On being overwhelmed

Estimated reading time: ~5 mins

Let’s start at the beginning. I started using the web since the terrible time of 11kb modems. I began playing video games lot of years ago and since then I’ve been tinkering with old table based layouts.

Fifteen years ago was a good time to start on the web, this was easy to learn, there is no new wheel to be reinvented every six months like now.

Approximately one year and a half ago, I started learning Front-end Developement on my own since I’ve finished the Master in Graphic Design and Web Development at Trazos.

After finishing the master I had the wrong idea that I had all the knowledge needed to conquest the world. I couldn’t be more wrong. Things change fast and this incredible industry changes faster than you have ever imagined before.

Every six months someone cames with a new framework, library or technology that “is going to reinvent the wheel”.

Web Technologies

I’ve heard before that the web is dead. Native apps are going to rule the future and the web will end in terrible suffering.

I don’t think so. A fact about the web is that with one and only one link or URL, “EVERYONE” can access a site, no need of updating the app via any App Store and with thanks to progressive enhancement users with old devices can have a fine experience and brand new devices can have the best of the best.

Web Technologies

CSS is getting variables like Sass had years ago, long live PostCSS.

Just learned Grunt? Oh you should use the brand new Gulp – wait no, Webpack.

What, are you still using table based or float layouts? Flexbox is here! But… Grid is coming.

Oh and jQuery, are you using jQuery right now? It is dead my friend.

Finally are you using Angular 1.0? Oh, today I’ve read Angular 2.0 has become draft recommendation, shouldn’t you be using React by Facebook?

Whenever a new framework, tool or technique comes out, I hear more groans than celebrations.

Wes Bos

I’m new in web industry. How are we supposed to get up to date with everything while keeps changing?

I love so much the web, I been reading, listening and watching front-end lot of hours a day since one year and a half and it is extremely hard. So many things to learn… I feel overwhelmed.

It’s going to change, and I hope never stops changing, but when it stops, the web will be dead. New devices are going to be invented, new screen sizes are going to be manufactured and new users are going to join the web.

It is known that Africa and India are going to join the web, but there is no good bandwidth. So our job is to do an Internet for everyone.

Working on the web means that things change quickly. A need to readapt yourself every couple of months and keep learning, and learning fast. If not you are a dead developer.

We will always see innovation, people pushing the envelope on both what is possible and the best way to get things done.

Wes Bos

It’s not changing that fast. Why you might ask?

Can a big company like a newspaper use Angular 2.0 for example since the first day of release to redesign their web or app from 0 to 100%? It is impossible, framework, tools or techniques need to be tested. What I see everyday on blogs are new things but isn’t necessarily what everyone is using.

Wait it out and evaluate

Am I going to start using CSS variables or Grid today? No way! I am going to keep reading, listening podcasts, reading new blog posts and watching conference videos and tutorials. I like to play with new things like Grid but we need to stop yelling about the new hot topics right now and let browsers implement whatever it comes.

Now it is time to use flexbox for example, it is a CSS Module W3C Candidate Recommendation. I hope Google will launch Angular 2.0 in 2016 Google I/O. Wait for the community to test and embrace it.

Same goes for PostCSS – Should you use it today? Probably not. But you should read and play with it.

Just build websites

Making stuff is how you get better, so just build websites said Chris Coyier. Don’t get me wrong, what you use to build sites is important, and you should feel comfortable with it, but it’s even more important to build things and improve on your skills. This is how you get better.

I would like to be in a team like Guardian Developers. So I’ve started recreating The Times. Recreate old printed layouts or at least try it. Sometimes printed layouts can’t be replicated via CSS.

Things are always going to change and that’s fantastic news for our industry. Keep up to date and don’t let your anxiety kill you. Keep your ear to the ground, try whatever new technology comes and just build websites.

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Recreate

Always try new things, just build websites. Build a side projects, things you like, try to record a podcast or build a new social network, just try to build new things. There you can play with new technologies. Break every project you build and you’ll be better.

That’s it, That’s all.

TLDR; Yes our industry is fast, it moves quickly, this is inspiring, because it’s getting better and better.

Further reading

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