For over a month I’ve been knee-deep in my AngularJS app. I expected to be done a couple weeks ago and as I’d planned on writing this post after I’d finished the project, this article got pushed back. And I’m still not done with my Angular project. But hey, it’s a new year and it’s time to kick the tires and take this post for a spin.

Front-end Development

I’ve always wanted to write a little on what it is I do and how I do it. I had a little time over the holidays to reflect on 2016, my first full year as a Front-end Developer, and there’s no time like the present, right?

The Tools Of The Trade

Front-end development is like learning a language while the alphabet keeps changing. So, I ask a lot of questions. Like, a LOT. Knowing how to ask Google the right questions to get the answers I need is a key skill. Stack Overflow is where I land the most when I’m out searching for answers. I’m not only comparing answers but comparing the reputation of the devs that answer questions, differentiating answers based on upvoting, and finding related questions.

I used to be really concerned about learning so much code by heart. But that’s silly; what I need to know is already committed to memory online, I just have to find it. Now, I don’t worry about memorizing most of what I do – if I do it enough, it just sticks.

For the sake of specificity, here’s a short list of some of the technologies I consistently work with:

WordPress
Drupal
Sass
jQuery
Ionic
AngularJS
Adobe Creative Cloud
PHP
NPM

Documentation

As I’ve written about before, I find that a lot of the documentation written is esoteric in nature and it’s just not easily intelligible to me. And this is assuming that the documentation is complete and up-to-date. It’s not unlikely to find outdated or unmaintained material online. I write my own documentation for myself in terms I understand, once I actually comprehend a concept.

I Copy Code

I study and copy a lot of other peoples’ code. I mean, TONS. I test their code, their strategies, and I see what works. Of course, I tweak it to meet my needs. I hope and expect others are doing the same with my, albeit small, contributions.

I’m always hacking my way through a dense jungle of distraction and misdirection. I spend tons of time excluding and removing ideas from consideration. Yes, there are more ways than one to skin a cat but that cat may never be skinned unless you decide on a way and run with it. I think that’s a life lesson right there, kids ;).

My Advice

This is a field of altruism; where information is freely given away. Everything that’s necessary to succeed and advance is part of the internet itself. If you want to be a part of this, just start building. Shout out to Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert at Shop Talk.