9 Apr 2012
I was having a conversation yesterday with another developer who has had a long career in web development. We reminisced about crazy old browsers and the hacks we used to deal with them. I found myself thinking about how different it is for a new developer today, in comparison to what I needed to learn when I got started.
The industry is growing up. We have new technologies, we can create amazing applications right here in the browser. We also have discussions on process, and best practice. We have created tools that make development faster and more accurate and all of this is good. However it makes for a confusing place to start when researching any subject is likely to give you compelling arguments as to why you should try any one of four or five approaches. It can be hard even as an experienced developer to work out what is best in any situation, never mind for the beginner.
Don't let yourself be distracted. Seek out high quality, modern tutorials and learn your core languages. Put yourself in a place where you are able to assess the usefulness and quality of tools, methods, frameworks and libraries. Use those tools lightly, always with an eye for whether they are still the best approach as you begin a new project, and your core knowledge will enable you to keep up to date and fresh in what you recommend and use.