What I learnt to become a Software Engineer

What I learnt to become a Software Engineer

September 5th, 2021

3 minute read

Front-end VS Back-end

In software engineering, there are mainly 2 routes you can go down to start off with. Front-end web development is the development of the graphical user interface of a website/app, through the use of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Backend Development is also known as server-side development. It is everything that the users don’t see and contains behind-the-scenes activities that occur when performing any action on a website.

You can also end up doing full-stack development which is a bit of both. However, I would recommend getting good at one to start off with and see where it takes you.

What I did

I went with Frontend mainly because I'm a photographer so the visual side really appealed to me. I started off spending a couple of days learning HTML which is the skeleton of the website. I then spend a few weeks with CSS which adds the colours and styling to the site. Now, this is where people sometimes rush to JavaScript — the brains of the website. Don't do that.

I was advised to spend at least 3/4 weeks on CSS alone as its something that saves you a lot of headaches later on. Learn how to position elements on the page correctly using Flexbox and CSS Grids. There are plenty of courses on Udemy.com that takes you through these core elements.

After I was a bit more comfortable with CSS, I moved on to the meaty bit — JavaScript. Think of JavaScript as the nervous system of your website. It connects everything together and allows for things like data pulling amongst other things.

How I learnt

A majority of my knowledge comes from this one £12 Udemy course called The Complete Web Development Bootcamp by Colt Steele. This course is quite long but it gets you from zero to hero with some projects you could use for your portfolio.

I should probably mention that I didn’t actually finish this course, Instead, I used what I learned and applied it. This one pivot is what really propelled my learning as I started to make small projects to really consolidate everything I learned. One of my oldest projects is still actually on my portfolio (linked to this website). It's a simple web dev quiz built with vanilla JavaScript.

After growing bored with vanilla JavaScript, I started to learn React, which is a JavaScript framework made by Facebook. However, I’ll caution you to learn this framework too soon. As I previously mentioned, the basics are crucial so make sure you build your foundations.

The Last Few Months

During the remaining months before I started the arduous journey of job hunting, I built as many projects as I could to beef up my portfolio. These mainly included websites which meant I had to go back and revise CSS. Another core bit of advice I’ll leave you with is to try to think of this as a marathon, not a sprint. Try to enjoy the journey, not the destination, oftentimes, the doing is more important than the end-point. The skills you build, the person that you become, the faith you manifest is more meaningful than then dream. Learn to thrive in it.

Originally published at https://shuaybcodes.com.

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