend your time.

What I would suggest (and this is basically what worked for me, #ymmv), either postpone the Python stuff or just work on it on the side (it didn’t exist when I did the FCC curriculum). I would want to focus on building things and learning things. Come up with an idea for a project (even if it’s a dumb idea) and build it. You will run into challenges - figure them out. You will have to implement new libraries - figure them out. Maybe you’ll run across a cool library - then try to figure out how to use that in your next app. Just keep building more interesting and complicated apps.

When I was applying for jobs, no one really cared much about my FCC apps - they’d seen thousands of those and they weren’t very complicated. They were more interested in the few apps that I’d built from the ground up.

Sorry for the long post,

Wow, if that’s a long post, then I’m in reaaaalll trouble. :wink:

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Yeah that makes sense, I’ll focus on mastering what I already know and building new projects for now, thanks for the advice!

This is good advice, I’ll definitely focus on building my core skills! Thank you!

Sounds good, I’ll focus on reviewing through new apps that aren’t re-dos of what I’ve already made!