Musing around job titles and career paths.

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I read a post from CSS-Tricks today titled ooooops I guess we’re* full-stack developers now and it resonated so much with me. I think it would with many of us!

I had also recently liked a post by Swizec titled In 2020 what is frontend?.

You can see I’ve been obsessing over this topic lately. As I try to enter an (ever) over-saturated market of front-end developers, I’ve been having an identity crises. You must be familiar with the self-esteem issues that can crop up too!

Specializing as a UX Engineer/Developer or a JavaScript Engineer/Developer is a thing now. Or, it has been for a while now, and my hand is forced only just now. The job market hasn’t caught up. You can usually figure out which breed of front-end developers they’re looking for by delving into the job description.

I’m unsure which side I fall on — as I seem to have a bit of both going for me, but if I had to pick one for my next job, I’d be more excited working on UX than on JavaScript. Honestly, lines are blurry; don’t hold me to my word. I think I do enjoy a bit of everything at this stage!

I’ve been wanting to learn Figma, take a UX workshop, but have been held back thinking I wouldn’t be great at building unique designs — and several of them. On demand. I’ve also been wanting to learn React from scratch, but keep wondering if that’s where I see my long term. It’s something I can do, sure. I might even excel at it with practice — whether it gives me joy is a different debate altogether. Should every phase of web development give us joy?

A keen eye would see I no longer self-identify as a “front-end developer” on my homepage now. It’s just “web developer.” I’ll explain why.

Recently, I:

My first ever experience with web development wasn’t even just the foundational trio of HTML-CSS-JS. It was PHP/MySQL some ~7 years ago. It was what I felt was a more complete web development experience for a freelancer. A necessity.

I’ve also had a brush with Ruby on Rails in 2015. Unfortunately, the project doesn’t have unit-testing so it’s a massive task to bring it up to date from v4 to Rails v6. Goes to show how important that is for project maintainability.

Anyway, it seems unfair to let on the impression that I’m a front-end web developer when I find web developer fits me better. Full stack? Not so much. In the modern context, it seems to me like a title that would naturally arise and “fit” when you are a front-end web developer who dives into and specializes in JavaScript web applications.


I started to write this post as a reply to CSS-Tricks, which turned into a note, and finally an article because 3000+ characters. Girl do I have opinions/thoughts on this. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ