Changing directions

Published on 2020-11-18 12:27

After four years of working in corporate environment as a Front-end developer it's time for some reflection.

My decision to become a Front-end developer was initially driven by a somewhat selfish agenda, make web a bit more accessible for myself and everyone else (also being closer to code than design played a role). At that time it seemed quite logical that as a Front-end developer I'd have a stronger voice than as an outsider. Unfortunately, my agenda clashed with real world.

The reality is that some skills are more valued than others. HTML and CSS were historically coded as not really coding and something that everybody knows by default. On the other hand JavaScript with the emergence of frameworks is considered proper coding and therefore more valued. Accessibility skills belong to the latter skill group or worse, something that only designers do.

Note: Designers are also involved in accessibility. It's teamwork.

Another point in this reflection is the use of single page applications (SPAs). Personally I am unsure that SPAs should be used as a default solution for every problem. That said I do think there's a place for SPAs.

My unsureness stems from coming across only a few use cases of frameworks that I considered great. Another few were good enough and the rest used frameworks because that's "industry standard" that everyone uses. Also I'd like to acknowledge that there is a bind between budgets, people with specific skillset, shiny things and couple other factors. It's not so clear cut issue.

On the other hand non-framework Front-end positions are quite rare and often times in quite niche areas. So from my point of view there's a very little maneuvering space and there's also one action that I didn't want to take, pivot away from Front-end. Surprisingly that action brings calm.

In past commercial projects and my side projects I did enjoy working with databases, relational ones more than MongoDB. Because of that I want to pivot to Back-end at least for foreseeable future.

There is also the thing with Data Visualization and Data Science as a whole. My plan is to finish couple of courses (Python, R, Scala, SQL) before the end of the year and see where I can go next. As for Data Viz I want to get better at D3.js which is currently the only Front-end technology that interests me.