Here is a recap of my lessons learned in my path to the Front-end up to now.
(I’m still in a tiny village in France, I had coffee and cookies and I’m pretty happy overall, except for my hair.)
- I insist, too much screen time won’t get you there sooner, modulate.
- The most difficult thing to do is: deciding what you want to learn first
- The most damaging thought: client work and money in the beginning stages.
We all want to make a living doing what we like, but this was one of my biggest blunders.
I read on multiple occasions that the best way to take risks is by saying yes to things you don’t know how to do, this way you’ll just have to learn. It all depends on your tolerance to stress. Mine isn’t good. I’m too hard on myself and I have GAD so taking on a first client when I didn’t know the first thing about WordPress nearly gave me a breakdown! That being said, my client was really patient and became a friend so maybe this lesson is to be applied on a case-by-case basis.
- The worst habit: reading and watching tutorials non-stop.
Watch a couple, then read the Docs.
- I say that again: read the Docs.
I’ve wasted hours watching outdated tutorials. I get so frustrated when I realize that even though it hasn’t been that long since the tutorial was posted, in internet time, even a month is long. My last experience was Jekyll, hardly any new tutorials because It’s not widely used. When you find a tutorial refer to the docs often and example repositories with recent commits.
- Use Git, use includes, make it a puzzle, one piece is easier to examine than the whole thing
Oh dear, tackling a page is what us beginners do. So when after hours of laborious coding you mess up and one line of code ruins the layout you want to die and abandon everything, but if you have puzzle pieces (includes) you can fiddle with your nav bar as much as you like and not get lost in the spaghetti.
And learn Git. It’s the equivalent of popping bubble wrap.
- Use Twitter as a search engine. Don’t follow every developer in the world, you’ll end up in the rabbit hole but most of all you’ll get seriously overwhelmed at how much you think you have to learn. Some people only Tweet links and think it makes them part of “the industry”. Use it as a search engine instead. When learning Jekyll I searched the most updated tutorials. Google will give you the “most relevant” but Twitter will give you the most recent. When following a tutorial you want it to be recent.
I’m happy to say that my Jekyll site is up and running here. It’s still a tinkering playground and I have not decided on what it’s for.
For the moment I just write in it but lifting it up the ground and as they love to say: shipping it, gave me a huge satisfaction.
Also, thanks to the podcast Working Out for the last nudge in episode 10, Why are you not shipping?