Learning web development is hard. I know this, because for the past 3 years I’ve felt the ups and downs of trying to learn multiple technologies - both for employment and also for my personal goals. Jumpjet is the result of those ups and downs, and hopefully will help you during your journey into front-end development, employment & enjoyment.

I flirted with web dev many times - it’s a journey that began in Sydney, Australia way back in 1997, attending a community college course on Flash animation 🙂 In some ways I wish that I’d caught the ...ahem... programming bug back then, but I didn’t. Web pages were still being laid out in tables & CSS was rudimentary - I didn’t even have the internet at home so I wasn’t caught up in the hype.

I didn’t complete the course.

Fast forward a few years and I’m back at it - making half-hearted attempts but still not able to actually program. It seems funny now, but there was still a question about what technology I should use, and half the time when I told people I wanted to make a website I was guided towards PHP and Python. I tried Python, and actually kind of liked it, but it still didn’t feel like I was any closer to ‘making a website’ - how everything fit together to make something that people interacted with online and stored data was still a really fuzzy concept.

I continued this bouncing back and forth, dipping my toes in the web development waters and not really finding my flow until 3 years ago, while living in Berlin, Germany.

It’s true that time flies and this time I decided that I was going to learn web dev or DRY trying. So I signed up with Codecademy and Code School, went through the beginner’s classes on HTML & CSS, JavaScript and jQuery. I lived on Stack Overflow and made terrible boxes that floated left and right and got excited when words were logged to the console on click. Closures and lexical scoping went over my head but I just kept at it, calling on JSON APIs and experimenting with WebSockets. I got my hands dirty with databases and started doing this NodeJS thing. I built a couple of sites that some people used a little bit and a lot of sites that no-one used at all, but I was happy because I was learning.

The point I’m trying to make is that with Jumpjet, we're building something that can make the journey easier for up-and-comers, because we intimately understand the confusion & uncertainty that comes with being a beginner, or making progress but not knowing if you’re “ready enough”. Jumpjet is for the front-end community as a training ground - a place to sharpen your development sword in preparation for entering the workforce and also as a safe platform for gaining genuine, usable feedback on what your strengths and weaknesses are and how to improve.

Like anything in the online world Jumpjet is a work in progress, and as the saying goes “if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product you’ve launched too late”. It’s safe to say that we haven’t waited too long to get the first ‘version’ of Jumpjet up online, but if it provides value to the community then we hope to improve it over the coming weeks, months & years. In the meantime, I appreciate all and any feedback or criticism.

I hope you get value out of the Jumpjet platform and continue your journey into web development. It’s not always smooth going but it’s a hell of a ride.