|This year has been quite the journey. I have done so many things and learned about more things that I’d like to summarize here:
-How to develop on my Android tablet using MIT’s AppInventor2
-Set up a webserver on Google’s AppEngine complete with a custom AppInventor2 API.
-Github and source control basics
-Front End Frameworks, specifically Twitter’s Bootstrap
-Ruby and Python programming languages
-responsive web design
-Wordpress web development/blogging
-SQL and database management
-.NET Visual Basic programming
– XML and how it’s used with DOM’s
I think the biggest thing I learned this year, is the subtle but huge difference in Front End Web Development and Back End. When I first started looking at job ads online, the job description was always “Web Developer”. The skill list sought after was long and no two looked the same. It was overwhelming and even discouraging until I started researching the actual “search” for a Junior Web Developer job.
Jumping off from my last blog where I had put on the brakes of whatever development I was doing, I have been doing more research into nailing down exactly – what is the position I am looking for? I was on the right track starting off with Bootstrap’s framework but after that, it felt like a whirlwind of information coming from a lot of different directions. It wasn’t until I realized that neither Joshua Kemp or Natasha had portfolios on their websites that a red flag went off in my head. This web article succinctly describes what I have blindly run into: employers are advertising for a “web developer” but in the job description are oftentimes blurred into the skills of a full stack web developer.
This was really disheartening until I ran into Eric Haltom’s front-end developer’s blog. He describes wrestling with the name of his job title until he decided on calling himself a Front-End Web Developer to clarify and cut “.. the list of requirements an employer can ask of me in half.” It was a breath of fresh air to read in his blog that “in the better portion of the past decade I have been honing my skills in such a wide array of topics that I decided you know what, enough.”
So, in closing for 2014, I am focusing my job hunt and talents on Front-End web development. Now that I have a year’s worth of job advertisement samplings under my belt, I can identify an employer’s scope in what they are looking for in their posting. Thanks to these articles and blogs, I don’t feel so overwhelmed with the amount of topics that I see “web developer” positions asking of potential employees. I’ll hone what the articles describe as my “bread and butter” skills and go from there.
Oh, and one last bit of good cheer: Though I will no longer be following his blog, Joshua Kemp did update his blog and he has been re-employed! Great job, Joshua!