It seems that the term “on the job experience” is so true for quality learning. For a front-end developer by not having this, the motivation can wean to easily especially if you already have a job that is not challenging new front-end technologies. I current am a “corporate developer”, and what that means in my own terms is that I manage a few sites for the company I work at keeping them up to date and add new features as needed. This is great but I can’t seem to find the time to practice some of the other areas I want to grow in. The first thought would well just rebuild the current site not using a framework, or take a page and see if you can template it out with the new CSS grid, but with the red tape working on those projects are not always able to be done.
How to keep learning
Finding a good site like Plurasight or even the infamous Freecodecamp which is not only amazing but also it is a great cause. By going through these I think it is important to use tools like Codepen.io to in some way have a playground or portfolio of some kind you can look back on.
Just going through tutorials is only going to get you so far, but not having a plan to practice with will also get you stuck quick. One new tip is, I started a document where I literally just jot down code challenges for myself that I would like to complete. I have found that this is rewarding for sure, and gives me that motivation that can lack when you are just trying to learn for fun. There are so many cool neat new ways to learn code in general like codewars and also codecombat which gamify the experience. As a developer in his mid 30’s those are great to practice but that real world scenario is just not there.
What this does is also give you an opportunity to have new skills if you decide to change jobs or start a new direction in your career. For example, you may be a front-end dev like me and really just work in HTML, Vanilla JS, and CSS, but have a passion for Python. If so then having projects on the side that help defines those skills will give you an opportunity to grow. Once again you may have to make those projects yourself and staying motivated could come from just being a little more intelligent than you were the day before.
Essentially this was a rant for me to continuing to attempt to grow. I have the goal of one day having the opportunity to do more software engineering using languages such as Python or even Java. With that said keeping up with newer JS tech (VUE, React, Angular) has seemed to be just as challenging. If anyone does read this and shares the same struggle, I guess it’s safe to say keep charging forward and sometimes write about it.