I get it. You want to keep up with the latest tech. You want to be the first to learn that new tool that’ll take your engineering prowess to the next level. You compulsively checked Show HN and /r/Programming for the latest and greatest tech.
It’s becoming a bit much — or it will eventually.
You don’t need more knowledge. You need work. Compelling work. Interesting work. You need to create something that’s so exciting that the thing brings you back to the keyboard, not the technology stack.
A new JS framework isn’t going to make you a better programmer and reading an implementation of a todo list in that framework isn’t going to either.
- Instead of building another CRUD UI using the latest framework, focus on building a “solution” that you’ve never built before. Lots of front end devs have never implemented user authentication or a permissioning system.
- Instead of yet another framework, find an API that you’ve never used before and build something fun using it. The Slack or Twilio APIs are great places to start, for a little more fun check out Microsoft’s Cognitive Services.
- Already a rip roarin’ awesomesauce full stack dev? Build a side project with the express goal of making money. This is the fastest way to learn how unimportant the latest framework is.
- Pick a Boring Stack and build side projects with just that. Focus on iterating through projects until you find something that captures your long term interest.
Feel free to learn the ropes. Programming is a magical experience — I’m coming up on 10 years and it still is, every day. But, if you’ve got the kind of experience that sees you diving into the internals of React, Angular, Ember, Vue, Preact… The thing standing between you and becoming a better software developer isn’t your lack of exposure to frameworks. It may not even be programming. Part of software development is the business of software which has many complex, nuanced, as-deeply-experiential-as-programming moving parts outside of the engineering team.
Depth getting to you? Invest in breadth for a while.
I’m Wesley Walser, the founder & CEO of Ask Inline — We help teams build great customer feedback campaigns. You can follow me on Twitter or right here on Medium.