I’m about 18 months since I started learning to be a web developer. I’m about four months into my first dev job. In that time I’ve worked on a bunch of small projects, putting together quick MVP and POC web apps using Node, React and AngularJS.
A huge amount of my time has been learning about everything that goes along modern projects, using Docker, Jenkins, Rancher, gulp, grunt, npm, webpack, babel, SCSS. And its been amazing. I’ve really loved dipping my toe into all these technologies and getting a bit of understanding.
This is the thing though, everything is just that bit of an understanding. Its enough for me to do what I need to do. And to be honest this is a great way to learn. Have a real objective and learn enough to complete that objective.
It does end up leaving me feeling out of my depth a lot of the time. I know how to do enough to do what I need to do with these various technologies but any further probing about them and I’m quickly lost for words. I try to be as honest as I can explaining exactly what I understand and what I don’t so I can get the help and knowledge I need.
I want to improve as a developer but sometimes it feels like I’m just learning yet more ways of doing something rather than actually getting better. I guess the equivalent is I keep acquiring more tools for my kit, but amn’t sure I spend enough time sharpening the core tools I already have.
I talked to someone I work with about this issue, that I really want to improve but during my work time I find that I’m too focused on delivering rather than exploring. We had a good discussion (he’s an excellent listener and reflector) and I came away committing to working on something relatively simple where I could focus purely on HTML and CSS (and maybe a little vanilla JS if the need arises).
The idea with the project was to make it also something I genuinely wanted so there would be some motivation to keep working on it but no drive to take shortcuts.
Instead of trying to get features out as quickly as possible I want to take my time and delve into each topic that I google and learn about. I think this will be very humbling especially when it comes to HTML and CSS which I’ve never taken the time to sit down and really embed the basics. I’m going to try to work in the open as much as possible.
So I’ll do my best to spend time on this, little bit every day if I can and hopefully means lots of blogs coming out of me too.