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Asking here probably isn't the best thing, because most people here are at the forefront of the latest and greatest, so you will probably get a ton of suggestions and reasons why. Throw mine on top of the pile as well.

You need to first define what your goal is. Do you want to become a full-time front-end developer? Do you want to be a full-stack, etc. Different aspects will require a different subset.

First and foremost, you will need to figure out how to get more free-time so that you can master a whole slew of technologies that have come and gone in the last 20 years. This is a cold, hard fact. You have a lot of ground to make up for, and if you can't even start up a web site, it's going to be tough getting legitimacy as a modern front-end developer.

I would start off with the fundamentals, ie. HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Knowing how to build things from scratch, using AJAX, etc, from pure Javascript without frameworks will help you understand why some frameworks are better than others. Then you can migrate to JQuery and Bootstrap. Once you have mastered these, you can then go on to whatever current framework best suits you, but you'll be able to understand the current challenges best.

Thats interesting. Are most people on HN web developers? It makes sense I guess. Im an old C++ programmer and I get the vague feeling that I'm in a minority here. Has there been any polls on HN demographics? Who are you guys?

I'm a desktop applications dev working for an engineering consultancy. I mostly develop and maintain our GIS and simulation applications.

We use a combination of C++ and Java with an Oracle PL/SQL back end.

We plan to deliver some of our applications through web applications/services over the next few years. I've touched on Javascript a bit but as of this moment, I have very very limited exposure to web development of any kind.

I've only been programming for just over three years though, so I'm still kind of in my junior stage.

Do you sometimes feel left out or that you may be limiting your future career prospects? I am a Java application developer with also limited exposure to web development and it is difficult to not feel disconcerted with all the JavaScript talk.

I've started tinkering around with NodeJS but I'd hate for it to get lambasted just as soon as I've mastered it. The frameworks and tools in web development feel transient to me, and I'd hate to build my career on a foundation made of sand.

> Do you sometimes feel left out or that you may be limiting your future career prospects?

Sorry for the late reply.

I definitely feel like the longer I remain with my current employer the more I'll stagnate and the less employable I'll be over time.

We have plans here to start offering some of our applications through web services/web applications but realistically we won't even hit the implementation stage for another three or four years. SO as of now, most of the developers here basically only have raw desktop development experience.

This is the reason I am currently looking for a new job. I have a couple of interviews lined (also turned a few interviews down due to distance from my home) up and the main concern with most of the telephone interviewers has been my lack of exposure to web technologies. Most are understanding enough though to see that an 'easing in' period would be required for me to start working with Javascript and RESTful services etc. It may also help that I haven't been programming professionally for very long.

I should say though that these positions I have interviewed/am interviewing for are back-end Java/C++ positions with companies that offer their products and services through web and mobile applications and not purely web developer posititions, so I would still be working mostly with either Java or C++ technologies and frameworks, just with an eye towards web and mobile delivery.

I don't particularly want to be purely a 'web developer' anyway, but i do want to learn more about web technologies, and I want to learn it as soon as possible.

As it stands now I am considering learning (in my own time) more about Javascript and associated frameworks so I can understand more about web development in general. I have the same concerns as you though, things seem to move so quickly in that arena, frameworks seem to fall in and out of fashion in the course of months or even weeks and I am having trouble knowing where to start.

It also doesn't help that I'm trying to (slowly) learn to the Android 6 SDK at home with an intention to try to pick up the Rust language as well. I'm clearly trying to take too much on.

No worries, thanks for responding. I'm in a pretty similar position to you although I haven't yet reached the 3 year mark, more like 2. I also tend to have ADHD with my hobby projects that I do on the side. There's this open source project based on Rust that I want to contribute to on my spare time (I've already looked at Android and made an app, but for some reason I'm not compelled to pursue mobile development professionally) and of course I've already told you about NodeJS.

Easier said than done, but I'd advise to just stick with the web dev right now and focus on the other stuff later (if ever). Web apps are increasingly standing in for native mobile apps (that's partly why I gave up on Android) and Rust hasn't really reached a level where it's lucrative for professionals. Just be pragmatic and catch up on your web stuff right now (like I am right now) and once you think you've covered your bases then you can focus on the "for fun" stuff (Rust - although it would be awesome if someone could prove me wrong).

I can see what you mean with regards to mobile development. Android is not exactly 'fun' to work with so far.

So much XML, it feels like you need to write two or three times as much code to implement any functionality than you do on any other language/platform. It feels so heavyweight.

I think you're right though, I might delay picking up Rust for a while and learn some web tech. It was just going to be something fun to do in my spare time.

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