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This. Don't follow the advice of "Learn {X} new technology". In this day and age, a new language, framework, etc show up every 3 minutes. You may be a bit rusty, but stick to what you know for now. Maybe start a blog about your situation and what you're doing to get back in the game. There are definitely jobs out there that need your skills. Job hunting is usually a numbers game, so keep sending out resumes.



I think this is bad advice, many if not most of the frontend jobs right now ask for React, which means that a lot of future legacy code also will be React code. More importantly, it shows you're ready to adapt to "new" technology. With PHP, all you have is legacy.

Think about it, if two or more applicants have experience, but one also has experience in the exact technology already used at the place, that person is ahead in the game.

I frankly would keep quiet about the personal situation, I think everybody understands if you do. He's not looking for charity because he's homeless, he wants a job because he's a professional developer.


If your experience is python and php then you should look at how one of them has progressed and maybe consider a job that has some use for JavaScript for future marketability..

The idea that you should learn modern JS and then react to apply for react jobs with no real world experience is a bad one for someone with work history in 2 languages that are in the top 10.. Particularly if they are in a rather desperate situation.


To quote the OP:

"I have extensive front end experience with Javascript as well."

"No one is really looking for a PHP developer right now. And all the front end jobs want React/Redux experience or Angular."

So, not learning React doesn't seem like a good call unless he wants to stay in the backend. No matter what he will be learning now, he will not have "real world experience" with it. All he can do between jobs is learn. What's your advice exactly? What does "looking at how Python has progressed" even mean?


> What does "looking at how Python has progressed" even mean?

Take an existing project you wrote in python and modernize it for newer style, maybe it was in legacy 2.X for compatibility with something and needs to be updated. Maybe convert to a python framework that is popular now (there's not so much churn in python so a past framework might just be updated.)

I'm sorry that isn't as dramatic as taking some knowledge of past JavaScript, learning additions that introduce a different paradigm and then an entire new style of development complete with transpiling and maybe typescript.. and then trying to keep it running with churn in the whole bunch of libraries and tools that are in that bizarre front end process.. While not seeming to have any previous experience with compiled languages and related development processes.

Taking a past project and modernizing it allows you to mix discussion of real world experience with your understanding of new things. Where things are just updates you blur perception and significance of the age of your real world experiences.

But switching completely to patterns, code and development processes you have never used before even by analogy is taking that to the most tenuous extreme..

Who knows maybe the OP's past JS experience was in SPAs in a functional style using node tools and an IDE and react is almost reasonable.. But that seems unlikely if python and php were the first languages the OP thinks of.

It makes more sense to milk and refresh past connections to Python to find a new subfield than to try to stay in web development by switching to JS (if it was your 3rd language from 3 years ago) to move from Backend to frontend in the months right before almost every language will get an opportunity on the frontend..


With PHP, all you have is legacy

This is not true. I think you'll find a lot of new projects being written in PHP 7.2 and/or using some newer framework, like Laravel.

There is nothing wrong with getting PHP work. PHP is not going away anytime soon, and the language has improved a lot since 5.6.


Your mileage may vary, but PHP is on its way out and no matter how it "improved", its reputation really hasn't. People starting new projects means nothing if there's no traction for jobs.


It's absolutely not true that there's no traction with PHP, even if we grant that PHP is "on its way out"! That kind of comment shows how out of touch you are. As for PHP's "reputation", a lot of that is legacy from 4.x days. But when was that? Oh yeah, that was the early 2000's. I'll say it again: if you look at PHP today I think you're going to see that things have improved dramatically. Just ask Facebook...


lol no its not.


React was released five years ago and has been the dominant front end framework for most of that time, including right now.


Dominant in developer/framework Mindshare for five years.. Damn hard to find a company actually using it in many markets for most of that time. At first it was not all that different from node's leadership of frontend thinking, except that it could be used in the browser..

For a past python developer, trying out something like Django a bit with converting a past project would be less work than react for a js developer and probably a good refresher.


Do Facebook not use it?


Is that relevant to my comment?


I believe it is relevant to the part where you said it's damn hard to find a company using it.


Given that I see nothing for "react" on jobs.facebook.com listed by Facebook for my job market, I still don't see how Facebook could be relevant to that part.

But, if Facebook actually hires react engineers everywhere and just doesn't like their own job platform, then they probably hire php engineers everywhere as php is the platform they are the most famous for sinking money into modernizing.. So again, I'm left to wonder why anyone who already knows php would be told to learn react before looking for a job.

It's a lot like always being told to learn Ruby on Rails a few years back even if you knew nothing at all about ruby. I wonder where all those ruby illiterate RoR engineers ended up.


First Google result for "Facebook Front End Engineer" yields a job description with React as a Preferred Qualification: https://www.facebook.com/careers/jobs/a0I1H00000LCKeYUAX

Granted, I don't know your market, but if it's outside the typical 5-10 cities, that might be the problem.


> typical 5-10 cities

Ok, so let's assume Facebook is hiring today and for the last 5 years in 10 job markets.

Damn hard to find a company actually using it in many markets for most of that time.




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