Day 9 – Python for fun, Front-end for profit

This week a recruiter contacted me about a potential front-end position. When asked they told me that the position is good for me because of my skills include Python. That was a black flag.

There is an unfinished post in my drafts folder about coding for living and coding for fun. At my day job my work is part front-end and part back-end in Java1 and it’s good but it’s not fun. It’s a job that pays bills and makes my mind occupied, both are equally important because in boring job it would be very hard to stay for so long.

Coding for fun is different, usually there are more “advanced”2 tasks to be completed and sloppiness is more easily excused because no other person is expected to work on my side projects. Coding in Python whether it’s web application in flask or desktop application in TkInter or data science in numpy and pandas3 is for fun and to satisfy my curiosity or solve my pain point.

So if past two years taught me anything it’s that in my professional life I want to specialize in front-end and not be Jane-of-all-trades. For me it’s a question of quality, my hope is that no one wants to write bad software although quite a few abled white men disappointed me in the past. When my focus is divided between back- and front-end for a significant amount of time every day, it’s hard to become good at one of the areas.

To be a good front-end developer I have to have goals, such as what JavaScript frameworks to try or learning to implement subgrids before they can be used in IE…Chrome browser. The latter is in my goals, the former not so much because I want to get better at “basic” technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, possibly learning Rust because of WebAssembly. There’s more than enough on a front-end table to divide my time as a professional between it and back-end table.

The best thing about Python for me is the complete lack of ambition. Although I do have projects that have goals but it’s on me when they get finished and when there’s squirrel in other parts of Python world, I do not have to stop myself from running after it. It’s kind of like times when I was a teenager learning to code. I am grown up enough to keep this part of my life sacred and not tied to money. It’s a pastime of mine and not all pastimes deserve to be monetized. Besides I already monetized one of my developer pastimes and made it into a career.

  1. After almost two years I’d say it’s not my cuppa, pun intended
  2. Let’s face it, there are very few jobs where you’ll be asked to create a compiler from scratch
  3. I just scratched the surface