Next up: Front end

Published on: March 13, 2014

For the next 12-14 months I'd like to learn front end dev.

I've been doing Rails for a little over 2 years now, and almost all of my training and experience has been heavily back end oriented. Pretty much everything I learned at uni was for back end languages and processes. I took all the web courses that were offered, but they didn’t focus heavily on JS or CSS - although they did expose me to those concepts. Certainly everything I've done since uni has been back end (just a bit of Python, and then Ruby on Rails). I've learned heaps from this - MVC architecture, better programming design principles, some pretty awesome tricks Ruby can do, and a bunch more.

But I'd like to try my hand at some front end development. I think there’s something satisfying to knowing people are seeing and interacting with what you're building - that happens more for front end. There’s also a lot to learn about user interface design, and how to think like a user. It’s also something that’s definitely missing from my abilities. I always get a bit nervous when I need to do some front end tweaks, and any CSS change takes way longer than it really needs to. I'd like to move a bit closer to being “full stack” and not just boxing myself in to RoR back end.

So. What to do? I’m going to finish the Python 101 study group I organized. Just keeping up with the lectures for this class is taking a fair bit of time in the evenings. But then after that I’m planning on focusing on JS, CSS, and HTML with the goal of getting a front end job after a year.

I’m not really sure the best way to do that though. Some possible resources:

Do you have any suggestions? I'd love to work with a pretty clear plan, a curriculum if you will, and any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you!

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