My Favorite Approach to Learning New Frameworks

As we all know, the web ecosystem evolves constantly and new libraries / frameworks pop left and right, which makes it extremely hard for developers to stay up to date. Most of us will start feeling anxious and insecure because we don't know all the new stuff that everyone's raving about, but we don't always have time to learn new frameworks!

You learned a new framework last week? You're already behind, there's 5 new ones that just came out this week! 😰

Jokes aside (not really), I was recently thinking of this because I'm about to start learning Vue.js to see what all the hype is about and how it compares to React, and wanted to share with you my favorite way of learning new frameworks. I've used this approach for years now and it has worked great for me, so I'm hoping this can help out some fellow developers.

  1. Before I even read the documentation, I start by going through basic introduction tutorials or videos. I personally find that starting by the documentation can be overwhelming when you have so much content to read through and don't know where you're heading. A tutorial or a video will have a specific goal, which will limit what you have to learn before achieving that goal. My personal favorite website for learning these days is Frontend Masters. It is well worth the price and I've learned a lot from it.

  2. Then, I start going through some exercices on my own. This can include rewriting a feature from another project of mine in this new language, or building a sample app from scratch so that I can learn a few new tricks, etc. The goal here is to do this on your own, as if you were working on a real project: you'll write some code, get stuck, google it, write some more code, and so on.

  3. At this point, I have a solid enough base to start doing some more reading on the framework. Most often, this is not the official documentation but articles written by other developers, best practices, anti-patterns, tips and tricks, etc.

  4. I go back to doing more exercices on my own and applying the patterns and best practices I learned.

  5. At this point, I feel confident enough that I can tackle bigger projects with this new framework and even production projects. However, there's obviously a lot I still don't know so at this point I go back to the official documentation and read through it all. The official documentation will have hidden gems explaining certain decisions, the magic under the hood, and so much more. I find that it's a great way to really solidify my learning because I'm reading this with some legit experience in the framework, which means a different perspective than if I had read this right from the start.

Of course, this is not an approach that works for everyone but it definitely works for me and I'm simply hoping that it helps some of you.

I'm very curious to hear more about how you learn new frameworks. We've all had to go through this experience so please - don't be shy - leave a comment and let me know!

Also, if you have some experience with Vue and would like to recommend specific articles or tutorials, please feel free to do so! It'll be really appreciated.


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© 2017 - designingforscale.com content licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY 2.5 | Unless otherwise stated or granted, code samples licensed under the MIT license.