Before we begin, I also want to point you to a resource I wrote that breaks down all the major areas of software development you need to know to be a great web developer. The list is pretty long, but trust me, if you can get through all or most of that list you will be an amazing software developer by the end. Also, all the resources are completely free!
This question may be a bit hard to answer. But be honest with yourself. How well do you really know these languages? Do you feel comfortable building a static website from scratch without asking for help? Googling is definitely okay. Even experienced developers google how to do things!
However, do you understand how to write CSS code with flexbox and CSS grids?
The reason I say this is because these three languages are the foundation of the frontend. It is very important to have a strong foundation in the tools you use. It makes the learning process much easier and you end up saving a lot of time and frustration because you naturally understand how technologies built on top of these languages work.
If you do feel comfortable with these languages, then keep reading!
It doesn’t matter which framework you choose first, but the three most popular in 2021 are React, Angular, or Vue.
React is the most popular front-end framework in 2021 and one of the easiest to learn. For that reason, I recommend starting here.
If you want to learn React, this is a great place to start.
This shows that the more you learn about frontend development, and coding in general, the easier other things become to learn. Partially because you have seen the same patterns and principles before.
In addition to frontend frameworks, there are a few other things you should learn to become a proficient web developer.
CSS preprocessors are like writing CSS but in a cleaner and more powerful language. Including features not available within CSS, such as variables, loops, and nesting. These include languages like Sass/SCSS, Less, and Stylus.
Preprocessors work by allowing the coder to write CSS within the preprocessed language and then compiling it into CSS.
I personally only ever use SCSS (a version of Sass) and even converted our company code base to start using the language. So it’s the only one I can recommend. However, they are all good because they are all better than writing native CSS code!
You can learn Sass in under two hours by following this guide. So there really is no excuse not to learn it! Once you write CSS in a preprocessor, you will never go back.
If you’re no longer interested in furthering your knowledge in the frontend and instead want to learn a backend language, that’s totally fine too!
The backend is an exciting and vast area of web development. You can get into interesting topics such as APIs, web scraping, and networking.
Getting into the details of backend development is beyond the scope of this article, however, I do mention some great resources to learn backend development here.
If you feel confident, the natural progression is to learn a front-end framework such as React, Angular, or Vue. You can also take this time to learn a CSS preprocessor like Sass, Less, or Stylus. Finally, this might be a good opportunity to transition and start learning about backend development with Node and Express.
If you want to learn how to begin working as a self-taught web developer, check out this resource.
If you are preparing for a coding interview, check out the best language to use.