Last year, one of my goals was to round out my skills as a developer to learn more fullstack. When I started in software, I mainly worked with design systems and user-facing application domains. I was primary creating UI components and integrating them in our user facing applications. Because I did not come from a Computer Science degree background or necessarily had strong fundamentals in software design patterns, I found the abstractions working with frontend technologies did not help with expanding my understanding.
I started communicating with my manager to pick up more backend tasks. It helps that I work in a fullstack team so we had both backend and frontend projects. Below are some of my tips and experiences in how I am learning and working with more backend in my current day to day. Mind you, this is from the perspective of someone who works in a company and not a freelance developer.
First it’s important to talk to you manager about your interests and how you can align them to the work in your team and organization
If your company supports 20% time or can allocate some professional development budget, be sure to work in some study time. Some online learning platforms I’ve found helpful are:
- Educative.io - You can filter my domain areas and languages. There are paths that include the progressive courses you can take.
- Realpython.com - If you’re learning Python, this is an amazing platform with practical projects to learn from
- SQLitetutorial.com - For learning to create SQL databases and concepts on relational databases and RDMS.
Start with learning concepts such as software architectural designs patterns, cloud services, and web security before diving into learning the syntaxes and nuances of backend languages. Understand the fundamentals first before trying to leverage tools.
If you have a mentor, start thinking of a fullstack application project you can work together on. For instance, I am working on building a database, and eventually an API service that a frontend client can eventually consume. It will be through working on a practical real-world project where you will start to see what courses you may need to take in tandem.
These are just some of the steps I’ve taken so far in learning backend. I will follow up with another post or series on my progress! Follow for more tips and updates soon!