How To Become A Full-Stack Developer in 2021?

How To Become A Full-Stack Developer in 2021?

Introduction 

The demand for a full-stack developer is at an all-time high, and it is one of the most demanding job profiles worldwide. Most businesses have gone online, which has increased the demand for full-stack developers in the job market.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-stack developer jobs are expected to grow by 27% by 2024, faster than any other job market. Product-based companies like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc., prefer to hire full-stack developers, and with the increased demand for software products, this profession is here to stay.

This blog is for beginners who want to become full-stack developers. In this blog, we will be discussing who is a full-stack developer, the roles of a full-stack developer, and the complete road map to becoming a full-stack developer from scratch with the help of some practical steps. 

A full-stack developer is a person who has the required skill set to work on both the client-side and server-side development. Some of the responsibilities of a full-stack developer include developing a frontend website architecture, creating servers and databases for functionalities, designing and developing APIs, ensuring responsiveness of the application, etc.

Owing to the increasing number of online platforms and businesses becoming digital, the demand for full-stack developers will be increasing in the coming years. Before we begin, let’s see what Ankush Singla, Co-Founder of Coding Ninjas, has to say on – How to Become a Full Stack Developer.

How to become a Full Stack Developer?

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar.

Before diving into full-stack development, having some prerequisites will make your learning process smooth and more effortless. So let’s have a look into them first.

Prerequisites

1. Basic programming knowledge: Have a basic understanding of programming in any language like Python, Java, C++, etc. This will help you understand the code better; otherwise, you might have to do some guesswork that won’t work in the long run.

2. Text Editor: Have a text editor like Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Atom, Sublime Text, etc., installed in your system. You can go for VSCode(Visual Studio Code) if you don’t have any personal preference. It has good performance, a variety of useful extensions, a built-in terminal, and is one of the preferred editors by the developers. Also, install some extensions like ESlint, Prettier, Live Server, etc., to make your development process smooth.

3. Terminal Commands: Learn the basic terminal commands as you will have to use the Command Line Interface(CLI) a lot in your development journey.

4. Git and GitHub: A system called the version control system(VCS) is used to record changes to a file or set of files to recall specific versions later if required. Using a VCS has become a necessity for a developer in today’s world.

Developers worldwide mostly use a VCS called GIT and a Git repository hosting service called GitHub to host and manage Git repositories. So one can start learning the basics of Git and do basic tasks like pushing code into GitHub. This will be helpful when you work as a team while doing projects and contributing to open-source projects. 

5. Browser: Have a browser with good developer tools so that you can debug your code easily.

6. Basic concepts: Explore concepts like how the web works, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Application Programming Interface (APIs), Secure Shell Protocol (SSH), etc.

Now Let’s Start The Awesome Journey Of Becoming A Full Stack Web Developer!

When you open a login page on any website, you will come across some components like buttons, input bar, headings, etc. These components are created using a markup language called HyperText Markup Language or HTML.

To add colour, change font size, create hover effect, etc, a style sheet language called Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is used to the component. So, to begin with, one should start by learning the basics of HTML and CSS.   

In HTML cover the basic concepts like tags, attributes, links, images, tables, layouts, etc. After this, you will reach a stage where you can create a basic page, and now you will have to use CSS to add beauty and responsiveness to this page. And for that, learn the basic CSS concepts like selectors, value, property, media-query, etc.

Image Ref: You can create a Portfolio Website for yourself and use it as an online resume

Learning HTML and CSS will help you build static pages. At this stage, you can try some small projects like a tribute page, static e-commerce website, etc. 

After getting a solid grasp over HTML and CSS, you can start exploring CSS frameworks like Bootstrap, Tailwind CSS, Materialise CSS, etc., and concepts like Flexbox, Grid, etc., which will help you in making your page responsive without much effort.

To those who don’t know what a responsive page means – the web page will automatically scale its content and elements to the device’s screen dimensions to provide a seamless user experience. Ex: a website when viewed on a desktop monitor would look different when viewed on the mobile phone’s screen.

Now it is time to add some functionality to your website, and for this, knowledge of a programming language called JavaScript or JS will be required. JavaScript covers basic concepts like data types, functions, conditionals, loops, operators, event handling, etc. Then you can try adding some features to your portfolio website like showing time, alert messages, etc. 

The best way to learn JavaScript is by making some functional games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Stone-Paper-Scissors, Quiz App, or Dragon Game. You can also try making a Todo List or projects using the API, enabling data transmission between software products.

For example, you can use the weather API by OpenWeatherMap to build a Weather app that tells the current weather at a place.

After completing the projects, you can create a repository on GitHub and share the links in your resume to build credibility in front of the recruiter. You can also deploy them on GitHub Pages, Netlify, Heroku, etc., for free.

Building a website using basic HTML and CSS may appear like a good choice while doing mini-projects, but when one starts working on a large-scale project, the knowledge of frameworks and libraries will be required.

The knowledge of frameworks and libraries helps developers build a structured and organised application by providing them with prewritten code for commonly used functions and components, improving modularity, and increasing code readability.

You can learn frontend frameworks and libraries like React, Vue, Angular, etc., and concepts like state management. In addition, building projects using APIs like Twitter API, GitHub API, Facebook API, etc., will help you understand how these frameworks work. 

While choosing a framework, try to select one that companies extensively use and is in demand. Currently, React is popular among developers because of its great community support, improved efficiency, extra simplicity, flexibility, and component reusability. After React, the preference goes for Angular and Vue. 

You can call yourself a frontend developer at this stage, and now let’s go through the requirements to become a backend developer. 

The backend handles the user’s interaction with the website by offering interactivity with the data stored in the databases. Backend development requires the knowledge of server-side programming language and databases.

You can call yourself a frontend developer at this stage, and now let’s go through the requirements to become a backend developer. 

The backend handles the user’s interaction with the website by offering interactivity with the data stored in the databases. Backend development requires the knowledge of server-side programming language and databases.

You can now start learning server-side scripting languages like Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, C#, Golang, etc., along with the data structures and algorithms for operating the backend, as manipulating data is our main concern here.

A server-side language will help you write queries for the database, perform operations on the database, interact with servers, and give output according to the user input. In addition, learning data structures and algorithms will help you increase the application’s performance and optimize the code.

Backend frameworks like Django, Flask, Express, Laravel, Spring MVC, ASP.NET, etc., can be used to build scalable and efficient applications. You guys would be surprised that JavaScript can be used for both the frontend and back end.

A cross-platform runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine called Node.js is used to build backend services like APIs. Choosing Node.js would be a good choice as you have already learned JavaScript while learning the frontend technologies!

Consider the example of a blogging website, where you can find thousands of blog posts. The blogs, author’s information, image, etc., are stored in something called the database. A full-stack developer needs to know databases to develop a dynamic application with features like searching, filtering, etc.

However, the inefficient organisation of data can be confusing and lead to maintainability issues. A skeleton structure representing the logical view of the database as a whole called the database schema comes into play to solve this issue. So in the next stage, you can start learning more about databases and efficient designing practices. 

Some of the databases which you can use are:

  • Relational Database: PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL, etc
  • NoSQL: MongoDB, CouchDB, etc
  • Cloud Database: Firebase, AWS, Azure Cloud DB, etc

Congratulations, now you are a full-stack developer! After this, you can try doing some full-stack projects like Note-Taking App with the basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operations. You can also add authentication and chatting facilities to better the application in the next stage or versions.

Also, learn about the Software Design patterns, which will help you make the code reusable, modular, clean, easy to debug, and make the development process efficient. 

Deploying a full-stack application is slightly more complicated than a frontend application. The following can be used to deploy the application:

  • Hosting Platform: Heroku, Linode
  • Server: NGINX, Apache
  • Container: Docker along with Kubernetes
  • CICD: Jenkins, Travis CI

After deploying the application, try collecting feedback from your friends and start working on them in the subsequent iteration. This will help you improve your application as well as your skillset.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Web development still in demand by 2021?

Yes, the demand for web development is growing with the increase in the use of software applications. Also, the rise in the use of mobile phones to search the web will lead to an increased demand for web developers.

How do I become a full-stack developer?

To become a full-stack web developer, one should learn frontend languages, frontend frameworks, backend technologies, backend frameworks, Database Management systems (DBMS), version control systems, and deployment.

How can I learn Web development in 2021?

Learn tools and technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Node JS, React, MongoDB, and Git. In short, learn the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express, React, Node) or the MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node) stack, which is currently in demand.

Is Web development a dying career?

Web development is not a dying career, but it is a dying career for those who are not actively learning and adapting to the new technologies popping up in web development.

Is Web development a stressful job?

It’s not a stressful job. However, one has to be patient and be enthusiastic enough to learn new technologies coming up in the industry.

Are HTML and CSS dying?

No, HTML and CSS are the standard languages used to build websites, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Key Takeaways

So this was all about how to become a full-stack developer. In this blog, we ran you through the following:

  • Who is a full-stack developer? 
  • Why is there a demand for a full-stack developer? 
  • Road map to become a full-stack developer
  • Various frontend and backend technologies
  • Some common questions related to web development
  • Ideas for mini-projects

With this discussion, this blog attempted to give you a roadmap to become a full-stack developer.

By Hari Sapna Nair

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