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3 months as a front-end developer only

It’s been 3 (almost 4) months now since I moved on to my next contract and it’s been quite a nice ride until now. I noticed that even though I planned on writing more stuff on this blog, I’ve been kind of inactive and I hate that. So here I am making a retrospective of my first 3 months as a FE developer mainly.

For those who know me, you might know that I’ve always been a full-stack developer and in fact, I started with PHP when I was 12 years old (or around that age). I love the back-end and I am very comfortable working in it, I always liked the balance between FE and BE, and when I got stuck on something on the back-end I could switch to the front-end and keep myself busy and switch contexts.

Well… now I work on several React apps and micro-apps and my role is mainly front-end only, I did a couple of backend things (and btw, it was like a breath of fresh air) but in these months I’ve kept myself busy doing React and front-end stuff only.

It is a nice challenge and it forces you to make a radical change in your mindset. Sometimes doing a thing on the back-end side is fast and easy, you don’t have to think in “hooks” or in weird patterns that apply only to the front-end.

Like I said, sometimes in the past when I got stuck on something I could switch to the other side and work on something else, now I’ve made a new habit: when I am stuck on something I make a pause from coding anything at all and most of the times I get inspiration on how to solve coding challenges while doing nothing related to coding at all: going in the living room and making a short pause, going a bit outside or to the bathroom (yeah, most genius ideas come from the bathroom).

What I can say is that I’ve started to love React a little bit more and always push myself to learn something new, improve something old or implement a new pattern or cleaner code. It might sound boring to do React all day long, but it gives you a feeling of doing something constantly, and being able to focus on a single part of the stack all the time is peaceful.

As a tip for others that might make this change too, keep practicing on the other stack, don’t completely forget about it. Your next job might be full-stack again and you need to keep up with the language changes, new things or trends, and so on, so in your free time play with hobby projects and practice your skills. I still love PHP and the backend, I always will, I just took a job pause from it not get rid of it from my life, if you know what I mean.

So those were mainly my 3 months in my new FE role. It is an interesting ride and a challenging one, but I enjoy every part of it and I love the flow-change that this role forced me to do. Who knows, maybe I will start to do more things on the back-end on the projects I am currently on, but for now, the balance worked well for me and I think for the company I work with as well.

BTW: I think I said back-end and front-end a lot in this article. Sorry…

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