A Blog about my journey as as web developer

Multi-lingual Developer: Good or Bad?

Your wondering what I mean by Mulit-lingual  in terms of a developer.  If you know HTML, CSS, and JS are considered one?  My answer to that would be not really.  Can you build a HTML only website? Yes of course, but it sure would be boring. Not only that many HTML tags come with their own building in CSS, and knowing what that styling is allows you to use the right tags in the right place.  So to me knowing HTML and CSS is basically 1 language, they kinda really do go hand in hand.  How ever knowing JS does add something different, that functionality that most websites use or need.  Thats why I say not really if those are the only 3 you know.

When I think of a well rounded or multi-lingual developer I think of one that knows some frameworks  or other stacks too.  Know the basic 3 and don’t want to learn another?  Then React might be the framework for you.  Is it a programming language?  No it’s just HTML, CSS, JS all in a neat little (ok large) package.  So if we go by Developer stacks here are a few common ones, Web Fundamentals (HTML, CSS, JS (maybe some jQuery thrown in too)), Python (which often includes the Django framework), MERN (which is MongoDb, Express, React, and Node.js) and, MEAN (which is MongoDb, Express, Angular, and Node.js) These last 3 Python/Django, MERN, and MEAN are what really make you a multi-lingual developer in my mind….(well if you have all or at least 2). Those 3 are what make you a Full Stack Developer.

Full Stack simply means that you are knowledgable and or skilled in both front end and back end development when it comes to a website.

So now to my original question, is it good or bad?  Well lets pose the question this way if I know the basic 3, Python/Django, and MERN (which I of course do) does this change the types of jobs I can look for?  You bet!  You know what?  It make you a more desirable potential employee as well.  Do you need all of them?  Not at all.

In my class that just graduated over at Coding Dojo I posed a question to them.  “Are you a Front end, Back end, or Full stack developer?”  Just because you have the training (like they did) to be full stack doesn’t mean that is where you are most comfortable.  Me I have to say full stack for myself.  I have this weird need to see a project from start to finish.  Now if someone wants to take the styling over for me, please be my guest.  I am not a UX developer (they are the ones that usually say I want the site to look this way with these colors, make it so) Now I can take the designs from UX and I am fine, but coming up with those designs, so not my thing.

Being that I say I am full stack I recently discovered something.  DON’T STOP PRACTICING!  Now as you know I am an instructor and my students all know that I tell them this all the time keep building projects.  And I have been.  Just not React projects of late, just Django ones.  So when an old client asked me to take a look at and update her site (that I built in React over a year ago), I totally forgot how to start the application locally on my computer.  I tried to use python manage.py runserver.  Ahhhh that won’t work.  Took me a good bit of time to remember it was npm start, of course when it wouldn’t run (as I just re-cloned it back to my pc) I forgot that I needed to npm install first.


So if you made it this far, even if you are not the most comfortable with all aspects of full stack, but you have those skills, USE THEM.  Take time maybe once a month to build something (even if it is stupid) just to keep those skills sharp, you may be called on to use them one day.

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