What I've Learned About the Web Industry

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It's been 9 months since I started the journey of self-taught web developer and I've learned a lot. Besides the multitude of technical things (like what the hell a do-while loop is), there's also been plenty of cultural things to figure out too.

Today I'm going to go over some of the non-technical things I've learned about the web industry.

Twitter is where it's at

I wasn’t a twitter user (I mean who needs more stuff to check in their day, right?), but it didn't take long to figure out that twitter is where all the cool kids in web hang out. Speakers include their twitter handle on slides, the best blogs tweet their new posts and you'll be exposed to more tech trends, web tips and hot topics here than anywhere else.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to dust off that twitter account and get following.

The learning never stops

New frameworks, libraries and technologies pop up every day - you'll never be able to sit back and relax in the knowledge that you’ve learnt it all.

The beauty of this though is that we’re all newbies. Sure, it can be frustrating to have to learn Webpack when you've just mastered Gulp, but on the plus side, it levels the playing field. No one has 2+ years experience in the latest hotness because it didn't even exist last year.

This is part of the fun and challenge of working in web.

It's a Mac world

If you're a front end developer using Windows like myself, you may soon start to feel like a second class citizen. Tutorials are almost always written for mac users, trying to do any task involving Ruby is a constant uphill battle and it's hard not to feel self conscious when you're the only person not pulling out a shiny MacBook pro at a workshop or meetup. Not to mention one of the most popular new tools for the web, Sketch, is only available on mac.

It will be interesting to see if this changes with the disappointing new Apple releases and Windows upping their game.

Meetups FTW

I’d never heard of meetup.com until I started coding and was excited to find an impressive list of tech groups in my small city. Meetups are the number one way of getting to know your local tech industry and are brimming with the most welcoming, passionate people you'll ever meet.

Meetups are invaluable when you're just starting out to get a feel for the industry, learn more about the areas / languages you're interested in and even just to make friends with people that will appreciate your nerd jokes.

Like this gem:

no place like 127.0.0.1

Podcasts are a thing

Did you know you can keep learning and stay up to date with your field while you do housework or walk the dog? Turns out there's heaps of fantastic podcasts covering a wide range of tech topics - so you can up your game while getting on with the boring bits of life. Podcasts are a popular medium for developers to help keep their skills and knowledge up to date.

Read a round-up of my favourite tech podcasts.

Community

There is no shortage of brilliant, helpful and insightful people in the global tech community. I have been blown away by the amazing atmosphere of collaboration and encouragement from designers, developers and companies alike.

The culture of ingenuity, continuous learning, welcoming newcomers and building communities is inspiring like no other I've seen. The web industry achieves absolutely amazing things due to the inspirational, hardworking people of it’s community!

Jess Budd informal headshot

Jess Budd is a front-end developer, accessibility consultant and digital producer. She co-organises a meetup group for front-end developers, mentors women learning to code and has a love of technology and doggos.