Should you learn front end development?

Books on web development

Video version of this article: https://youtu.be/shM2_UwVqRI

This is a series of posts on whether or not you should learn front end development
Pros of front end development
Cons of front end development
Should you learn front end development? (this post)


Should you learn front end development?

As the previous posts in this series outlined, there are many pros and cons to front end development. For more details, please see the relevant posts.

Here is a short summary.

Pros and cons of front end development

Pros
– It’s probably the easiest to get started with.
– More and more applications today are web applications, (which includes front end development).
– Back end can be replaced in simple web applications, but it’s much more difficult to replace front end.
– Front end development will make you a better programmer in general. The skills will transfer to any other type of programming you do in the future.

Cons:
– Design skills are encouraged
– Tons of things to learn
– Solid front end development is extremely difficult.

How to decide if you should learn front end development

Obviously whether you should learn front end or not isn’t really something anyone can answer for you.

It makes a lot more sense to give you a few of the pros and cons, rather than to decide for you.

However because of the pros of front end development, I think it’s a very good choice as something to learn… particularly if you’re a complete beginner who doesn’t know any programming and is not planning to go back to university to learn it. The reasons for that are because it’s easy to get started in, and very popular.

However you should probably consider all your other options as well. These could be learning back end instead, taking accredited classes, etc.

Try lots of things out

A general tip you’ll hear often when deciding on what to learn next is (something along the lines of): Try stuff out for a bit and see what you like.

It basically means to spend something like a few days on a topic, then spend a few more days on a different topic, and so on. At the end of a week or two, you’ve tried out a couple of things and have a better idea of what you like and don’t like.

For example you may try out front end development by doing a very crash course on it for a couple of days. Afterwards you may do the same for back end. You may even do a small computer science taster course or something. At the end you’ll have a better idea of what you’re likely to enjoy in the long run.

The thing is that learning a type of programming takes a long time, so spending a week or two upfront to make a better decision is something that could save you many months later (by helping you make a better choice).

Overall

Whether you learn front end development or something completely different is up to you.

However (as long as you enjoy it), it’s probably not a bad choice.

It has some major perks, such as:
1. It’s probably the easiest to get started with.
2. It has serious commercial demand (websites and web applications).
3. It allows you to create complete projects using just front end development.
4. It will make you a better programmer.

Take your time, try stuff out, and see what you like.

This is a series of posts on whether or not you should learn front end development
Pros of front end development
Cons of front end development
Should you learn front end development? (this post)

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