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Web Development

The 2020 Roadmap To Fullstack Web Development


Becoming a fullstack web developer requires you to cover a lot of skills. For beginners it’s often not easy to find the right learning path and to gain quick result. At first sight it might be overwhelming to understand what you need to learn and how everything fits together at the end.

This post will give you an overview of technologies you may consider to learn for being a fullstack developer in 2020 and beyond. We’ll start to take a look at the foundation and programming languages and then move forward to more advanced topics like frameworks and additional tools.

This list will provide guidance to find your path through the web development jungle in 2020. Together with a short description of the relevant topics this post contains link to great learning resources so that you can start quickly to expand your skill-set.

Foundation

The best way to beginn with your web development career is to get very good at HTML & CSS which is the basis for everything else.

HTML & CSS

The Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is essential for every website you’re implementing. By using HTL you’re defining and structuring the content of a website by using a simple markup syntax.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a simple way for adding styling to your websites (e.g. adding fonts, colors, layout etc).

Having understand HTML you should definitely move on to CSS and make sure to understand the basics. HTML and CSS are two essentials every web developer needs to know. This was valid in 2019 and will also be valid in 2020 …

Course Recommendations:

The Web Developer Bootcamp
The only course you need to learn web development – HTML, CSS, JS, Node, and More!

The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0
Learn Web Development by building 25 websites and mobile apps using HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Python, MySQL & more!

Build Responsive Real World Websites with CSS3 v2.0
Learn CSS3 Flexbox, CSS3 Animations, Transitions, Transformations and Responsive Web Design. Make beautiful websites!

Programming Languages

JavaScript

JavaScript is the essential building block for adding dynamic features to your website. The JavaScript language is an implementation of the underlying ECMAScript specification. Learning JavaScript from the ground up is an essential milestone in starting your web development career. For many frameworks on the frontend (Angular, React, Vue.js) and on the backend side (Node.js) the knowledge of JavaScript is a prerequisite.

The basics of the JavaScript language are easy to learn. However, as the ECMAScript specification evolves, more and more advanced features are added to the language. E.g. features like asynchronous functions, shared memory, and atomic operations have been added.

If you’re starting with JavaScript it might be overwhelming to read about all those advanced JS concept. Here you should focus on the basics first and then move on to the more advanced concepts afterwards.
Course Recommendations:

The Complete JavaScript Course: Build a Real-World Project
Master JavaScript with the most complete JavaScript course on the market! Includes projects, challenges, final exam, ES6

TypeScript

With the rise of Angular TypeScript has gained a lot of traction too. If you’re planning to learn Angular you should definitely take a look at TypeScript first.

TypeScript is an addition to JavaScript and therefore is always used together with JavaScript to enable features like type checking.

TypeScript has an excellent tooling, especially if your work with code editors like Visual Studio Code. Here you’ll find functionalities automatic importing of modules.

Course Recommendations:

Understanding TypeScript
Don’t limit the Usage of TypeScript to Angular 2! Learn the Basics, its Features, Workflows and how to use it!

Python

Python is one of the top programming languages requested by companies in 2019. If you haven’t added Python to your programming skill set yet it’s now the perfect time to start learning.

With Python you’re able to cover a wide range of use cases. You can implement command line scripts, GUI application and web applications. Furthermore the Python programming language is currently fueling scientific computing.

If you’re learning Python for web development you should then take a look at Python web programming frameworks like Django or Flask.

Course Recommendations:

Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python
Learn Python like a Professional! Start from the basics and go all the way to creating your own applications and games!

Complete Python Masterclass
Python 3 is the in-demand programming language used extensively by Google. Master Python 3 and you’ll be in demand too!

The Python Bible™ | Everything You Need to Program in Python
Build 11 Projects and go from Beginner to Pro in Python with the World’s Most Fun Project-Based Python Course!

Frontend Frameworks

Frameworks – both for frontend and backend development – makes developing common functionality easier and faster. However before starting to use a framework you should always try to gain a profound understanding of the underlying technology stack (e.g. JavaScript). This will help you to learn a framework and understand the concept.

Fist, let’s take a look at the most important frontend frameworks in web development:

Vue

2019 has been a great year for Vue with an explosion in growth. Vue is extremely easy to learn and especially for smaller-sized projects a perfect choice. The learning curve is extremely steep and you can expect to quickly see great results.

More and more companies are adding Vue.js to their stacks and the demand for Vue.js developers is growing constantly.

Course Recommendations:

Vue.js 2 – The Complete Guide (incl. Vue Router & Vuex)
Vue JS is an awesome JavaScript Framework for building Frontend Applications! VueJS mixes the Best of Angular + React!

The Ultimate Vue.js 2 Developer Course
Learn and master VueJS by building 3 professional, real world web application using Vue!

React

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. React makes it painless to create interactive UIs. Design simple views for each state in your application, and React will efficiently update and render just the right components when your data changes. Declarative views make your code more predictable and easier to debug. The framework is fully component-based. You can build encapsulated components that manage their own state, then compose them to make complex UIs. Since component logic is written in JavaScript instead of templates, you can easily pass rich data through your app and keep state out of the DOM.

React enables you to create really powerful single-page application. If you haven’t done so before you should definitely add React to your skillset. If you’re planning to develop more complex web application with React you should also consider to take a look at Redux. By using Redux you’ll be able to use central state management in your application which makes data handling across components much more easier.

Course Recommendations:

Modern React With Redux
Master the fundamentals of React and Redux with this tutorial as you develop apps with React Router, Webpack, and ES6

React 16+ – The Complete Guide (incl. Redux)
Dive in and learn React from scratch! Learn Reactjs, Redux, React Routing, Animations, Next.js basics and way more!

Node with React: Fullstack Web Development
Build and deploy fullstack web apps with NodeJS, React, Redux, Express, and MongoDB.

Angular

Angular is a framework for building client applications in HTML and JavaScript / TypeScript. The framework combines declarative templates, dependency injection, end to end tooling, and integrated best practices to solve development challenges.

In 2019 Angular has been one of the most popular frameworks for building single-page web applications. Many new features have been added and Angular is gaining more and more traction.

If you’re looking for a new JS web development framework to learn in 2020 you should consider to take a deeper look at Angular. More and more companies start to make use of Angular and the Angular team will come up with many more features and releases in 2020.

Course Recommendations:

Angular – The Complete Guide
Master Angular (Angular 2+, incl. Angular 5) and build awesome, reactive web apps with the successor of Angular.js

Angular – Concepts, Code and Collective Wisdom
Learn the core concepts, play with the code, become a competent Angular developer

Angular & NodeJS – The MEAN Stack Guide
Learn how to connect your Angular 2/ Angular 5 Frontend with a NodeJS Backend by building a real Application

Sevlte

Svelte brings a new approach to JavaScript-based web development: Instead of doing the bulk of the work in the browser (client-side), Svelte shifts that work to a compiler step which is done during development time. This means that no framework code needs to be delivered to the client. Instead Svelte is able to produce highly optimised plain JavaScript code which can be directly interpreted by the browser. No need of loading additional libraries and code to be able to run the web application.

Course Recommendations:

Svelte.js – The Complete Guide
Build high-performance web applications with Svelte.js – a lightweight JavaScript compiler

Server-Side Rendering

At the moment Server-Side Rendering is one of the hot topics when dealing with web development. SSR (Server-side rendering) refers to the process of completely preparing and rendering the result of a web page on the server and delivering the final result to the browser.

This reduces the processing effort which is needed on client-side significantly and therefore makes web applications ultra fast. SSR is most used in combinations with frameworks like React or Vue. For React there is Next.js and Vue offers the Nuxt.js framework.

Next.js

Next.js is a very popular server-side rendering framework based on React and JavaScript and provided by ZEIT, a company which is focusing on making cloud computing as easy as possible.

Next.js is a very modern platform and providers features like:

  • Server-rendered by default
  • Automatic code splitting for faster page loads
  • Simple client-side routing (page based)
  • Webpack-based dev environment which supports Hot Module Replacement (HMR)
  • Able to implement with Express or any other Node.js HTTP server
  • Customizable with your own Babel and Webpack configurations

Course Recommendations:

Universal React with Next.js – The Ultimate Guide
Learn how to make awesome server-rendered React apps with Next.js

Nuxt.js

Nuxt.js is not only a static site generator based on Vue.js. Infact it delivers multiple build options:

  • Build server-side-rendered Vue.js SPAs (single-page-applications)
  • Build standard SPAs
  • Generate static webpages from Vue.js code

Course Recommendations:

Nuxt.js – Vue.js on Steroids
Build highly engaging Vue JS apps with Nuxt.js. Nuxt adds easy server-side-rendering and a folder-based config approach.

Static Site Generators

Static site generators focus on one main task: generate a complete static HTML-based site. This result does not rely on databases or other external data sources and therewith avoid any server-side processing when accessing the website.

In comparison to dynamic websites, static sites have many advantages and therefore are becoming more and more popular. Static sites can be served quickly, they offer a great extend of simplicity and comes with security benefits out of the box. Furthermore it’s easy to deploy and host static sites as there are no special requirements which needs to be covered by your hosting provider.

Gatsby

Gatsby is based on React and GraphQL, so if you’re already have some basic understanding of those technologies Gatsby might be the right choice for you. Maybe you’d ask: Why needs a static site generator GraphQL? The answer here is easy: Gatsby uses GraphQL internally to make data available which is pulled from different sources into your project. E.g. you can use sources like your file system, WordPress, or Contentful. All of the data which is made available from those sources can then be accessed by using GraphQL which makes the way you’re accessing data easy and consistent.

Gatsby is optimised for speed. Gatsby tries to build the fatest possible website, it delivers code and data splitting out-of-the-box. Therewith Gatsby loads only the parts of your website which are needed right now. In addition, Gatsby prefetches resources for other pages. Because of that navigating between pages of your website feels incredibly fast.

Gatsby comes also with a plugin system which makes it easy to extend the static site generator which additional functionality. E.g. if you want to pull data from another source you simply need to find the right plugin, install and configure this plugin and the desired data becomes accessible by using GraphQL in your pages.

Course Recommendations:

The Gatsby Masterclass
Build blazing-fast, feature-rich, and overall stunning React apps with the Gatsby framework

Gridsome

Gridsome comes with a very similar approach as Gatsby, but instead of React is uses Vue as the underlying web application framework. So if you prefer to use Vue or have already some practical experience in working with Vue you should definitely take a look at Gridsome in 2020.

Course Recommendations:

Blazing-Fast Vue and GraphQL with Gridsome
Harness the best in Vue and GraphQL to make impressive, ridiculously fast apps using the Gridsome static site generator

Backend Frameworks

There are many options you can choose from when selecting a backend framework for your web project. However, in the following I’ll narrow it down to two options, one for the JS world (Node.js) and one for the Python world (Django).

As the name suggest, backend frameworks are running on the backend (on the server) and are generating HTML, JSON (etc.) for your website in a dynamic way depending on the URL your user visits.

If you’re only developing on the frontend side of a project it’s not needed to add a Backend framework to your skill-set. However, to gain a profound understanding of how everything is fitting together you should at least consider to understand the very basics of a backend framework.

Node.js

Node.js enables you to execute JavaScript code at the backend and is extremely powerful especially if Node.js is used together with the Express middelware.

In order to start with Node.js you should first make sure that you have a sound knowledge of the JavaScript programming language. This will ensure that you can understand the core concepts of Node quickly.

Course Recommendations:

The Complete Node.js Developer Course
Learn Node.js by building real-world applications with Node, Express, MongoDB, Mocha, and more!

Django

Django is completely written in Python. If you like the elegance of the Python programming language you’ll like the Django. Django is a powerful framework and serves you for a wide range of use cases. However, if you have gained a profound understanding of Python, Django is easy to learn and you’ll discover the pragmatic approach very quickly.

If you would like to use Python and the backend side of your project you should not definitely take a look at Django and start learning it.

Course Recommendations:

Python and Django Full Stack Web Developer Bootcamp
Learn to build websites with HTML , CSS , Bootstrap , Javascript , jQuery , Python 3 , and Django 1.11!

Conclusion

Web development skills are in very high demand right now and – if you have not started yet – it’s the perfect time to start learning web development right know.

Even if you’re already an experience web developer you should invest some time to keep up with latest technologies and frameworks.

This article should give you a guidance for your learning path and at the same time is providing you with resources which helps you to get started quickly.


Using and writing about best practices and latest technologies in web design & development is my passion.