I started learning web development fairly recently ago - I only have 2.5 years under my belt of serious web development experience. Sure, I dilly-dallied around for a while before that, and some people might say I have "10 years of experience", because I started with some .net stuff then. But in reality, I only started getting into real web development a few years ago.
I started on Django. I loved it. I became obsessed. Compared to my limited understanding of what I was doing in .net, Django made sense. You go from urls to views to templates and fill data in through models. How cool is that? For those of you about to defend .net and saying "hey, that's just MVC!", yes I know. But when I did .net I didn't understand that and didn't work with it - my focuses were on my "businessy" tasks.
Stepping into Frontend
I became a decent Django developer through multiple personal projects and a few client projects. Every hour in every day was a new learning experience, and slowly I felt I could do anything. I felt like Superman at the keyboard.
In the beginning phase, I was building out the API for our project, getting requirements in place from our business founders, and searching for a developer to complement myself after the developer that was on before me turned out to be absolutely horrible. The best complement was a frontend developer and after about 10 interviews we found Tomas (aka Mr. T-Rex) who turned out to be a f***** superstar and I couldn't be more grateful for everything he taught me during the project.
During the interview process, he mentioned that we try having a separate Ember CLI frontend application and API server. It's amazing how much progress is made, because the fact that I didn't know about that architecture is a bit laughable now. Oh well, you live and you learn, right?
I did my research and tried out an Ember tutorial just to make sure it passed my sniff tests. And it did, with flying colors.
Expanding my Frontend Skillz
In the RealLife Global project, the backend development only lasted so long. The last 4 months on the RealLife project were almost entirely spent learning frontend development - and it wasn't simple stuff. Ok, maybe in a few months or years I'll look back and say it was simple. I started to get comfortable and and decided to push myself as a frontend developer.
On my next client project, I decided to build with an ember application. Surprisingly, it went really well. It was/is the best project I've solo written in my entire profile.
There was only one problem - nothing stole my heart like Django did.
The Tides Turn
Just today I decided to stop trying to be good at everything, and just be great at something. And then I decided to write about it.
There is absolutely no doubt about it, my frontend work in these past months has greatly increased my repertoire as a developer
There is absolutely no doubt about it, my frontend work in these past months has greatly increased my repertoire as a developer and I think it's something every modern developer needs to have an understanding of. Does every developer need to be an expert in it? No.
What made me decide to go back, you might ask? Well, part of it has to do with struggling to keep up with Ember due to documentation and guides that are very outdated due to a fast changing framework. If I loved it, I would keep up. But I don't. I love Django <3.
The other part is that I recently started to actually freelance seriously, and I picked up a Django project. I hadn't done full-stack Django for about a year and it feels amazing to be back in it. I have been working with Django this year, but only as an API server.
The other, other part is that I figured for freelancing it would be good to expand my toolkit, but in reality in the freelance world it is quite easy for me to find work just with Django. By no means am I going to stay stagnant, but if in 10 more years Django still has a large community, plethora of projects, and keeping up with the Joneses... then I'll be right there with it. #ddtid
JS Frameworks may be what's hot right now, but there are so many applications and websites built in gool 'ol Django, which just had its 10th birthday. For a framework to last 10 years, you have to do something right.
It's time to start focusing more on Django and become the best I can be at Django, the framework that first stole my heart (and devoured brain).