Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

How I became a front-end developer

I am a 23 years old front-end developer. I started learning programming in college, But as many of you might have experienced, college doesn’t teach you what you’ll need for a job. So I attended web design classes at the 2nd year, that was the first time I learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Less than a year later I found a part time job at a company as a web designer.

After about six months on the job, I had to switch to back-end due to the company’s policies. Back-end development was a whole new world to me, so much of a big step that I had to quit the job. Although I wasn’t successful back then, I became interested in back-end too. So I was left with a dilemma. Web design or back-end development!

Almost two year later one of my friends in a conference told me JavaScript job opportunities were more up and coming and It would be a good idea to learn it. I always loved JavaScript, and back then I had spent most of my career on UI and client side technologies. I thought it would be better to choose the way I’ve been half way through, rather than back-end development which I only knew a little. In addition, I never liked databases and queries so, that was the time I made my decision to become a front-end developer.

At the same conference I met the guy who later helped me a lot. He was a front-end developer himself, and suggested learning Backbone.js for learning the front-end MVC structure. I knew what MVC meant but I had no idea how this concept was implemented in front-end. I think that was the hardest part.

I read the book You Don’t Know JS — it really helps you learn JavaScript in depth. This is a book you must read more than once or twice. It makes confusing things in JavaScript easy to understand, concepts like this keyword, scopes and closures. I believe it’s a book for those who at least know a little about JavaScript. I do not recommend it for beginners, because it might just make them more confused.

I also learned Backbone.js, using its own documentation and Linda’s brilliant tutorials. Later I learned Gulp, Grunt, Babel and of course ReactJS! It took the whole summer to get to know all of those technologies. I also challenged my knowledge using — it puts fun, challenge, race and learning together really well!

Some months later, one of my friend’s company was looking for interns. And although I was not sure whether I was ready or not, I applied for it. Luckily, I was accepted and trained for the next two months. I learned Redux, functional programming, Redux form, React and JavaScript itself on a deeper level and so on. With the help of my team’s lead developers and great tutorials on I was totally comfortable with all those technologies.

It’s been ten months since I finished my internship and I work at the same company. I’ve learned a lot of cool stuff. But I still have a long way to go and a lot of other cool things to learn. They say “change is a process not an event”, so if you are trying, you are one step closer to what you want. Luckily with the help of the internet you can learn almost anything you want. You just need to believe in yourself and keep trying.