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General Discussion

Daniel Wright
Daniel Wright
5,672 Points

what to do after front end track? ...I need some advice.

So I talked to my friend who is a web developer with a CS degree, and he said i need to learn java(or similar) and sql to even begin to really get into web development. I understand that most developer jobs are going to be different, and I live in Jasckson MS so its not really a hot spot for this career, but are there developers that mostly code in javascript? Why would something so fundamental be missing from the tracks? I know there are other languages too that are popular, but from looking at job search places like dice.com it seems like java is popular around here. Like should i even try to do java because i heard that its for people who are better at programming and takes longer to get good at.

And also, does anybody know where a good place to get better at programming would be? I was going to apply for App Academy but they sent me their practice questions and i cant even do the easy ones. I dont know, Ive been up all night doing courses on here and I'm just kind of frustrated because i dont know anyone that programs in person. My friend lives far away from me. My immediate plan is to finish the last 3 courses, learn SQL, learn Java and practice programming. I'm sorry if this reads weird, i need to be asleep but caffeine is keeping me awake @1030am... Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

2 Answers

Ok first of all: Java is not equal to JavaScript. Although the two languages have both the word Java in their names, they are two completely different programming languages.

If you followed the Front-End Development track here on Teamtreehouse you have come across the very well explained JavaScript Basic course held by Dave McFarland. And later also the jQuery courses by that british guy. I forgot his name. ;)

If you want to get into a Front-End Development position somewhere, you will need at least basic JavaScript and excellent HTML5 and CSS3 knowledge. Most companies (at least over here in Germany) are specifically looking for people who are fit with the most popular JavaScript libraries. Such as jQuery, Prototypes or Mootools for example. OF course there are more.

Java, PHP, SQL, Ruby and alike are for Backend Developers. Serverside programming. A Front-End Developer codes the Front-End. Not the Backend. But if you are keen to extend your knowledge to also Backend programming languages, you can always start learning. But in my personal opinion, one should first become really good at one category and after that think about stuffing more things into the brains :)

And most importantly: to memorize the things you are trying to learn, you need a good night's rest. It doesn't help much to stay up all night and rush through the treehouse courses... I see so many users on here who have thousands of points in their profiles and then they ask questions, of which the answers are absolute basic html or CSS knowledge. And then I wonder how those users ever got all these skill points.. did they sleep while watching the course videos?

So my tip is: sleep well, get up early and make yourself a good breakfast. Then read some news on your favorite news website and then start one course at a time. Not 20 in 24 hours...

To get started in the web-dev business sector, you can also follow smart programmers on twitter. I like what Dave McFarland is posting for example. Or Mike Jolley from the WordPress Core-Dev team. There are many good programmers, who provide their code via github or even codepen.

You can check out their code and learn by understanding how it works. MAybe you will get to the point where you find mistakes in their code on github. Then learn how to use github and push them fixes. Make yourself known. But this is actually a step that comes AFTER learning all of the above mentioned disciplines.

You can also follow blogs like https://css-tricks.com , The Treehouse Blog, certain WordPress theme developers like Yithemes, Elegant Themes, WooThemes etc. There are hundreds of good web design agencies out there that provide well structured info and news on coding and web standards in their blogs. Check out Themeforest to find developers. If you found one whose work you really like, check out the demo. Or even invest in buying the code and checking it out thoroughly. If you are interested in WordPress, you can also always just use the WP repository and download themes, that you like. Check them out and learn from the code base they provide.

Just use google and your common sense :)

Yes, that is the distinction between Front End Developer and Web Developer. For instance, a small-ish company near me that does graphic/web design and development has both and keeps them separate (though they do integrate FED with some Design, but that makes sense). Here are the two descriptions for comparison, you can see the programming differences more clearly):

Front End Dev:

Create working code from PSD files Create layouts using CSS3, HTML5 and semantically correct markup Utilize current responsive web development methods Implement jQuery tabs, modals, sliders, and other javascript-based enhancements

1-3 years of experience in web design/front-end development utilizing HTML and CSS Experience with jQuery/JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3 and other dynamic scripting Experience with Responsive development methods Excellent proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite, particularly Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Dreamweaver Ability to be a team player, take direction and succeed in a fast-paced environment Passion for technology and a drive to learn and grow technology skill sets

Web Dev:

Develop/program websites & web-based applications for our clients using PHP, CSS, JavaScript & HTML (mobile experience a plus) Work with internal account managers to meet client expectations Manage development side of project from beginning to end, staying within budgeted hours and meeting deadlines Provide time and effort estimates to account managers Maintain existing codebase, to include troubleshooting bugs and adding new features

Bachelor's Degree is preferred Strong working knowledge of PHP/MySQL 1-3 years of industry experience Good working knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, XML Experience developing and working with front-ends as well as the back-end

This in mind, depending on your goals, I'd go with the Web Design track - it has some adobe stuff in it, or go the full stack js, rail, php tracks maybe? I guess the next step is figuring out what you really want to do and figuring out the best way to get there.

Your reply is awesome!

Daniel Wright
Daniel Wright
5,672 Points

Thanks for the advice! i know javascript != java. I guess i told him web developer when i meant to be more specific and say front-end. That makes sense. I do get plenty of sleep, but during the day(iamthabat). This entire time ive been trying to figure out why you would need to implement the other languages into front end if you can do so much with javascript...lol. Anyways im on adderal which helps me binge study and retain what i learn. I also go through each video twice, the first time i do the workspaces exercise while trying to grasp what they are explaining, the second time i take notes in my own words. I feel like treehouses courses are good.

I still dont understand why i couldnt do any of the problems App academy sent me...i guess i just need more practice. I havent learned how to use github yet, but im about to and ive been looking forward to it. I could use that to practice my code right? and i dont know if there are many places in Mississippi hiring front end developers...i really need to get out of this state. Anyways thanks for the advice yall!

Well App Acadamy sends you code challenges tailored to what you told them about your goals and pre-knowledge in your application form.

If you can not solve their application code challenge, re-think the info you gave them about yourself and about your practical code knowledge.