Advice About Starting a Career in Front End Developement or Similar

Shelldon

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
53
Hi all. I would appreciate some advice. I'm 42 years old, stuck in a career that is going absolutely no where, earnings have actually diminished thanks to the economy and the industry I'm in and there's a very real possibility that in the next year or so, I may be retrenched if things don't pick up soon. I also do not enjoy my work at all.

So I've been thinking lately about a major change in career path. Although my work had absolutely nothing do with web design or development, or even coding for that matter, I'm fascinated by it. I taught myself html5 and css3 off the internet, I've built a few static sites and am now exploring php and WordPress and building a bare bones wordpress site to learn. Next up is JavaScript. I do have very basic Python knowledge as well. But up until now everything has just been because of my interest in development as opposed to knowledge to change careers.

So my question is, is a change into web development (front-end or back-end) a worthwhile proposition? I'm about to drop the hammer on registering and paying for an online development course via Treehouse and later perhaps Alison. I can easily devote 2 hours a day to the online courses, so realistically speaking, could probably be job searching in the new year.

So I guess I'm asking, is it worthwhile? What about freelance work, is there such an animal?

Thanks for any and all replies :)
 

mychina

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
11
Similar age to you and just quit what I was doing the last 6 years. However before that I was in IT, specifically web app development so I have a decade of experience already. I am going the freelancing route to earn those dollars as the rondt is looking a bit scary right now. But, freelancing is tough, very tough !

You can freelance but will need to upskill fast, as entry level web dev skills go for $5-12/hour and lots of competition from India and Russia. If I were you I would jump straight into Javascript and PHP and not worry about Wordpress too much. Once JS is under the belt then possibly move onto nodejs, Angular/Ember, noSql. Get the PHP understanding right up and then you have a solid base to work off.
 

SlinkyMike

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
8,509
I'm director of Tech for a local company.

My biggest headache is the scarcity of damned good front end devs.

Every neckbeard out there will claim that front end is 'fluff' and 'donkey work' and easy and beneath them ...until they have to actually crank out a good HTML/CSS product.

Too many people try to use back end guys to do this work and it is really a very different skill set.

Were I to find a skilled front end dev with a good eye for design as well as solid HTML/CSS/Javascript skills then I'd hire that person in a heartbeat. Salary negotiable.

So, from my own experience I'd say that those skills are in short supply an therefore probably a good option worth exploring for a career change.
 

Spacerat

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
1,085

Sure, but to me the web pages (HTML/CSS/JS) is part of the front end and MVC is also part of that. MVC is a pattern that you use to choreograph the HTML that gets generated for the content and has a hand in the interaction as well. The web page inside the browser provides a medium of interaction with the back-end, i.e. interaction channel. An app on a smartphone is another interaction channel and is a different front-end. To me, everying behind and including a services layer is the backend. I never do DB stuff in a MVC controller.

But anyway thats just me
 

Shelldon

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
53
Thanks for the advice, I do feel a little more confident about diving and spending the money on the courses now, appreciate it
 

zippy

Honorary Master
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
10,109
I did the same at around your age. Was fortunate the company paid for my courses, found me a spot on the dev team etc. Way easier if you can do it and stay in the same company because you know the business processes. Build up experience in a familiar environment.

Also, if you are working in a business environment its very hard to not get involved in backend database work. SQL knowledge is worth a lot.
 

Thor

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
42,822
I'm director of Tech for a local company.

My biggest headache is the scarcity of damned good front end devs.

Every neckbeard out there will claim that front end is 'fluff' and 'donkey work' and easy and beneath them ...until they have to actually crank out a good HTML/CSS product.

Too many people try to use back end guys to do this work and it is really a very different skill set.

Were I to find a skilled front end dev with a good eye for design as well as solid HTML/CSS/Javascript skills then I'd hire that person in a heartbeat. Salary negotiable.

So, from my own experience I'd say that those skills are in short supply an therefore probably a good option worth exploring for a career change.

I agree with this I started doing frontend cause I was like, nah it's front end bruh EZ,

Actually not, decent frond end ( Talking about HTML5/CSS3/JS ) is actually a mission on it's own if you are looking for a quality design.
 
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