Full Stack Anxiety

Since I am searching for a job, I deal with “Full Stack Anxiety” every day. Every job listing seems to want a different set of skills. It can be maddening. I don’t want to shift gears all the time, trying to know “everything”

Learning what I would “like to know” would keep me busy for the next 20 years…

So, there is plenty that I know now, and I’ve been steadily adding to that over the last year. I made the concious choice to know much more than just JS/jQuery + LAMP.

I’ll try to mix this up a bit – my picks, and my “mmm, no”, or “not yet…”. There is a lot that I have left out. It’s exhausting to try to think about every little nugget that could be learned. That’s the point of this post – editing to some of that first tier that’s been nagging at me.


ES6 – oh yeah. I love ES6. It helps me on the Node.js side, and it helps me on the front end.

PHP 7 – yeah, I will learn the new stuff. I’ve been doing PHP off and on for 15 years. I think there’s merit in keeping sharp on it (and I want to know Laravel)

Python vs Ruby – for a long time, I would get anxious thinking “I have to know one of these, but which to pick!?”. I picked Python, because it has so much going for it besides the web, and I like the syntax. It’s a building block for me to learn Django. My “other. all purpose scripting language” used to be Perl, but I have a feeling that will migrate to being Python. Python is also used in Maya, which is a 3D package I’d love to learn some day.

C/C++ – Not now, but My roots. Well, BASIC and Pascal if I want to go really far back. I have not touched C/C++ since I worked on AutoCAD. That’s before I started on the Web. No plans to do anything in C/C++, except perhaps update my old Grabchars package.

Java – Oh, nah, why? Bloat. I get Java “the language” just fine. I worked with Java 20 years ago (an internal AOL project). It just seems like it’s evolved to an overly complex beast.

C# – Well, I don’t do any Windows-specific development at the moment.

Go Rust Clojure Scala R Groovy – Yes, I know they exist. Not going to detour into them at this time.

Front End…

Vue.js – yep. I love it. Vue is a breath of fresh air.

React – yes. Redux – yes. MobX – an even bigger yes. Learning React gave me a foundation that makes me appreciate Vue.js that much more. I will stay sharp on React, because it’s in wide use, and I like what can be done with it. I do prefer Vue.js, but I can do either.

Angular – no. I realize it cuts me out of some jobs. What stops me is that I hear it has a pretty high learning curve. I feel like I want to spend those cycles on Vue and React.. be that much better at those. Of course, if I get a chance to come up to speed on Angular with a paying project, then cool.

Ember, Polymer, Meteor – They may be great. I gotta focus. I’m open to learning them, if need be.

CSS3 + Sass – yes! With Less? Stylus? etc. Maybe. If a project calls for it. Am interested in SASS for the momment. Some knowledge of Flexbox and Grids… will learn more.

PWA – Yes. I am studying Progressive Web Apps.

Back End…

ngnix, Apache – If I need to dive into them again… I like being able to just spin up MAMP on my Mac, or some Digital Ocean droplet (or equivalent) on the server side

Node.js, Express, Mongoose – Yes! I will keep learning more here

Laravel – One reason I am sticking with PHP is so that I can learn Laravel to go with it. It’s powerful.


MySQL – I’ll keep sharp on it. I think it’s the most likely thing that’s going to come up on the LAMP side.

Postgres, Oracle – Nope, no plans there. If a project calls for it, I’ll dive in. I save those cycles now to learn more about MongoDB

MongoDB – Yep! I really like it.


WordPress – I have a handle on how themes work, and could learn plugins and much more.

Joomla, Drupal – Nope. I’ll put that energy into learning WordPress internals…


I feel like tools are finally settling down a bit.

npm, webpack – yes

grunt, gulp – for new projects? I will go with webpack whenever I can

See what I mean about all this?  I do feel spread thin, and I say no to a lot of things.  This is just the tip of the iceberg – I didn’t mention that I am interested in 3D, XR, etc.

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