My Response Letter to a Junior Designer/Developer (After 1 Year of Web Development)

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Wow, I cannot believe that I am coming back after one year of delving into the Web.

Coming from a background of engineering, I feel like the web is the next Wonder of the World for me to visit.

This is my response letter to Cennydd Bowles’ article at A List Apart after my first year of Web Development at my company of more than 6 amazing people.

I am more well-versed in the art of learning

I now understand that learning is not a curve, but a plateau with somewhat stale moments, and a click of an idea that things come together. Learning is never easy, but then I found out about John Sonmez’s 10 Steps to Learn Anything Quickly course, where you first be clear what it is that you wish to learn, and then look around the certain topic, and then you finally set a goal for yourself of what you can accomplish within the first day of learning, and go do it now.

Understand that web development is a wide topic

This is where I have applied it for myself whilst learning how to use a CSS preprocessor SASS. I first look at the big picture, then for 10 minutes I list down the topics of this subject I wish to learn quickly, so that these topics will get me to my goal. I understand that web development is a wide topic so much so about these killer web design tips for example, however I discover through Wikipedia and others of what my learning scope should be for the meantime, and of course go through them all. Each one could take a few minutes to an hour, and I would normally have around 8. I feel that it is great to have a system for learning, so that I do not just get an idea by chance, which does happen, but is rare. Yes web development is such a wide topic, so I target on one and grab it.

Have a better grasp of what the web is all about

On my downtime I would read through different web topics and notice that the Web is in fact a massive place. English-speaking websites or mostly what I see only contain 53.6% of the internet, and to think that there are other languages that make up the 63.4% of the internet, makes me wonder how great the internet is. I would of course try little side projects and experiments to see if I like something or not — just to test my opportunities — and so far I have always been changing. I have noticed that I keep seeing the 3 basics reappearing again and again such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which made me ask myself if I should focus more on these? This made me look into a Google X job opening which I have stored for my note-keeping, that in 5 or so years I will have attained the requirements. Let’s say I am still at 10% of what the role requires.

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Better understand the responsibilities of being a web developer

I have had a few mistakes (more like many in fact) like failing to do backups, and failing at a migration, which are big tasks, however I feel more confident than ever after committing these few mistakes. I have realised that I will have mistakes all the time, but it is best to avoid them after learning them inside and out. This is even done by the Special Forces after their operations/missions, in that they make a review of what they could’ve done better, and further avoid any mistakes made in part of their teamwork and leadership. I understand this after having went through Military in the Philippines.

Realise that there are lots of things for me to improve on

I have also noticed that I must think of the future of the code I am writing, that I must consider the future of my code all the time. This is a difference between a novice and a senior developer in that the senior will look towards the future, whilst the novice will only work within a set of lens. It’s best to get into the habits in the first place, and I believe that working first for a company instead of going through university to learn this is an even greater challenge yet a greater privilege. Commenting code, properly written code, clean and semantic code — all of this, for the future of Web Development and collaboration.

Much to learn in how I explain to others the foundation of my craft

I do realise that there are a lot of things for me to improve on. I am not great at 95% of what the Web has to offer, but I have a certain set of skills that I am developing of which I should dive down the life after seeing the depth of the sea. Let me focus on the 5% — my skill set — so that I am known for these among my peers. There is still much to learn in how I explain to others the foundation of my Craft. This is where I come in with theories and resources to best explain to them that I am firm with my decision and senses that ‘something is right’.

Kind regards,

Mic