No doubt you’ve felt this too. As a front-end developer it seems there is a never ending list of tools / frameworks / methodologies that keep popping up. All of them hailed as things that must be in our toolkit. When you’re starting out it’s easy to get swept away in a sea of Grunt, Gulp, Bower, Node, Backbone, React, Meteor, Angular, Scss, Sass, Less, Stylus, Git, BEM, Coffee-script, Yeoman, Atomic design, etc etc and feel like the shoreline is nowhere in sight.
You go online and read blog after blog and article after article by really smart people teaching amazing tips and tricks on a whole array of topics that all relate to front-end development. You start to feel insignificant because it seems like everyone else is light years ahead and all over these ground breaking technologies.
The fact is, that’s total bollocks. The Chris Coyiers, Pauls Irishs, Harry Roberts’, Nicole Sullivans and [insert your favourite awesome dev here] of the world are the minority. They are brilliant and they are pushing our field forward but 95% of front-end devs aren’t in their position.
I know people who are worried about applying for roles because they’re convinced all the other applicants are going to be the same caliber as these gurus.
Again total bollocks.
I must admit I was under the same disillusion for a while. Until I decided to quit my old job a few years ago and my boss and I started looking for my replacement.
We saw loads of CVs and interviewed tons of people. Most weren’t experts in all the latest technologies and there was plenty of people saying ‘Oh, I’ve been meaning to get round to looking at [insert tech here]’.
If you’re reading this post or indeed any front-end development post and are worried about being behind with the latest web tools / frameworks, odds are you’re already more on the ball than the majority of people that will be going for the same role as you.
Don’t worry about not having time to learn every tool that pops up, just read about a few and pick up the ones that will actually be useful to your workflow. A company isn’t realistically expecting you to have experience with them all, and most are a lot easier to learn on the job anyway as you can see them being used in context.
My other advice would be don’t jump in and start learning a tool straight away — especially frameworks, let it sit in the market for a while and get established so you can get a handle on whether or not it will stand the test of time.