The career of a web developer is an interesting one with many slopes.
Considering a learning curve this steep, you can fully expect to live through periods of frustration, enlightenment, self-righteousness, and every mindset in between. In this article, we’ll have some fun, by reviewing each of these phases through the lens of a meme! (Originally posted on NetTuts+ but changing few Meme’s)
Phase 1 – Noob
We all have warm feelings for the early days of our careers; the period when you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing. Like a fish out of water, each new line of code is a mystery. Doctype? Huh? What the heck does a
<div>do? The first phase is an intimidating, scary, but exciting one. How many dang languages are there?
Perhaps your greatest advantage, though, is that you have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes. Learning HTML is the baby step.
Phase 2 -The First Steps
Phase 3 – Complete Frustration
Imagine being lost in a cave, shining your flashlight down each tunnel, as you search for a way out. With each step, you hope to see a glimmer of light. Unfortunately, the learning curve in our industry is a steep one. That speckle of light won’t come for a long time, I’m sorry to say. Expect to spend hundreds of hours in this phase, reading technical books over, and over, and over, as you desperately try to make sense of the madness!
If the frustration becomes too overwhelming, find peace in the fact that every one of us felt that exact way at one point or another in our careers. You’re not alone. Stick with it, and, before long, you’ll reach the ahaphase!
Phase 4 – The Aha Moments
An “aha” moment is one of the greatest feelings in the world: that brief instance when, suddenly, you “get it.”“Ohhhhh, now I see!” Personally, I’ve found that these coding break-throughs occur late at night, when the rest of the world is sleeping. After the eighth read, what was once blurry is now, at least somewhat, clear!
This is the phase when all of the technologies and languages you’ve been learning begin to click.
Phase 5 – Fragile Code
But at least you’re building things! For now, though, keep your GitHub pull requests limited to documentation and typos fixes. Don’t underestimate how helpful that can be!
Phase 6 – Copycat
Phase 7 – Cocky
Resist the urge to become too cocky at this stage. It benefits no one, and will only make your future, far more talented, self look back and shake his head. When you feel the need to leave a sarcastic “learn how to code, dude” comment in a GitHub, Reddit, or StackOverflow thread, don’t. It wasn’t too long ago that you, yourself, were a complete noob. Pay it forward; don’t knock people down. We’re all in this together – just at different phases.
Phase 8 – Learning Vim
This is the phase when you begin harnessing, not only your coding techniques, but your workflow as well. Proper tooling is equally as important as technique.
Phase 9 – When Code Becomes Art
Code becomes art when its readability is easily as important to you as the action it performs. In this phase, you code for human beings; not machines.
Phase 10 – Seasoned
You’ve become a mature, thoughtful developer who others want to work with. Congratulations.
Phase 11 – Rock Star
Few make it this level. The rockstar phase is the tip of the mountain. In addition to your day job, you regularly speak at conferences, serve as the lead behind countless popular open source projects, yet still find time to participate and contribute to the future of the web through mailing lists, while simultaneously assisting newcomers on IRC. You’re the type of person who writes compilers and parsers for fun.
You’re what others refer to as rock star or ninja, despite the fact that you hate such labels. You know better than anyone how much more there is to learn!