Become a Full Stack Web Developer in 2022 – Step by Step

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With countless job openings and promising new technologies on the horizon. Web development will continue growing in popularity. Absolutely everything is moving to the web. Web assembly will soon allow you to play incredibly complex 3D games straight in your browser. Web 3.0 is connecting the web to the Blockchain. It’s never been a more exciting time to dive into the beautiful world of web development.

Starting with web development can be overwhelming. We will cover everything from the essential building blocks of the web all the way to the most modern web development technologies. Even if you’re an experienced developer by the end of this article, you’ll know precisely what you need to do to become an outstanding developer.

Web Developer Roadmap

To start with your web development journey, you’ll need two things. The first one is a web browser, either chrome or Firefox that you most likely already have. And the 2nd one is a code editor. There are plenty of options to choose from, still the most popular one is visual studio code. It’s free, easy to use and has amazing plugins, excellent community support and it’s the most widely used editor. Other options are Sublime Text, Atom and Vim. Of course our recommendation would be visual studio code.

That’s it, to start your entire web development career you only need these two tools, no expensive hardware or software is required. Now let’s dive into what you need to learn to become a web developer. The three main building blocks of the web that you need to learn are:

html, which provides the structure.

CSS, which provides the looks 

JavaScript, which provides functionality.

HTML

The first thing you have to learn when starting web development. Html is the fundamental technology used to define the structure of a web page. Learn the basics of html, like syntax, different html tags, forms, semantic Html, SEO best practices. After you learn all the basics of html that is where CSS comes to play.

CSS stands for cascading style sheets. It’s a way to style your html elements. It’s a style sheet language used to describe a documents presentation. For example, you use CSS to position things, to change the color, size, spacing of your elements. You can also animate stuff with CSS. So whenever you see some cool animations on a website that must be done using CSS. There is a lot to learn regarding CSS. So let’s start with the basics.

First of all the CSS syntax, then you need to learn about CSS selectors. Different ways to select html elements with class names, IDs, tags names etc. Then you need to learn how to position html elements across the page, difference between relative absolute fixed and sticky positions. Then you’ll need to learn about the CSS box model, how padding margins and borders on specific elements work. Another thing that you can learn about is CSS specificity. If two or more CSS rules point to the same element, the selector with the highest specificity value. well let’s say win and only its styles are going to be applied to that html element. Think of specificity as a score or a rank, determining which styles are going to be applied to an element. Once you learn these basics, you should keep practising your CSS skills by building small components like navigation bars and cards and of course style them to make them look better. You can learn and practice both. Html and CSS simultaneously.

When you’re done with CSS basics, learn about more valuable and complex things like flex box grid and responsive designs. Learn what pseudo elements are pseudo classes, learn to create animations, transitions and more. Practice your skills by building landing pages and websites and make them responsive. It’s not a problem. If you fail at first try again and you’ll succeed.

We’ve just gone through quite a lot of things and of course, this article is just an informational guide to provide your structure in your learning but we cannot cover absolutely how to learn everything in just this article. When you’re confident with html and CSS then it’s time to jump into a learning javascript,

JavaScript

Javascript is the logical part of the brain of a webpage. Learned the basic syntax, learn about dom manipulation, selecting elements, creating elements and appending them. You’ll also want to learn about event listeners.Alongside learning javascript basics you can also learn a popular CSS framework like tailwind, CSS Bootstrap or materialize. You don’t need to learn multiple CSS frameworks. If you know one of them, you’ll get the hang of it.

These CSS frameworks help you more easily create professional and consistent CSS designs without writing a lot of CSS on your own. But of course, you first have to learn the basics of CS to be able to fully understand what’s happening behind the scenes. And speaking of CSS frameworks, it’s also helpful to learn CSS preprocessors such as SAAS or SCSS. A CSS preprocessor as additional features that don’t exist in pure CSS. such as MIXINS, nesting selectors, inheritance selectors and so much more. These features make your CSS structure more readable and easier to maintain.

Once you’re comfortable in javascript basics, you can learn how to work with a APIs and fetch data using fetch API.This is where the fun begins fetching data from a API is going to allow you to create so many different applications. You can create an application about anything you want you like watching sports, well, fetch the sports data from the sports API and build an application around it. Playing games, take all the most popular game titles and create a table. Are you into movies well, create a movie library.You can do absolutely everything you’re passionate about. After that,learn about asynchronous javascript, promises ,Async Awaits and similar. You can also dive into more complex topics like classes, string and ray methods, scoping, hoisting closures, ES6+features. 

There are a lot of new and complex things to learn. At this point you might start taking some javascript courses but many courses don’t really teach you how to understand javascript fully and they don’t make you feel confident to code your own real-world apps. You need to be an outstanding javascript developer ready to learn any framework or library. Once you’re comfortable with javascript basics and some more advanced things like asynchronous javascript, you might want to jump straight into a javascript framework or a library such as react js or angular js. But don’t jump straight into them without understanding the topics I’ve mentioned in detail.Do not go into javascript frameworks. If you’re not fully comfortable with javascript basics. If you jump into frameworks too early, you won’t be able to differentiate what is the syntax coming from the framework itself and what is just some basic javascript syntax. Later in the article we’ll explain what you need to know before you start learning a javascript framework in my opinion, you’ll learn best while building projects. So to enhance your knowledge build some javascript projects such as a weather application that fetches weather from an external API build a notes application that uses local storage to save notes or a food recipe app that shows you recipes by search, a quiz application and all of the similar projects.

Aat this time you’ll start building some projects and you need to consider learning version Control system.

Version Control system

Version Control is essential because it allows you to keep track of your code base. Version Control software keeps track of every modification to the code in a special kind of database developers can turn back the clock and compare earlier versions if they make a mistake. There are many version control systems but the most popular and most widely used one is GIT. 

GIT is the best and only version Control tool that most people use. Using GIT also becomes incredibly helpful when working with themes. The version control keeps tracking every individual change by each contributor and helps you from making conflicts. If you’re working with themes alongside GIT you have to learn about GIT hub. GIT hub is a code hosting platform. It lets you and others work together on projects from anywhere in the world. There are tons of free services that teach you how to deploy a static website such as Netlify, Vercel and Github pages. If you know everything we’ve mentioned so far you are a front end developer. But there are still some important things that you can add to your repertoire. One of these tools is a package manager. 

Package manager

Package managers are tools that automatically handle dependencies and plugins for you. For example,a package manager can install new or update existing packages with a single command.Because everything is automated, there is no chance for human error. The most popular package managers are NPM and Yarn. If you’re just starting, you should consider learning NPM. NPM is also an online database of mostly free packages called the NPM registry. Think of it as a store of already created code where you can download codes written by others.

But why would you use that?

Can’t we code ourselves?

Of course, we can. But why reinvent the wheel when it’s already been invented. Why solve a problem that has already been solved. 

JavaScript Front end frameworks and libraries

Now that you know the fundamentals of the web, you can start learning frameworks but before learning any Js framework you should be confident with javascript. Because javascript is the main thing you’ll be working with.You must know the core fundamentals and advanced features of javascript. Most importantly you must understand javascript ES 6+ features, array methods, some object tricks like property shorthand, destructuring spread operator, promises, async/await syntax and import and export syntax. 

Why would you even use a JavaScript framework?

The frameworks are used to make building and working with programming languages easier. Frameworks typically take all the complex and repetitive tasks in setting up a new web application and they either do the boring stuff for you or make it very easy for you to do. Javascript frameworks allow you to build powerful single page applications with organized and interactive user interfaces. Javascript frameworks have many advantages over vanilla or playing javascript like code maintainability. You can make single page applications incredibly quickly. It saves time in building an application from scratch and so much more.

There are many javascript frameworks and libraries available but the most popular ones are react js,Vuejs and angular. Technically react js is a library, not a framework.

Library opposed to a framework simply provides you with a bit more freedom in how you want to get things done while frameworks have stricter code practices.”

React js is a great library that is easy to understand. The most popular amongst all and has excellent cross-platform support and amazing community. It’s the most loved library out there. Vue and angular are also great options to learn. Vue js is a bit easier to understand compared to angular. But once you know any of these javascript frameworks, it’ll be easy for you to adapt to other ones.

When you first start learning react js, firstly you need to know about the following things, file structure, how everything works with react dom and a single html Div, react components, the difference between functional components and class components. Here’s a pro tip from now on. You should always use function-based components rather than class-based components. They are old and nowadays, functional components are most widely used. To be able to write react code. You need to learn jsx syntax, props, states, events and conditional rendering. Once you know, react basics, you should start learning about react Js hooks. The essential hooks are useState, useEffect, useRef, useContext, useReducer,useMemo and useCallback. Once you’re comfortable with all of these topics, try building some cool projects .

Alongside building projects learn a react UI kit. The most popular ones are materialUI, Antdesign, chakraUI. UI frameworks allow you to import and use different components to create a user interface in your react applications. That’s incredibly useful because it allows you to focus on the logic of your projects while still having consistent and professional designs. To make most out of react you’ll need to use some popular react packages as well. The most popular ones are reactrouter, style components and Axios. These are nothing more than simple NPM packages we’ve discussed before.

Prop Drilling

Once you get familiar with react gs and start creating bigger projects, you’ll naturally start doing everything with props that’s called props drilling. Are you sending props from a parent component to every other component in the application. We’ve all been there, but soon you’ll notice that your apps get bigger and bigger and they also start getting a lot messier and a lot less organized. Prop drilling refers to sending props from a higher level component to a lower level component. So it would be best if you considered using a state management tool.

The most popular one is redox. State management is simply a way to improve communication and data sharing across your react components. State management libraries are used to pass the props the Children components without prop drilling, making your code a lot simpler and much easier to understand.

And now you are a proficient react developer. What should you learn next? Well,

conveniently nextJs is a framework built on top of react js which allows you to do many more things that are simply not available using reactjs straight out of the box. But don’t worry, you don’t have to relearn everything because nextjs is just a framework built on top of react. So all the knowledge from javascript. Html and CSS and react is still incredibly useful. You’ll just keep adding more to build better and better projects. Another thing that you’ll find incredibly useful when working with massive projects or companies is testing. There are some great libraries and frameworks out there that you can use to test your web applications here are a few of them: Jest, Cypress, Enzyme, Jasmine and Mocha. 

PWA – progressive web applications

These are applications that seem more like native mobile applications. They can work offline believe it or not and they can also receive notifications. Then you can learn how to work with web sockets. Web sockets will allow you to send data in real time. This is great for applications that need to update something instantly or for things like messaging applications, social media networks and streaming services.

Backend Development

Backend is for people who are not that into visual things. For example,if you don’t have an eye for design and you wouldn’t like moving the elements around the page, but rather you would want to implement the logic of what those elements do. That is where Backend comes in. To become a backend developer firstly, you’ll need to know a programming language and you already know one Javascript. So you can learn node Js. Node Js is not a programming language nor a framework. It’s a runtime environment for javascript, which means that you can use javascript on the server side. If you don’t want to learn node Js, you can try some other programming languages like python, PHP ruby, java and so on. There are plenty of options. 

Once you decide on your programming language, you can choose the framework according to that language. For node Js, you need to learn ExpressJs. And like react js for the front End, Express is going to allow you to create better applications more quickly.

You should at least know about these concepts. You don’t have to implement them for now but you should know what they are and how they work. And the concepts are http/https, APIs, rest API/GraphQLAPI, web sockets, CORS, MVC architecture, CI/CD and serverless.

Database

As the name suggests, a database is a place where you store data. There are two types of databases. SQL and noSQL. SQL stands for structured query language. The popular SQL databases are mySQL, postgres and SQLlite. The most popular NoSQL database is Mongo dB. The Mongo DB database is also a part of the most popular programming stack which isMERn:  MongoDB/ExpressJs/ React/Node. These are all of the technologies that we’ve already mentioned so far. But as you can see now, we’re combining both the front end and the back end to create something exceptional. By using these four technologies, you can create absolutely any application that you can think of, everything that exists in this world today.

There are some more tools you’ll need when working with databases such as ODM/ ORM, which are object document mapping and you need those to interact with the databases more easily. For Mongo dB the most popular ODM is mongoose. And I’ll just mention a few more essential things that you should learn authentication, which allows your user to log in and register all off, which is a simpler way of registration using some popular platforms like google login. Then you’ll need to learn about hashing or decrypt, which is going to allow you to encrypt your users passwords so that they don’t get leaked out to public. You’ll need to learn about rate limiting, reverse proxy, load balancer, documentation, postman.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, leave a comment and our senior developers will get back to you.

Sonika January 12, 2022
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