Author Archives: Melissa Steffan

About Melissa Steffan

Melissa Steffan is a web developer at the Washington Post and a WDI D.C. graduate. She is proof that you don't need to meet all of a job post's "required skills" in order to get hired because she still doesn't know Java. Prior to the Post, she worked as a digital marketer, content editor, and reporter—sometimes all at once. You can view her personal website here, or read more of her writing on Medium.

Full-Stack Deconstructed

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Not long after I changed careers to become a full-stack web developer, I received an odd Facebook message from a family friend. “I visited your website,” he wrote, “and I’m still trying to figure out what pancakes have to do with websites.”

Clever…or clueless? I’m still unsure. But one thing is certain: IHOP needs to move over; the term “full stack” isn’t about pancakes anymore.

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How JavaScript Helped Me Land A New Dream Job

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If you talk to a group of junior developers, you’ll likely receive one of three main answers to the question, “Why are you a web developer?” Many—if not most—are motivated by what they don’t want to be: a waiter; a bartender; a sales rep; a broke artist. Others lucked into computer science in college. Still others will say they just wanted a job that was more flexible than the average 9-to-5.

And then there’s me. I became a developer because of a PDF.

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Busted: The 5 Worst Excuses for Not Learning JavaScript

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Learning something new is hard. Acquiring new skills requires focus, drive, and a certain bit of unfettered optimism—the belief that you actually can remember everything you’re studying. That’s especially true when it comes to programming in JavaScript, a complex language full of often-abstract new concepts.

Unfortunately, for as difficult as it is to commit to learning, it’s equally easy to make up excuses for why you can’t or haven’t even started. Here are 5 too-common excuses that people make to put off learning JavaScript: Continue reading

Learning to Code? 4 Reasons You Should Learn JavaScript First

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Browse any number of job postings for web developersfront-end, back-end, full-stack; it doesn’t matter — and every single job will require different expertise. From Adobe Creative Suite to Zero Day Exploits, you could spend an entire career attempting to become the ideal developer to meet any one of these job’s multiple requirements.

Or you could learn JavaScript instead. Continue reading