The objective of designing a site is to ensure that when the users open up the site they see the information in a format that is easy to read and relevant. This is further complicated by the fact that users now use a large variety of devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions thus forcing the designer to take into consideration these aspects when designing the site. They need to ensure that their site comes up correctly in different browsers (cross-browser), different operating systems (cross-platform), and different devices (cross-device), which requires careful planning on the side of the developer.
Avoid Complacency: It is so easy to become complacent once you start your career. You just finished 20 years where all you were supposed to do was learn and once you stop, it can be hard to get the engine running again.
Hopefully, you have a job that challenges you and forces you to continue to learn and develop new skills. But for many people, a job consists of repeating the same tasks over and over again, giving them experiences of learning to do something extremely well, but not giving them NEW experiences.
I am lucky that my job and industry require me to keep learning. However, I find that I am busy enough with many client-facing items that end up taking priority over opportunities to learn new things.
Avoid complacency, make sure you create time to learn new things.
Learn a Technical Skill: I went to University for Commerce and ended up with a concentration in Marketing. I largely chose Commerce because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I hoped that Commerce would provide me with a large enough skill set and a broad enough experience that I wouldn’t be cornered when I started my career. Nothing wrong with that (although now I understand that you’re never restricted in choosing what to do), but Commerce did lack the teaching of technical skills. I learned how to approach a problem, complete a SWOT analysis and improve my ‘communication skills. Commerce taught me tons of things that help me in my career and life, but for the most part, business is filled with some subjective teachings.
You can’t bullshit your way through website development. Sure, there is more than one way to solve a problem, but you either have put the hours in to refine your skills or you haven’t. I want to prove to myself that I have the discipline to learn technical skills
Problem Solving Abilities: Only a few weeks in, it has challenged me to approach problems a) that I am not used to solving b)in a way that I have not before. I have often heard that people in coding are ‘problem solvers’ and professional ‘troubleshooters’. I can certainly understand that description.
I can also say that not being able to figure why something isn’t working, and eventually getting something to function the way you planned in front-end development is both the most frustrating and most satisfying things I have done. Pushing over those hurdles to get to that point of satisfaction makes it more than worth it.
Career Development: I have to work with developers every day. Understanding what they have to do, capabilities, and how difficult something is to complete will only help in my internal communications and decisions on what to do with a website. I figure being able to empathize with more co-workers' responsibilities can only help in career development.
Finally, the original reason for enrolling — Front-end development is a great complementary skill to user experience design. A newer thought process that I have an interest in pursuing and is something I started learning more about when completing BrainStation’s User Experience Design course. Again, understanding what you can and cannot implement when designing a website (and helping implement) is a great asset when designing the look and flow of a website.
I’ve been a front end developer for ten years. I’ve been thinking about front end development as a discipline a lot lately. As I grow in my career and continue to reflect on our place within technology, my thoughts tend to drift. They drift away from the day-to-day work of learning new frameworks, exploring new tools, or solving complex problems in novel ways
Rather than thinking about the “what” of our work, I’ve been thinking about how and why we do it. Things like:
There’s no right or wrong answers to these questions…from what I can tell, there’s often two opposing answers that both seem to make sense. Here’s my attempt to make sense of it…
Working in a discipline (and industry) that changes so frequently is both exciting and frustrating at times, as with every new opportunity, comes a cost. I hope as a community, front end developers can think openly about some of these issues, as we continue to grow our skills, tools and reach as a group of passionate technicians.
It’s up to us to determine where we want to go in the future, and I think figuring out where we are now is a good place to start.
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