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The "Technologies to Give You an Edge" Lesson is part of the full, Getting a Front-End Developer Job course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jerome describes the knowledge that give a junior frontend engineer a career jump-start, namely design systems, web accessibility, understanding at least one serverless technology and usage of APIS.

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Transcript from the "Technologies to Give You an Edge" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> All right, so now we're gonna go into, now these are our big three. These are the fundamentals that you have to know. But these three are a theme, these tools are things that if you them, you're going to really shine. If you showcase them, you're going to really shine.

[00:00:18] You have to deep dive about these things, especially when it comes to bigger companies because they are using a lot of these things now. Design systems, design systems are super important. Basically a set of interconnected patterns and practices across the company to quickly aid in the digital development and product development across the board, right?

[00:00:45] So think of it like a style guide on steroids, right? So it lets you know how you do the class names. And you can pull things automatically in, it already has components that are pre-made that you can use. So so this is how this thing is done. You have to understand how to use them, how to build them, their importance.

[00:01:07] Code.gov and the I believe they're called the US Digital Defense Agency, Digital Agency, I think I'm messing that up. But they both have style guides that they've created that are really great. They're A1, and when it comes to a beginner, you wanna look at something open source. And deep dive on that on the science of design systems.

[00:01:32] I highly recommend you go through those, and definitely look that stuff up. Web accessibility, can't harp on this enough. But especially in this current era and during we're in, what, 2020? People, companies are getting hit left and right on web accessibility. It started around 2019 where Papa John's I believe was the first major lawsuit or Domino's, I think, I can't remember.

[00:01:59] [LAUGH] One of the pizza companies that got hit by a large lawsuit. And then it just kept rolling downhill, big companies getting hit by lawsuits with web accessibility. So having a deep understanding of AA and AAA web accessibility, I recommend you go to W3C and understand their CWAG ratings.

[00:02:22] Is it CWAG, or, yeah, there you go. And you focus on that stuff and make sure your own website's accessible, and that you can speak about this stuff clearly, eloquently. And eyeball those, learn about [LAUGH] a very funny story, we had a debate on me using a color for my slides, and I was like, no, I know that looks right.

[00:02:50] That's a four to one ratio, I know it's right. And then also I was like, you're right. Okay, but I still don't like it, change it. You know what, Mark, breaking my heart, but did it so [LAUGH] yeah, he's laughing cuz like yeah, that was me. But yeah, that's how you've set yourself apart, being able to know that like, those are little things that you can know and pull off the top of your head.

[00:03:15] Okay, when you're pressing the link, how many indicators does it have? Should you have a cursor indicator, then it should also have an underline or something else. Let the user know that hey, yo, you're on a link, right? You're hovering over a link, this is clickable, do something.

[00:03:31] Same thing with buttons, anything that's clickable should have two indicators minimum on it, right, to let people know that yo, you can do stuff with this. This is interactive, right? So that's why websites that is something that is no gate is being kept. It's open source, you can go research it, you can deep dive in it.

[00:03:50] And there are people, Marcy Sutton, she's a rock star in it. If you find her on Twitter, she absolutely loves it. She will talk your head off about web accessibility on all the things. And you can literally, Frontend Masters has a course going on for it. You guys can literally just deep dive and enjoy all the web accessibility things.

[00:04:11] Personally, it helped my career over the past two years a lot. I was one of those people that was against web accessibility, not against it, but just wasn't a big deal because I just want to JavaScript, all the things. But after a year and a half of using it, and focusing only on that it really helped my career skyrocket.

[00:04:32] So I definitely recommend if you're a beginner and you're looking for something to add some extra firepower to your resume, to your skill set. Focus on accessibility, companies are looking for it like crazy. Usage of APIs, that's one of the things, everybody talks about JavaScript, building things with JavaScript.

[00:04:54] But no one really talks about when you're hearing the entry-level developers, no one's talking about, how are you manipulating data? We live in a serverless world right now, everything is gonna be put in an API, a RESTful API. And it's going to be pushed to the web or it's either gonna be built, it's gonna be pulled in to a RESTful API to have that data manipulated.

[00:05:16] So you need to be able to talk about API's and how to use them. There's several GitHub repos out there. I'll put them in here as examples that actually have a huge list of free API's. Even one of my veterans, they've made a list of API's. Matter of fact, let me, There we go.

[00:05:43] Here we go. So, here's a list of API's that you can use. Insult generator, that sounds fun. Miscellaneous collections, movies and comics, let's say you better the Marvel Developer Portal. This is my favorite, I love this one, of course, Simpsons. Rick and Morty, if you're into dark humor and you don't care about not getting fired.

[00:06:13] Spotify API, that's a fun one. I've actually been seeing this one been put in usage a lot. So that's something that's actually popular out there in the market. So I'll definitely be sharing this one with on my slides, add to that. But those are those are tools that you really need to know.

[00:06:37] Serverless technologies, AWS free tier, get that Google Cloud, Firebase. Use those, basically is a cloud computing execution model, the whole joke that, there's no such thing as a cloud. It's another person server. While that may be true, being able to use these platforms and use these technologies will set you apart from other entry level developers.

[00:07:06] My favorite website right now on the market for front end devs, that's absolutely free that shows all this stuff. Right here, serverless.CSStricks.com. Chris Coyier has made a amazing website that showcases all the tools that you can use, some resources and ideas for projects to build serverless things, right?

[00:07:36] You want to be able to showcase that you have that understanding, that logic, because that's where the market is going, the markets, everything's gonna be serverless. Everybody is serving their data and storing the data somewhere else, be at a CDN like Cloudflare, or AWS, or Google Cloud, or Firebase.

[00:07:55] Everyone is storing their stuff elsewhere versus on an old school data warehouse. Except maybe Facebook, they still have those things, so but they're Facebook, so. But yeah, so these are the things that will add firepower to your resume, to your skill set, to those conversations that you go to meetups.

[00:08:21] Virtual meetups on Twitter, like in Slack, these are the things that if you add to your basics, they're going to help you stand out more. Deeper or even a surface level understanding of these will put you ahead of your competition, other people that you're going to be competing with in the job market.

[00:08:49] This is something that we go over each one of these and deeper dives. I definitely recommend you to go through these as well because that's how you set yourself apart. FEM, Frontend Masters, they are always ahead of the game. They have several of this course coming out, so you guys definitely wanna check that out.