Don't Learn Too Many Things

18 June 2019


Today I received a message from a developer, a friend of mine. He asked me to provide feedback on his learning roadmap. With his permission, I am sharing the list:

  1. HTML/CSS
  2. Ruby
  3. Rails
  4. JavaScript
  5. React and Node.js
  6. AWS
  7. Rust
  8. Go

When I looked at the list, my hair stood up.

Me Hacking


Even experienced developers don’t know that much stuff. And you shouldn’t.

Imagine that you decided to become a web developer and learn JavaScript. To be great at JavaScript, knowing the syntax is not enough. You should know the surrounding ecosystem and, believe me, it’s huge. Frameworks, libraries, package managers, build tools, testing tools, to name a few. To be able to build real-world apps, you’ll also need to master non-JS fundamentals such as design patterns, web protocols, APIs, databases, security… The list is never-ending, and, unless you want to get a burnout, there is no space for another ecosystem such as Ruby or Go or Rust.

It’s better to be good at something, instead of mediocre at everything. Focus on one ecosystem. Become good at it. Use your knowledge to solve real-world problems well.