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As a web developer, you are constantly acquiring new skills that help you progress faster and more efficiently. You have to keep up with new technologies to stay on pace with the industry. For those just getting started in learning web development, all the information can be a little overwhelming. There is one main skill that I think is essential to exercise while learning web development and new technologies.
The skill is simply to become really good at researching efficiently, which means being great at using your best friend as a web developer, Google! This may sound like common sense, but I think the importance of it is overlooked, especially for beginners.
Web developers, especially when you are learning, spend most of our day using google. Many beginners think you learn these technologies and remember most of it, which is far from the truth. It is impossible for us humans to remember even a fraction of all the information that goes into most programming languages.
The normal workflow is to learn the concepts and basic syntax, and then you use Google when you get stuck on a particular problem to find the solution. Through this process, you will find your solution and also learn other valuable information along the way.
This is a normal, day to day workflow for most developers. In the process of doing this over and over, you start picking up more concepts and variations of ways to do things. It is a process that you will become great at by default, just through learning to code. Even though it happens automatically, I think it is worth being conscious of while learning. Pay attention to the connections you make while finding solutions to your problems through google. These connections are the key to honing in this skill.
As you grow into your place in the industry, efficiency is paramount. So the skill of diagnosing a problem with your code, opening another tab to Google, finding your solution, and going back to implement that solution as fast as possible is the name of the game. The faster you can do this the more work you will get done, which makes you a more efficient web developer, and in turn, you will learn more and advance faster.
As you get better, you will know what words or phrases to type into google that will get you to your solution the fastest. I know that for me personally, honing this skill has been a big advantage in the timeframe of going from a beginner to actually working in the industry. I encourage everyone learning web dev, and even in other fields, to work on this skill and use it daily. This has been a big factor in me being able to level up my career.
I also created a youtube video talking about this skill, you can watch that here:
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If you would like to read about my journey into web development and how it changed my life, click this link: From Homeless To Self-Taught Web Developer – My Story