From a noob perspective
All of this creates an enormous mental claustrophobia of sorts — there are times when I feel like I’m in a cognitive mineshaft hundreds of feet underground and all the rock above me has collapsed. And learning each new technology is like clearing away some of the rock, but I won’t see sunlight again until I’ve learned all the APIs and frameworks. And I certainly can’t get a job as a web developer until I’ve padded my resume with all the requisite technologies and had a minimum of 3–5 years of experience with each (nevermind the fact that React has only existed since 2013) and built a portfolio that adequately showcases that I actually know how to leverage each technology.
Then the imposter syndrome sets in and that little voice in my head starts saying things like, “You’re never going to be able to learn all that stuff and be good enough at all of them to be a successful web developer”, or “The people who really know this stuff have masters degrees or a natural talent for it; you should just quit and do something you’re more naturally suited for.” And (honest confession): I’m terrified to take part in conversations on Gitter, web forums, Github, or (God forbid!) in person, for fear of asking the wrong question, or asking the right question the wrong way, or having a more experienced JSer condescend in response because my question is too “basic” for a public discussion (real comment on one of my StackOverflow questions):
As the current Question is presented, appears issue is described as “I’m still rather inexperienced with closures, event handlers, and this binding so maybe someone with more experience can shed some light on this for me.” See stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-ask
Github and Open Source Contributing
Let me switch gears here for a minute and discuss another observation I’ve noted that regards contributing to open source repositories. I’m a rather big fan of the philosophy of open source and I look forward to being able to contribute to OS. Many of the learning resources I use to study web development are themselves free and open source and in turn encourage their students to start contributing to projects that are meaningful or useful to them. Resources even exist to help noob contributors find good first-timer bugs to work on.
That’s great!, you say. Where’s the problem?
As a side note: My only critique of repos that do this is if the overhead time and effort for setting up an environment for contribution is not relatively straightforward for new developers, refrain from tagging issues with newbie-targeted tags. If you’re a repo maintainer and you’re tempted to label an issue ‘first-timer-only’ or similar, ask yourself first: is a first-time contributor going to understand how to install all the dependencies we require? Are they going to have been exposed to Angular/React/Ember enough to be able to navigate our code base to fix this error? If you can’t answer that question with a confident ‘yes’, don’t tag it for newbies. (For what it’s worth, this is the reason I stick to contributing only typo/grammatical changes.)
Help Newbies Out