One year as a developer


4 min read

This week marks one year that I've been employed as a front end developer! It feels simultaneously like forever and no time at all. But it's a good time to look back on how much I've learnt during that time.

I've learnt...


I'd heard of Docker and looked up what it was. I thought there didn't seem any point in bothering with it. So of course we used it at work. Although I wouldn't say I understand it totally, I just know what to do to get it up and running and some ideas of what to do if something doesn't work if I've had a similar problem before.


I'd heard of Drupal and knew it was a CMS, like WordPress, but that's it. Before I started I did do some tutorials in it so I had some idea of what was going on with it and how you create/edit a theme in it. What I didn't know was anything about editing Twig files.

Twig is the HTML, plus some extra bits so you can, for example, insert whatever's in the database. It's pretty similar to React's JSX in that way. In fact, knowing React was a help when I wanted to conditionally add a class - you do it in the same way you do it in React. to use a Git repo when other people are using it too

When doing personal projects, I just do whatever I'm doing, push it to the branch and when I've finished, push it to master. But when other people are using the same repo, you have to make sure to pull the branch, if you're using the same one. Or pull the main branch and merge it before you merge/PR to the that branch. And then deal with merge conflicts, if there are any.

Pulling changes was something that took me a while to remember to do. Technically, working on open source projects is similar, but I hadn't entirely understood what I was doing when doing those. Or done a lot of that at all.

...more Git commands

I'd never amended a commit (or knew it existed), reverted a commit or moved my commits to a different branch. Or dealt with merge conflicts. I have now.

Before I started I assumed everyone did all the Git things in the terminal. It means that I've been surprised that when someone has shown me a Git thing I haven't done before, they've shown me it in the IDE. In reality, I think most people do some in the terminal and some using a GUI, the amount just differs from one person to another. to use the terminal

I did use it a bit before. But only really when I had to. Now I use it more. Not just because it feels like something 'proper' developers do. But also because I understand when it makes things faster. It helps that I learnt you can start typing the name of a folder or a file, and press tab, then it will fill in the rest of the name for you. That speeds things up a lot. to talk to clients

In my previous job I'd (happily) managed never to talk to clients. And now I have. And done a demo of the work we've done. I'd still happily not do it if I can get away with it, but it's been fine. The clients I've been in meetings with have been lovely and are so enthusiastic that things look like the design (and internally I'm saying 'wow, thank you' and 'yes, that's the point').


I did know CSS before I started. But since my job mainly involves CSS, I'm now using it a lot more. So I've improved my knowledge of it a lot and and am more confident with it. It helps that with a lot of the things we do are pretty similar, so once I've done something clever once, as long as I can remember where I did it, I can often copy what I've done.