Question: What are 3 or 4 hard development skills I can focus on learning in the next two months or so to make me more marketable, given my lack of real development experience?

Details: I graduated college with a compsci degree, but have been doing systems/service administration since then. Aside from some small scripts for work, I don't have any post-college development experience. And even the skills I got from college aren't phenomenal because I was convinced I would be satisfied on the admin -> engineer -> architect ladder that I'm on right now.

But things have changed. My interest has dwindled in my current field, and I want to switch into a development role.

I am extremely comfortable with the Python language, but not so much with its many frameworks for frontend and web development.

  • 2
    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure picking Python for front-end stuff is your best bet, aren't all major frameworks JavaScript? I mean React, Vue, and Angular.

    Do you think picking up JavaScript and learning React is a viable option? I'm thinking in terms of front-end job openings now and in the future.

    I want some input on this but I'd say...

    Working knowledge of:
    - JavaScript
    - React
    - CSS
    - HTML

    Put together a simple project showcasing your skills, preferably fetching some data from an API and with some internal state going on. Nothing big, just prove that you know the basics.

    Hope this comment gets the conversation going.
  • 1
    @ihatecomputers thanks for such a detailed reply, I appreciate it! I meant what I said merely to show what I was currently comfortable with, not necessarily what I'm looking to continue learning in. Although, I thought there were Python web frameworks like Flask and Django that were used pretty frequently? Maybe I'm wrong.
  • 0
    @unworthytoast No, you're probably right and I'm sitting in my JS-bubble. That does sound like a better bet than doing a hard switch to JS and throwing away your Python knowledge. But I'm doing my best to help out, goddamnit! :D hah.

    Maybe check for job openings where Python web frameworks are used? If you know Python you'd be able to rack up some experience with a popular framework. Or am I too focused on the front-end part of this rant? I'm trying to transition from full-stack to front-end and maybe a bit of UX so that's what's on my mind 🤓
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    @ihatecomputers No worries, you are helping. A friend of mine has his website written using Django, and is working on adding an Angular layer on top. I was thinking of doing something like that, but wanted to get some feedback from here and some other sources before diving in.
  • 0
    @unworthytoast Well, this rant has a couple of comments now and that usually gets people's attention 😉 Good luck!
  • 0
    @ihatecomputers web Frameworks aren't always for GUI apps, they can be for APIs, with the frontend either static entirely sperate, or something a bit different.
  • 0
    @Redders Well, question is tagged with front-end and mentions frameworks, so I assumed we were talking strictly about front-end frameworks and a future career in front-end (as opposed to working server-side building the API's etc.). But I'm trying not to derail this rant even more 🤔
  • 1
    1. learn how to do certain things the fast way. this is subjective, it depend on what you're writing, and whether performance even matters at all. but python is not a fast language. granted, in this Ryzen threadripper and multi GHz time we live in, everything is fast, but doing things the inefficient way hurts a lot more in python than say C.

    2. if you want front end, I don't recommend Django or flask. they are clunky and you end up writing this bastard child of html and backend python code. if web is what you want to do, learn js. (coming from a python programmer. odd...) or maybe python does well with wasm. haven't checked.

    3. I might catch flack for this: no matter what they use, learning C will always make you better. most modern languages are rooted in C. it will give you perspective. and if the time comes that performance is nessesary, C. most languages (python, Ruby, C++, .Net, golang I think, rust, etc) write their most performant or important functions in C.
  • 3
    Learning sql would be good for you.
    Data analytics would be a good option and a web framework like Django would be a safe backup.
  • 1
    @thevariableman I had considering going down that road, but hearing someone else recommend it is making me consider it more strongly yet.
  • 1
    @deadPix3l I do still know C syntactically, although I'm definitely not up to speed on really using it efficiently. Because I have the basic language down, would you recommend I simply go through some coding problems online using C?
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    I think a developer should know how to work with databases, version control, and command lines aside from a main programming language.

    1. SQL, databases, or similar languages and tech that allows you to connect to databases and create, read,update, delete data.
    2. Git for version control.
    3. Shell, it's a great advantage because you are most likely gonna work with Unix servers, etc. Also learn how to work with command lines in general.
    4. Choose a main language where you'll actually do most of your programming like Python, Java, etc.
  • 3
    @unworthytoast a) definitely follow @rutee07's advice. shell and git will be super important. SQL is also a great skill.

    as for challenges. ehh? I do a good amount of challenges but thats mostly for fun really. as much as I hate to say it, a lot of your C coding will be very simple or academic. but it's still good to just not be too rusty.

    my best advice is be flexible. maybe that's just because I work in security where things can change at the drop of a pin, but things move fast. be ready to spin up a new library or even language you've never heard of, learn it in 3 days and solve the problems at hand. maybe your life and career won't be like that. but it can't hurt to be ready.
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