I'm currently a mid level Back-End developer Java / SQL / XML looking to transition into a Front-End role (React). I'm self taught in HTML/CSS/JS and currently learning off of Udemy (and other online tutorials).

In order move like this, would I have to move laterally (mid-level or lower) or take contract work to make this happen?

Also, a lot of companies want industry experience with React(and other front end libraries). How can I get industry experience if I don't have industry experience?

My current job writes a lot of their own libraries (they don't embrace open source so much) so I can't ask for a project that uses open source tools that I'd like to work with.

I saw this post, but it didn't really answer my question.


  • I encourage you to post this to reddit.com/r/programming and or reddit.com/r/learnprogramming/ rather than here. You may get some answers that may help but it is currently out of scope of what this stack is about. Good luck.
    – Isaiah3015
    Jul 18, 2018 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


The smart move is a full stack role where you continue with Java, but also use React or whichever. You probably need a small step backwards but you should get back up fairly easily, if you can progress with the frontend. If you have any JS experience, it's not that big of a leap to learn React, Webpack ("Maven"), Mocha/Chai ("JUnit"), npm ("JAR import" with semi-automatic library updates), and SASS (pretty much CSS with some handy improvements).

You will most likely find such fullstack roles in established consulting companies, modern banks/finance companies, or some specialist fields.

  • Just note that 'full stack' roles have their own pitfalls. The domain is so large you'll eventually be asked to do the work of multiple teams of people...
    – Nelson
    Jul 19, 2018 at 0:49

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