Am I Still A Junior Developer?

It’s a question that has been bugging me recently, and I haven’t been able to find a fix for it yet.

Am I still a junior developer?

I look at code that is written on Stack Overflow, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. I watch my (more experienced) colleagues coding and they are so much faster at coming up with solutions than myself, and often much more efficient ways of coding. I know I’m way off being an expert.

On the flip side, I compare against where I was just a year ago – let alone two years ago. I’m fully versed in working with Restful APIs, I know JavaScript fairly well – even if I forget some important functionality like map or reduce. I’m comfortable building an app from scratch in AngularJS – which this time last year I had only just started using.

I can build components, extend the website, change the styling as required, do bits of animation. I can debug errors quite proficiently now – something I really struggled with when I first started at Lovespace.

I’ve created an admin site for business customers pretty much from scratch, rebuilt one of the order flows in AngularJS – removing the jQuery side. I’ve enacted more then one redesign of the order funnel, and rebuilt various sections of the WordPress site at work.

I have plenty of achievements to look at.

Yet then I look at the jobs out there for people with 2-3 years experience, and they seem to need fluency in React, and almost expert-levels of JavaScript, not just understanding what does what, which generally I do – but understanding why and the theory behind it, which generally I don’t.

What to improve?

In the very limited time outside of work that I have to improve my skills, I’m torn between whether to learn React, improve my AngularJS knowledge (as that is what I use at work), thoroughly learn the JavaScript ecosystem or learn ES6+ (modern JavaScript). And then am I better reading books, doing courses or maybe I should start watching YouTube videos of more experienced developers?

I am also kind of limited in my job in that we use an old framework – AngularJS instead of a modern one like React or Vue, we don’t use many of the tools that seem popular such as Webpack or Docker (if arguably pointless – just trendy), nor do we use ES6. So though I am becoming a better developer, I still feel like I am falling behind the competition.

Though why I feel the need to define my developer status is another question – maybe I don’t actually need to.

Am I still a junior developer?

My conclusion is no. I think.

What I know now is another world away from what I knew when I was employed as a junior developer – yet I still don’t feel like a fully-fledged mid-level front-end developer.

Maybe I should stop comparing myself to more experienced people and remember that I’m relatively new to this game – a complete change in my life and one that I’m delighted to have made.

So much still to learn on my journey.

Jeez, I’ve just previewed my post…what have I done to the font? Oops. Going on my Easter fixing list.