We use a number of websites in our day-to-day lives. Have you ever wondered how these websites are even built? What are the technologies used? If you are a beginner and interested in making amazing, feature-rich web applications, this article is definitely for you. Here, we are going to discuss how to start with web development. This article will also outline a complete roadmap to becoming a full stack developer, which is among the most in-demand skills right now in the IT industry. Having said that, let’s dive in.
What is Web Development?
Web Development refers to the process of creating a website or a web application for the Internet (global network) or an Intranet (a private network) that serves various purposes, such as providing information (blog), e-commerce, social media, e-learning, and so on. Users access a website through a web browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. A web developer is the one who develops such a website with the help of web programming languages, frameworks, and other toolkits depending on the requirements. In the following section, we will be discussing different types of web developers and their responsibilities.
Types of Web Developers
There are three main types of web developer specializations. They are
- Front-End Developer
- Back-End Developer
- Full-Stack Developer
A question may arise in your mind about what a front-end developer does. A front-end developer is usually responsible for creating the part of the web application that a user sees or interacts with. While opening YouTube, for example, you will see the video, the subscribe button, and other items. These visual elements are the building blocks of the front end.
If you want to begin the web development journey, your first step would be to learn front-end development. You can start it by learning the following languages that will make your foundation strong,
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a markup language that defines the skeleton of a webpage. It provides tags for specifying elements such as paragraphs, headings, images, forms, input fields, etc.
For example, if you want to show a large heading that says “Learn to Grow” on your website, then in HTML, you would have to write <h1>Learn to Grow</h1>. Here, the <h1> and </h1> are opening and closing tags for the heading, respectively, and they enclose the content to be shown. Likewise, the piece of HTML code <input type=”text”> will show an input field that accepts any text from the keyboard. Input fields are useful to gather information from the user, such as in sign-up forms or payment checkout forms. Here, the input tag is a self-closing tag, which means, unlike h1 tags, the input does not have any closing tags.
It is pretty easy to learn and grasp the principles of HTML. The best way to master it is by creating a simple webpage from your thoughts, including some text, images, etc.
💡 Note: HTML is used only for defining the structure of the webpage where you will be specifying what type of elements your website should contain. HTML does not provide any features for styling these elements out of the box. For this, you have to use languages like CSS for styling the components of the website to make it beautiful and attractive, which we see mostly on the Internet.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and is used to design the appearance of a website. With the help of CSS, you can mention how much the font size of a heading should be, what color it should be, the amount of spacing between two HTML elements, etc. Initially, you can learn some basic concepts like color, font size, border, margin, padding, height, width, id, class, etc. which are enough for you to start designing your website. Once you get good hands-on with the basics, you can move forward to more advanced features such as layouts using grid and flex.
For practice, you can make your own portfolio website or a landing page ( a website to showcase information about a company, business, or educational institution), or even a clone of an existing website such as Amazon.
💡 Note: Understanding a programming language might be difficult if you are a beginner as it often requires you to think like a computer. But hey! that’s not a big deal, you can still do it. We are gonna share some amazing websites where you can learn all these concepts pretty easily.
Where to learn Front-End Development?
- W3Schools(best for beginners)
- MDN Web Docs(official documentation of open web technologies)
- CSS-Tricks(great for learning CSS)
Some Front-End Development Project Ideas
After learning the basics of the front-end development fundamentals, it’s the right time to gear up and start making some cool projects to strengthen the concepts. You can consider the following ideas for your Front-End projects,
- A Portfolio Website
- Landing Page (Here you will make a website that showcases a business startup or a company or an educational institute)
- Clone of popular websites like Amazon, Facebook, etc.
- An E-Commerce website using your own thoughts and ideas.
💡 Note: Making projects allows you to improve your creativity, and problem-solving abilities and to learn new things. You can mention these projects in your resume to stand out in an interview. Obviously, this is not the end. You can make any kind of website using your creativity and try to improve your skills. Always try to think about making projects that might be useful for others.
Front-End Frameworks and Libraries
Even though developing each and every bit of a project from scratch makes you learn a lot, sometimes you have to consider the time factor as well. While writing code for making web pages and defining logic, we often repeat the same stuff again and again. A simple example is CSS. You probably guessed that defining those tiny attributes like font size, color, etc. makes the whole development process tedious. So, to save some light-years, we can use something called a framework. These are nothing but some software toolkits that comes with ready-made functions or code blocks for various common tasks and makes the development much easier and faster. Let’s look at some of them,
Bootstrap is a CSS framework for creating responsive and mobile-first web designs. It comes with predefined components for building a webpage, like a button, card, container, form, etc. Bootstrap provides HTML code for such a component and CSS classes, which makes the front-end development much faster. One disadvantage to this is less customizability. Designs made using Bootstrap can be identified since they are ready-made.
Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework for building responsive front-ends. Unlike Bootstrap, Tailwind provides classes for properties like padding, and margin to reduce the need for raw CSS. This enhances the design’s customizability and hence the framework is gaining immense popularity among developers.
React allows developers to create a part of the UI (e.g. the header) as a component that can be embedded or used anywhere on the website. This has made the library an amazing tool to build awesome UIs for websites.
Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, Uber, Dropbox, etc. are some examples of companies that use React JS library in their platforms.
In Angular JS, you will learn about Models, Directives, Routes, Data Binding, Controllers, etc.
Companies such as PayPal, Upwork, Microsoft Xbox, Gmail, etc. use Angular JS.
Some examples of well-known companies that use Vue are Grammarly, Behance, Nintendo, etc.
So far we have covered the languages and frameworks/libraries that you need for front-end web development.
Now let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?
In general, a website is more than just a front-end. To understand this, let’s take the example of buying an item through an e-commerce website like Amazon. The user interface that you see is nothing but the front-end. You go and tap on a product that attracts you the most or that is required by you. Upon selecting the item, it shows all the product-related details, such as the price, features, color, and so on. If you like the item and are happy with the price, you add it to your shopping cart and finally complete the checkout process. Now the question arises, who is handling your interactions, such as selecting the item or adding it to the cart? It is termed as the back-end of the website that is generally hosted on a server.
The back-end of any website or any software is responsible for handling all the user interactions, performing required actions, and providing the desired output. And to develop such a backend, a developer has to build a collection of programs that define all the logic for performing the actions.
In the next section, we will discuss the roles of a back-end developer in detail and the skills that you will need to become one.
A back-end developer is the one who is responsible for developing the part of a website or any software that handles all the user interactions or requests. The interactions can be anything like giving a comment to someone’s post on Facebook, selecting a cloth item on Amazon, or playing a video on YouTube. The developer generally writes a collection of programs (or sometimes referred to as scripts) and hosts them in structured directories with the required tools and configuration on a server. When a request from the user arises, the relevant program is executed.
To become a back-end developer, first, you have to understand the basics of programming like variables, functions, loops, arrays, classes, objects, etc. A program is basically a sequence of instructions that perform a specific task. In order to write such a program, you have to learn something known as a Programming Language.
In a nutshell, a programming language is a language used for instructing a computer machine to carry out some action just like English or any other language used for basic human communication.
💡 Note: Don’t worry, you need not have to learn all of them since different languages are used for different purposes. So you have to choose the right one for your need.
Java is among the most strict, secured, and robust object-oriented programming languages available. Java is well-known for it’s rigid structure and is used in various applications such as desktop software, server-side applications, android development, and so on. You might find it hard to start with the language at first, but once you understand the basics, it might become one of your favorites.
C# (pronounced as C Sharp) is a type-safe, powerful object-oriented programming language. In simple terms, “type-safe” means it prevents type errors. The syntax of C# is pretty similar to that of Java. So if you know Java already, then it will take no time to learn C#. Developers prefer C sharp language to make video games, windows applications, cloud applications, etc.
Python is an open-source, high-level, object-oriented, and interpreted programming language. It is relatively easy to learn Python and it takes fewer lines of code to write a program as compared to other languages. Python has become one of the most demanding languages because of it’s capability to implement powerful AI systems. However, developers also choose Python for web development purposes as well as use frameworks such as Django, FastAPI, etc. We will cover them in the next section.
Now, let us look at some of the popular and feature-rich back-end frameworks available.
Django is a Python web framework used for building clean and scalable server-side applications. Django follows MVT (Model View Template) architecture. It focuses on rapid application development and facilitates high scalability and security. Developers prefer the Django framework to build applications faster with perfection to meet tight deadlines.
Laravel is an open-source PHP framework for building back-ends. It follows the MVC architecture. Laravel is quite popular and loved by PHP developers due to its immense features and compatibility with other technologies. Eloquent ORM (database abstraction), Queues, Web sockets, and Laravel Sanctum (authentication) are some amazing toolkits provided by the Laravel framework that makes the development process much quicker and easier.
Spring is the most popular Java framework used for building web apps. Spring is fast, secure, and flexible. It provides features such as microservices, asynchronous & non-blocking architecture, serverless, event-driven architecture, batch processing, and more. Since Spring is built on top of Java, many companies prefer Spring for their applications due to productivity and security benefits.
FastAPI is a fast, modern web framework used for developing RESTful APIs in Python. Fast development, robustness, and intuitiveness are some of the key features of FastAPI. It is based on open standards for APIs—OpenAPI and JSON Schema. APIs are crucial for building any web application that facilitates the interactions between the front-end and the back-end (will cover API in the next section).
Once you learn your favorite back-end language and frameworks, it’s the right time to learn about databases.
A database is a vital component of any software that deals with data. The database is a part of the back-end and is responsible for permanent storage of any type of data, e.g. order details in an e-com app, watch history on YouTube, friends list on a social media platform, etc.
In order to create and maintain databases, we use something known as a Database Management System (DBMS). A DBMS provides queries to perform database operations like create, retrieve, update, delete, etc.
Now let’s check out some popular DBMS used by developers today,
It is an extremely popular, open-source relational DBMS. You can learn the fundamental SQL (Structure Query Language) queries provided by MySQL such as create, select, update, drop, alter, view, etc. PHP is often coupled with MySQL to develop website back-ends. In MySQL, data is stored in tables. Here, each row specifies a particular record, each column refers to an attribute of the records.
PostgreSQL is gaining tremendous popularity among developers due to its robustness and performance. It is an advanced, enterprise-grade DBMS that supports both SQL and NoSQL queries. If you are thinking of creating production-grade solutions in the future, PostgreSQL is for you.
Oracle is another quite popular and powerful database management system produced and maintained by Oracle Corporation. It supports both SQL and PL/SQL. Scalability, high-performance, and failure recovery are some of the key features of Oracle DBMS.
MongoDB is a leading, open-source, and cross-platform NoSQL DBMS. It is a document-oriented database software and focuses on creating records in terms of objects. MongoDB is capable of offering faster query processing as compared to SQL DBMS. MongoDB is often used with Node.js and, together with other technologies, constitutes the MERN stack.
Some Back-End Project Ideas
Once you get familiar with programming and back-end stuff, you can make some projects that focus on the back-end. Here are some,
- CRUD application that interacts with a database
- User authentication app
- Discord bots
- Chat application (console-based)
- Virtual Linux terminal
Full Stack Developer
Once you get confident with the front-end and back-end, you are ready to get your hands dirty with some advanced concepts to become a job-ready full-stack developer. Most individuals misunderstand the concept of full-stack development as the combination of front-end and back-end development, but it’s more than that. Learning full-stack is a never-ending process. You can dive deeper and deeper as you thrive. However, we will cover a few elements that are most useful and often utilized in any full-stack development pipeline.
Git and GitHub are two extremely powerful tools used for collaborative software development and version control. Git is generally installed on a local machine and allows the developer to create repositories in order to track and manage all the changes made in the software code. Git provides a simple command for initializing repositories, adding changes to staging areas, committing the changes, creating branches, merging changes, etc.
On the other hand, GitHub is a cloud platform that hosts software code and allows collaboration. The source code is usually stored as a repository on GitHub. This allows any interested developer to use the code (if the repository is public) or to make contributions. Branches, forks, clones, etc. are some of the key features provided by GitHub.
💡 Note: If you want to be a web developer, you should get yourself familiar with Git and GitHub as they are extremely useful and makes the development process easier and hassle-free.
When you want to enter the world of software development, you will definitely come across the need for the Linux operating system. Linux is an open-source, light-weight, and extremely powerful OS developed by Linus Torvalds. Today, most software engineers and developers prefer a Linux environment for their workflows for several reasons, including large community support, compatibility, efficient resource management, a powerful shell, and more. Most of the servers that power the web are actually running Linux inside them.
If you are aiming to become a full-stack developer, then you are expected to be familiar with the Linux environment and especially the shell commands. Even though it’s impossible to memorize all of them, knowing the basic ones such as creating a directory, listing a directory, copying, moving, renaming, creating a file, etc. would be enough to start with.
💡 Note: Linux has several distributions with varying features. However, Ubuntu, Mint, and Arch are some of the popular ones that you can check out.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a mechanism that enables the communication between two distinct applications or software components using a pre-defined set of protocols. For example, the weather app on your phone communicates with software sitting on a server via a weather API, e.g., the AccuWeather API, to show daily weather updates. To develop such an app, the developer need not code the functionality from the scratch, instead, he/she can use an API. Many companies provide well-documented APIs to deliver functionalities or data to third-party applications. An API demands the requests and responses to be in a unified format (usually JSON) for smooth communication between applications.
These APIs are generally prepared and tested by developers. Apart from third-party applications, APIs facilitate communication between components of the software. For example, whenever the back-end has to provide any output in response to user events in the front-end, the developer creates an API.
Hence, to be a full-stack developer, you need to understand how APIs work and how to develop one. Don’t worry, it takes no time to learn and implement APIs.
You have probably heard of the buzzword “cloud”. It refers to the network of servers that helps us store our valuable data in a remote location and use amazing applications such as Google, YouTube, Canva, Netflix, etc. The Cloud allows companies to deliver their SaaS products to end consumers over the Internet.
A full-stack developer is also responsible for doing all the nitty-gritty of hosting an application on the cloud. There are a number of cloud hosting providers that maintain the infrastructure for running applications smoothly, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, Linode, etc. Most of these providers require a subscription for cloud services. However, they allow the developers to try the cloud features for 1 year (usually).
💡Note: Knowing cloud hosting is definitely a bonus if you are aiming for a full-stack development journey.
Finally, some Full Stack project ideas!
This is the right time to get some project ideas for full-stack development. Let’s dive in,
- Complete e-commerce application (Clone or New)
- Social media platform
- Video streaming app
- Chat application (like WhatsApp)
- Management software (for college, library, hospital, shop, etc.)
- Code editor
- A simple multiplayer game
- Basic image editing software
- Document scanner
and the list goes on.
💡 Note: This is not the end of the world, always try to be innovative and stay up-to-date with new technologies. Remember, striving for solving real-world problems makes you a great developer.
We have had a huge conversation on languages, frameworks, and project ideas. But to develop a project, a good code editor or an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is often required. Let’s look at some of the popular code editors used by developers today,
- Visual Code Studio (most popular)
- PyCharm (for Python)
- IntelliJ Idea (for Java)
- Sublime Text
- CodeSandBox (online editor)
Platforms for Learning Web Development
Now your question might be, “Where do we learn all this?” Don’t worry; in this section, we are going to cover some of the best platforms available on the Internet where you can learn about web development.
Here are some top YouTube channels that you can check out for learning web development.
- Traversy Media
- Apna College
You might want to pursue online courses that are more organized and are prepared by experienced tutors. For that, you can look at the following educational platforms.
- Udemy (most popular)
- Great Learning
Reading official documentation is by far the best method to learn any technology. You should start making the habit of reading docs if you want to be a professional developer.
Whenever a company launches a framework, they include documentation that is well-structured and explains all the features with syntax and examples. Reading such docs removes the need to watch long hours of videos to learn and use any feature.
Apart from that, you can also check out MDN Web Docs which includes many great resources for developers.
It would not be fair if we did not include forums in this section. Forums are great platforms to discuss any issue regarding development and to learn new things.
Stack Overflow is the most popular forum available for developers, where you can submit any queries and get help from an experienced developer. Such queries and solutions are publicly available on the platform, which helps other developers to solve problems and learn new stuff.
Expected Salary of a Full Stack Developer
You might be wondering how much money a full stack developer can expect to make.
According to SalaryExpert, the average salary of a full stack developer in India is ₹12,96,564/yr. It can range from ₹9,26,844 up to ₹16,32,692 based on experience.
According to PayScale, the salary of a full stack developer can range from $40k p.a. to $103k p.a. worldwide.
The figures may vary with your city, company, experience, and skills. Some of the top companies that hire full-stack developers include
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
- Accenture, etc.
FAQ Related to Full Stack Developer
Is full-stack development a good career option in 2022?
Yes, full-stack development is a viable career option in 2022. You can try both for a job and freelance work.
What are the skills required for full stack development?
You should have strong skill-based knowledge of both front-end and back-end web technologies.
What is the average salary of a full stack developer?
According to SalaryExpert, the average salary of a full stack developer in India is ₹12,96,564 per annum.
Is full stack development hard?
It is not hard, but it takes time to master. Focus on doing real-world projects to learn full stack development faster.
Can a full stack developer work from home?
Yes, you can opt for freelancing or remote jobs.
This article has come to an end. I hope you have got a clear picture of the roadmap to becoming a full-stack developer. Now it’s your turn to learn and choose a domain based on your preferences. Remember not to rely solely on tutorials. Build projects and try to solve real-world problems. This will definitely help you land your dream job, or you can even come up with an awesome startup idea.
Thank you for reading my article, and I hope to see you again soon. 🙂