Ignore the Noise and Stay in Your Lane

The web development industry is constantly evolving and can be challenging to keep up with as a developer. At the beginning of my web development career, I struggled determining what I should learn and what I should ignore. At the time, Angular was popular but now React is taking over that top position for JavaScript frameworks.

This rapid change is normal in technology and makes the industry exciting and fresh. However, it can simultaneously feel overwhelming, especially for those starting their careers in web development.

I repeatedly fall prey to the expectation that I should learn all the latest and greatest web development tools. Learning is fun for me but I do not have the time nor the energy to invest in learning a tool that will fizzle out in a couple of months.

So how do we determine what we should be learning?

Focus on the Fundamentals

While growing as a web developer, I often find myself returning to the fundamentals to ensure I have a deep understanding of the core concepts.

For instance, we can feel the pressure to learn every new JavaScript framework that comes out. Frameworks can be incredibly useful, but as developers, we should try to understand native JavaScript even more than frameworks. Remember, JavaScript frameworks are built in vanilla JavaScript.

Front end languages like JavaScript are not disappearing anytime soon. But the tools that use JavaScript–frameworks like React and Vue–could become obsolete sooner than you think once another better, greater framework is introduced.

Ignore the Noise

Before you become overwhelmed with all the new front end tools coming out, first determine if any of the tools are likely to stick around. Let others jump on the bandwagon and see if the tool is worth exploring, and if it is, consider whether it is something that will be beneficial to know for your career trajectory.

Similar to a market-based economy, the best web development tool will often garner the most attention if it has been tested and implemented by others. Some people have more time than others to experiment with tools. Let others do the hard work for you if you're not sure you have the time to invest in learning the tool, and see what their thoughts are on the tool.


Greg McKeown wrote a book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less which covers this very topic of sifting out the unneccesary in order to focus on what is most important. He covers how to apply this discipline in various facets of everyday life, and can be also relevant to learning how to focus on what is most essential in your web development learning path.