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Full Stack Web Developer Learning Path in 2024

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09th Jul, 2024
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    Full Stack Web Developer Learning Path in 2024

    Full-stack developer roles are among the hottest careers in the tech space now. These talented folks can develop a whole product from scratch.

    A full-stack developer is a combination of a Front-end developer and a Back-end developer. These two in themselves are full-time jobs and most people make careers out of one of them. So, we will start with the Front-end roadmap and then go to the Back-end roadmap.

    A person interested in Full stack developer learning path needs to have proficiency in both the front-end and back-end tools, just like I started as a Front-end developer and later on become a Full stack developer by mastering JavaScript backend technologies and databases. For more information, check out the Full Stack Development Course with placement.

    Also, don't forget to check out the 5 reasons to become a Full Stack Developer article while we're talking about FSD learning path.

    Industries where full stack developers are relevant

    The demand for Full stack developers is the highest in early-stage startups, where they want to create a Minimum Viable Product at the earliest to showcase to the investors. It is also a nice skill to have in addition to frontend technologies or backend technologies alone since an employer prefers people with both skills.

    What to learn & where to learn

    There are a lot of technologies to learn to be a Full-Stack developer. We will discuss about them in the coming sections.

    Know more about microservices interview questions.

    Full Stack Developer Learning Path

    A full-stack developer is actually a combination of Front-end developer and Back-end developer. We need to master both, and both have different Roadmaps. Let’s start with the basics.

    • The frontend is the website that we see, and it is primarily made with HTML and CSS. JavaScript was also used earlier but nowadays, it is created with JavaScript frameworks like ReactJS, Angular, or Vue. All these frameworks require one to learn the basics of HTML, CSS, & JavaScript. So, we need to learn the basics followed by at least one framework.
    • In the backend, we have a lot of technologies and databases also. So, we need to choose one backend framework from Java (Spring Framework), JavaScript (NodeJS), etc, and then also learn databases. Databases are divided into two categories, which are NoSQL(MongoDB) and SQL(PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle) databases. So, you need to choose one of the databases.
    • We are also required to know about DevOps, which is a practice of harmonizing development and operations whereby the entire pipeline from development, testing, deployment, continuous integration, and feedback is automated. The knowledge of either AWS or Azure-based cloud ecosystem is required, and also CI/CD like Jenkins and containerizing & orchestrating applications using Docker and Kubernetes.

    If you are looking to advance your career and earn a higher salary, you may want to consider enrolling in a Full Stack Developer pay after placement program. These programs provide training and job placement assistance, with the added benefit of not having to pay tuition until after you secure a job.

    Frontend Roadmap

    Frontend Roadmap

    Learn the Basics

    Please refer to the attached figure for the Front-end roadmap, as we will be referring to this throughout this article. We have to start our journey by learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which is the base for a web app or website. HTML has changed a bit over the years, with the introduction of HTML 5 and semantics tags, so make sure to update yourself. To advance your career in web development, enroll in Web Developer courses.

    JavaScript, which was released in 1995, didn’t change much during the next 20 years. But once more and more developers started using it, the ECMA committee decided to add some very nice features and enhance the language and renamed it ES6 in 2015. After that, they regularly added new features to the language and have just released ES2020 in June 2020, which has many additional features. So, learn the basic JavaScript first and then upgrade to ES6 and newer versions.

    CSS is what makes a website or web-app beautiful and is often considered the hardest part by a developer. Earlier, CSS was very confusing and had a steep learning curve, because of the use of floats to create a layout. Developers usually used to work with CSS frameworks like bootstrap to design a site. But things have changed a lot with the invention of CSS Grid and Flexbox.

    Some of the best resources to learn the basics are -

    Getting Deeper 

    Now, just learning JavaScript and some basic CSS will not make you a good Front-end developer as you have to take a deep dive into JavaScript. We will discuss CSS later, after learning the essentials of JavaScript.

    1. JavaScript Essentials

    There are many things associated with JavaScript which we need to learn before moving forward.

    2. The Terminal

    The first thing to learn is to work in a terminal and master some of the basic commands. If you are on a Mac, it’s already based on Linux and runs most Linux commands. If you are working on Windows then you must install git bash, which will give you a Linux environment to work with. In JavaScript frameworks, we need to run a lot of commands from the terminal, like if we want to install a third-party dependency by npm.

    The basics of Linux can be learned from their official site: Linux Foundation

    3. Version Control

    Next, learning version control is very important because we should always keep our code in some remote repository like Github. The industry works on Git, which is version control software. It is completely command-based and is used heavily everywhere. Learn the basic commands which will be useful even for an individual developer. Later on, when working with teams, more advanced knowledge of the git command is required.

    Through the git commands, we store our code in repositories. The most popular ones are Github and Bit Bucket, so we need to learn how to store and link them.

    The basics of git can be learned from this awesome tutorial: Git Tutorial

    4. Task Runners

    Task runners are applications that are used to automate tasks required in projects. These tasks include minification of JavaScript and CSS files, CSS preprocessing from SASS to CSS, image optimization, and Unit testing. The three popular task runners are npm scriptsgulp, and grunt.

    The npm script is nothing but the package.json file which comes with React projects or is created in a Node.js project using npm init.

    Gulp and Grunt are much bigger applications and also have a plugin ecosystem that is suited for large JavaScript projects. The basics for these two technologies can be learned from here:

    5. Module Loader and Bundler

    Both module loaders and bundlers are required for large JavaScript applications. Knowledge of both is required if the project you are working is a big Vanilla JavaScript project.

    When a large JavaScript application consists of hundreds of files, the module loader takes care of the dependency and makes sure all the modules are loaded when the application is executed. Examples are RequireJS and SystemJS.

    Module bundlers also do the same thing, building it at the time of application build rather than at the runtime. Popular examples are Webpack and Rollup.

    The basic tutorials which can be referred are:

    6. Testing  

    Testing nowadays is very important in any type of project. There are two types of testing; one is known as Unit testing and other as end-to-end testing. For unit testing we write test cases, and the most popular tool nowadays is Jest.

    End-to-end testing is automated testing, which emulates the whole app. Suppose, an app has a login screen and then it shows posts. The testing tool will run the web app to check whether all the functionalities are done correctly. The two most popular options today are Puppeteer and Cypress. The tutorials to refer for these topics are:

    Libraries and Framework

    They are the most important part of the JavaScript ecosystem nowadays. It all started with the release of AngularJS in 2010. Before that period most enterprise apps were made in Java and were desktop apps. But AngularJS changed everything because it made it easy to manage big projects with JavaScript and helped to create complex web apps.

    1. React 

    It is the most popular JavaScript library today and is used by both enterprises and startups that have a huge ecosystem. It is not a complete framework like Angular and we have to install third-party dependencies for most things. But if you want to learn a framework that will get you a job, then that framework would be ReactJS, and its demand is not going away for the next 5 years. The component approach and its easy learning curve have made React more popular than other frameworks. A good starting tutorial for React is: ReactJS

    • State Management: In React state management can sometimes become complex, when we need to share data between components. We generally take the help of external packages in it with the most popular being Redux. But we also have other state management libraries like XState and Recoil.

    • Server-side rendering: With performance becoming important nowadays, Server-Side Rendering speeds up the React projects even faster. In SSR projects, the React code is rendered on the server and the client browser directly receives the HTML, CSS, JS bundle. The only framework to do it is NextJS.

    • Static Site Generators: A lot of sites don’t need to be updated frequently and it is the place where the only Static Site Generator for ReactJS, which is GatsbyJS shines. With the help of GatsbyJS we can create extremely fast static sites and it gets into Wordpress domain a lot with it. GatsbyJS also has a huge ecosystem of plugins, which enhances its functionalities.

    • React Testing: Unit testing is a very important part of ReactJS projects, especially the ones which are very large. Unit testing ensures that we have lower bugs in the Production build. The two popular libraries are – Enzyme and Jest.

    2. Angular 

    It is a complete framework and unlike React requires very few external dependencies. Everything is built within Angular and we don’t have to go outside for more features. Since it was among the earliest frameworks, older projects are in Angular and it is still widely used in enterprises. A good tutorial to learn Angular is here - Angular

    3. Vue 

    Vue is another very popular JavaScript library, which has the best features of both ReactJS and Angular and has become very popular in recent years. It is widely used in both enterprises and startups. A good tutorial to start with Vue is here - Vue

    4. NuxtJS

    It is used for Server-Side Rendering in Vue projects and is similar to the NextJS framework used in ReactJS for SSR.

    5. Svelte 

    It is the newest of all frameworks/libraries and has become quite popular, but still not used much in enterprises and startups. It is different from React, Vue, and Angular and converts the app at build time rather than at run time as in the other three. Good tutorials to start with Svelte are below-

    CSS Deep Dive

    A lot has changed in CSS after it included CSS Grid and Flexbox; it has become much easier for developers to work with. 

    1. CSS Essentials   

    It is now mandatory for frontend developers to learn CSS Grid and Flexbox, because through it we can develop beautiful layouts with ease. More companies are moving away from CSS Frameworks and have started working with CSS Grid and Flexbox, which are now supported by all browsers. Good tutorials to learn Flexbox and CSS Grid are below-

    2. Preprocessors 

    CSS preprocessors are used to add special functionalities in CSS, which it lacks. An example is Sass, which adds special features like variables and nested rules in CSS and is widely used in the industry for larger projects. 

    The other popular one is PostCSS, in which we can use custom plugin and tools in CSS. 

    3. CSS Frameworks 

    Frameworks were very popular from the early days of CSS, when it was very complicated because of floats. 

    • Bootstrap: This is the most popular and oldest CSS framework; easy to learn and also has a wide variety of elements, templates and interfaces. 
    • Bulma: It is another CSS framework, which is very popular and much easier to use than bootstrap. 
    • Tailwind CSS: This is a fairly new CSS framework and is quite popular nowadays. It follows a different approach than the other frameworks and contains easier classes. 
    • Styled Components (React): This is a CSS in JS library and is for React only. It is used to create components out of every style and is very popular in the React world.  

    CI/CD

    Continuous Integration/ Continuous deployment is mainly used by DevOps. But a frontend engineer should know its basics. It is used to build, test and deploy applications automatically.

    • Github Actions: It is a freely available CI/CD pipeline, which directly integrates to your github based project and can be used in a variety of languages. 

    Deployment 

    It is again a task that mainly falls into the domain of Backend engineers and DevOps, but a frontend engineer should know some basic and simple tools. 

    1. Static Deployment   

    These products are mainly used to deploy static sites, which consists of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript only. Two very popular services are Amazon S3 and Surge.sh.

    2. Node Application Deployment   

    The projects containing node code cannot be deployed using static deployment. Even if the project is a simple ReactJS project, it also uses node for processing. These applications require services which run the Node code and deploy it. The three most popular services are VercelFirebase and Netlify. 

    Backend Roadmap (Including Storage, Services & Deployment)

    Backend Roadmap

    Understanding the Backend

    Backend is the part of the website that provides the functionality, allowing people to browse their favorite site, purchase a product and log into their account, for instance. All data related to a user or a product or anything else are generally stored in databases or CMS (Content Management System) and when a user visits any website, they are retrieved from there and shown. 

    One of the responsibilities of a backend engineer involves writing APIs, which actually interact with the database and get the data. They are also involved in writing schemas of databases and creating the structure of databases. 

    Backend Essentials

    For a backend engineer, working in a Linux environment is an essential skill. A lot of the configurations are done on the terminal. So, he or she should be very good with Linux commands.

    Also, they should know both commands and the use of any git powered platforms like Github or bitbucket.

    Languages and Frameworks

    All of the popular languages have some framework, which has been used for backend development. These frameworks are generally used to create API endpoints, which are used to fetch or store data in the database. For example, when we scroll articles on Facebook, these articles are fetched from a database and we use the GET method to fetch them. Similarly, when we write an article and hit submit, it uses POST method.

    Now, different frameworks implement this GET, POST, and other APIs also referred to as RESTful APIs in their own way.

    1. Java

    Java is by far the oldest and the most used language for backend development. It is also used for a variety of other tasks like Android development, but it shines in the backend because of its multithreading abilities. So, enterprise-grade web apps and web apps with a lot of traffic prefer Java, because it handles loads better.

    The most popular frameworks for backend development in Java are Spring Framework and Hibernate.

    2. JavaScript

    It is a very popular choice for backend development because on the frontend side JavaScript is the only choice. So, a lot of front-end engineers can take this choice to become Full-stack developers.

    3. Node.js

    It allows developers to use JavaScript to write server-side code, through which they can write APIs. Actually, the API part can be done by numerous frameworks of Node.js out of which Express is widely used. The other popular framework is Fastify.

    4. Python

    Python is one of the most popular languages among developers and has been used in a variety of fields. The two most popular frameworks for Python are Flask and Django. Some good beginner tutorials are - Flask Tutorial

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    Conclusion

    In conclusion, the full stack developer learning path will help you through a transformative journey brimming with opportunities for growth and innovation. In this comprehensive guide, we have uncovered the complex road map that is necessary to navigate the ever-changing field of full-stack web development. From fundamental languages to sophisticated frameworks and database management, this trajectory demands dedication and a thirst for continuous learning.

    Remember, this guide offers a foundational blueprint. The essence of becoming a proficient full-stack developer lies in continuous exploration, hands-on projects, and a passion for lifelong learning. With commitment and a growth mindset, aspiring developers can embark on this transformative journey, ready to shape the future of web development.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1How Long Does It Take to Complete Full-stack Developer Career Learning Path?

    Though there is no fixed time that suits all, as this is a self-paced learning material and the time taken can vary based on several factors. Still with dedication one can complete this training in 9 to 10 months of rigorous working. The duration may also vary based on prior programming knowledge, with complete beginners potentially taking several months while those with significant JavaScript experience may progress faster.

    2What programming languages should I start with as a beginner in Full Stack Development?

    As a beginner in full-stack development, it is recommended to start with certain programming languages as given below:  

    1. HTML and CSS: These languages are commonly used for building websites and web applications. 

    2. JavaScript: JavaScript is a versatile language that is essential for front-end development and provides interactivity to web pages. 

    3. Python: Python is known for its simplicity and readability, making it a popular choice for beginners. It is widely used in web development and has a large community and extensive libraries. 

    Remember, starting with a solid foundation in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is crucial for full-stack development, and from there, you can explore and expand your knowledge in other languages based on your interests and project needs. 

    3What are the essential skills every Full Stack Developer should have in their toolkit?

    A full-stack developer should possess essential skills to excel in their role. While the specific skills may vary, here are some key ones to consider: 

     

    Version Control: Familiarity with version control systems like Git enables collaboration, code management, and tracking changes in projects. 

    Testing and Debugging: Proficiency in testing frameworks and debugging tools helps ensure the quality and reliability of the codebase. 

    Problem-solving: Strong problem-solving skills help in debugging, troubleshooting, and finding efficient solutions to technical challenges. 

    Communication: Effective communication skills are crucial for collaborating with team members, understanding project requirements, and conveying technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders. 

    Continuous Learning: The ability to adapt to new technologies, stay updated with industry trends, and continuously learn and improve is essential in the fast-paced field of full-stack development. 

    4Can I become a Full Stack Developer without a computer science degree?

    Yes, you can become a full-stack developer without a computer science degree. While a degree can be beneficial, it is not the sole determining factor in becoming a successful full-stack developer. Focus on acquiring the necessary skills, building a strong portfolio, and gaining practical experience to showcase your abilities to potential employers.

    Profile

    Bala Krishna Ragala

    Blog Author

    Bala Krishna Ragala, Head of Engineering at upGrad, is a seasoned writer and captivating storyteller. With a background in EdTech, E-commerce, and LXP, he excels in building B2C and B2B products at scale. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Bala has held key roles as CTO/Co-Founder at O2Labs and Head of Business (Web Technologies) at Zeolearn LLC. His passion for learning, sharing, and teaching is evident through his extensive training and mentoring endeavors, where he has delivered over 80 online and 50+ onsite trainings. Bala's strengths as a trainer lie in his extensive knowledge of software applications, excellent communication skills, and engaging presentation style.

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