Before starting my "pro" career at Salesforce, formerly ExactTarget, I was primarily doing PHP. I had very limited JS skills but a decent programming foundation. jQuery was my go to, as it made the mundane tasks I had easier.
To be honest, I have no idea why ExactTarget hired me. I interviewed for a job building highly complex front-end web applications. I didn't think my PHP skills and few weeks of JS prep stacked up.
Good thing it did, as various doors have opened for me since.
The first 6-8 months broke me. What is all this context stuff?
this seems to be messing with my life in ways I cannot comprehend. JS is so different from what I'm used to. Why did those people code it that way? Holy hell, there is a lot of domain knowledge.
At some point the switched flipped and I finally "got it." Suddenly, everything was easier and asking for help was cut down significantly. I bet everyone I worked with were very happy!
Two years later I move to Social.com and had to pivot once again. Everything was foreign again. So much domain knowledge to learn moving from marketing to advertising. And they used Angular!! Coming from a Backbone background, this was concerning.
Again it took about 6 months until the "switch flipped." The biggest time-suck was learning the advertising domain and the 3rd party APIs. Transitioning between JS frameworks was not as hard as I expected. The biggest problem here was knowing from which code to learn (legacy v. proper code).
A year after joining my new team in London, another pivot is in the works, and it's a big one.
Instead of pivoting with my main focus staying on the front-end, I am having the pleasure of picking up .NET/C# and everything that comes along with it.
It's been a few months and the switch hasn't flipped yet. I feel this will take a little bit longer than the others as the last time I did .NET was my third year of Uni.
Before this, I hated .NET, but after working with it, it's starting to grow on me. Time will tell.
As I've been through this a few times, I'm sure a lot of you have as well, here's some unsolicited advice I've picked up along the way.
- It's going to suck, no way around that. Try to stay positive
- You'll go through times of self doubt. Just remember it will get better. You're not an imposter
- Ask for help! Really, do it
- Docs are your best friend
- Do sample projects outside of work (or in your "innovation" time)
- Remember that you are adding more to your toolbelt and becoming well-rounded