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I just watched the talk "Full Stack Anxiety" by Joel Califa. Joel, at the time, was design lead ad Digital Ocean and he's a designer who also writes code. With that skill set, he is confronted with an unlimited number of things that he could learn to succeed in his career.

He could be great at CSS and JavaScript, or he chooses typography and visual design, or he becomes an expert in design systems, or, or, or... There are a hundred options, and I can relate 100% to him being overwhelmed.

I love building Frontend applications and fiddling with technology, but now I work in Developer Relations for a while, and recently I started leading a team. The always growing list of things to learn in the fast-moving frontend ecosystem extends with some community, marketing, and leadership skills that are good to have in my position.

There are only so many hours in the day, and I struggle to prioritize all these things I could learn. Joel made one precise point. Whenever I decide to spend time with one topic, I'm prioritizing this one topic over something else.

In most cases, every choice to grew in one discipline is also a choice to not to grow in another.

When you look at it from that angle, it becomes clear that you should consider the topics to learn carefully. The bigger picture matters. Will a new skill make you more successful in the long run? Will it help you grow in your career? And most importantly, will it make your life easier and you happier?

Joel Califa on stage with a list again Full Stack Anxiety 1. do the research 2. Look at the big picture 3. Create some structure 4. Take the decision out of the moment 5. Stop chasing trends 6. Prioritize happiness

These are big questions to decide what to play around with and learn when you have two hours of free time on a Sunday. But I think Joel's right!

I could learn random and unimportant things (which I do very often) or consider myself and my career to be more strategic about learning the things I need the most. That makes a lot of sense, thanks Joel!

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About Stefan Judis

Frontend nerd with over ten years of experience, freelance dev, "Today I Learned" blogger, conference speaker, and Open Source maintainer.

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