Being a frontend developer for 1 year

So here it is, another article summarizing how the 2018 was :) For me it was a very special time, since exactly on December 2017 I started my first job as a frontend developer. It was an intense year but I am happy to say that Iโ€™ve learned a lot, I feel bit more confident about my programming skills and look forward to learn new.

by Cristian Escobar

Software developer is a very demanding job. I worked before as a so-called Sales Engineer and as a Technical Support Engineer, each for around 1 year long. And I can say with no doubt that as a frontend developer I worked hardest, had to learn most and it was the most stressful time in my short professional career. But this is what I wanted - to have a challenging surrounding I can grow and eventually get well rewarded for my work.

What I like? ๐Ÿ˜

  • I feel I work as a real engineer. I get specifications and transform it into solutions with my skills. Coding is my craft which I can polish every day, no one can take it from me - this gives me a great feeling of freedom.
  • Learning in IT feels much easier then in other businesses I worked. Literally, every person I met was eager to share his knowledge with me. Obviously there is a ton of materials in the net you can learn from. If you are lucky as I am, you will find a company which cares for a great growth environment as codequest does ๐ŸŽ‰.
  • I am amazed by the power of open source, how much tools we get for our everyday work for free. It is really different from a Factory Automation business for example. There are PLC programmers who donโ€™t have such easy ways to share their code with git, donโ€™t have libraries for every problem they face, so many tools for project management etc. BTW I think this is a great niche for startups ๐Ÿš€.
  • Javascript community in Warsaw is awesome. You can attend some meetup almost every week I think. Most of the time you will find well prepared speakers with a ton of knowledge to share and free snacks and beverages ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ•. There is a special one I feel most grateful - WarsawJS I will write more about in the credits part :).
  • There is a huge demand for software developers on the market what make me feel secure about my career and finances.

What I donโ€™t like? ๐Ÿ˜•

  • It was a really stressful time for me, especially at the beginning. With weekly sprints and daily standups I felt constant pressure that I need to provide a value in a short amount of time. Sure it got better after a year with my skills and self-confidence growing. If you are about to start working as a developer, just be prepared it might look the same for you :).
  • Impostor syndrome is a thing! I constantly felt I donโ€™t belong here, that I lack some abilities, I am not smart enough, not fast enough, will not ever learn something etc. I still feel like this sometimes. I think I just got used to it and got an understanding that this is a common feeling in this dynamic IT industry.
  • I feel frontend stack is over-complicated. Because of so many libraries and frameworks available, there are tons of ways to do the same thing and multiple different stacks to learn. I feel it all should be much simpler. On the other hand, the simpler it gets then the less job will be there for us, frontend developers ๐Ÿ™€

1 project per month - how it went ๐Ÿค”

There was a challenge I took in 2018 to make a blogpost about one technical project I made every month. I managed to write 9 posts, so for this part I made 75%. On my github there are few more projects made on WarsawJS workshops, which could make it for a blogpost after some polishing:

Count them in and we have 12! ๐Ÿš€

Credits ๐Ÿ™

It is a good moment do send kudos to people who helped me in the last year:

codequest - a great company I work in, I was really lucky I applied there and got hired as a freshman. Let me point out how much support I got:

  • 2 interesting projects I was involved in, starting from their planning phase - no legacy code!
  • great mentorship by a skillful senior developer,
  • individual growth path with constant feedback from mentor and company heads,
  • few hours a week to spend on projects/courses of my choice for my individual growth, some of them were described here on this blog ๐Ÿ’ช,
  • lighting talks each week,
  • atmosphere of friendship and helping each other.

WarsawJS - local community giving so much to developers in Warsaw (not only). Extremely positive organizers make every event a pleasure to attend. Personally I participated in:

  • monthly meetups,
  • workshops - really cool events where you get a pro training in some frontend related topic for a fraction of usual costs. You can find what we did on each on my github. There is a post I wrote about one here.
  • slack group - I believe you need to attend some event to get an invitation. There is a lot of going on, you can get advices from other members of WarsawJS community, mostly frontend professionals who are really helpful!

There are even more initiatives you can read about here.