Saturday, January 4, 2020

10 Things Web Developers Should Learn in 2020

Hello guys, first of all, I wish you all a very Happy New Year. May God bless you with wisdom, wealth, and health. If you are like me and many others, then you might be thinking about your goals and how to achieve them. If you are a web developer and wondering what you should learn in 2020 or someone who aspires to become a frontend developer in 2020, but not sure about which technologies, tools, framework, languages, and libraries to learn then you have come to the right place. In this article, I am going to share some of the most essential things a web developer should know. I often receive questions like what tools and technologies should a web developer learn? Which programming languages are suitable for web development, and what skills are necessary? I am going to answer all those questions from my reader in a series of blog posts, and this is the first one of them.

In this article, I am going to share the most essential things a web developer should know, which obviously includes big three of Web development - HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and several other useful tools that are essential but not mentioned or taught together.

If you are looking for surprises or shiny new technologies like Svelte.js or WebAssembly, then I am sorry they are not part of this article, as I don't think they are essential for all web developers. They might be good for a seasoned web developer looking to learn a new JavaScript framework but not something a beginner should learn. Instead, this article is based upon my own practical experience and contains the most essential thing a Web developer should learn in 2020, mainly a frontend developer.

Btw, if you are an experienced web developer than I don't want to disappoint you, and I'll write about those new technologies, frameworks, and libraries in coming days, and there we'll see the benefits and wonders of learning new things, but for now, let's focus on the most essential thing a Web developer should learn in 2020.


What should a Frontend Developer Learn in 2020?

Without wasting any more of your time, here is my list of things a web developer or anyone who wants to become a web developer should learn in 2020.

This list includes programming languages like javascript, markup language like HTML, styling tools like CSS, a framework like React, IDE like VSCode, tools like Chrome Developer Tools, NPM, and Webpack, and API tools like Postman and GraphQL, a better way to develop APIs.

I have also included Responsive web design as a skill because, in 2020, it's almost given if you want to server all of your audience accessing your website or web application using different devices.

10 Things Web Developers Should Learn in 2020



1. HTML (HTML 5)

This is the first and foremost thing anyone serious about web development should learn. It's probably the oldest web technology out there and also the first one I learned long ago, but it's still relevant, and you just cannot become a Web Developer without a good knowledge of HTML. Technically it's a markup language and used to specify the structure of your page.

Nowadays, it's very rare for anyone to create a web page by writing HTML, instead, most of the webpage you see is generated by advanced framework like Angular and React, but if you want to understand, debug, and solve problems, you must know essential HTML tags like div, span, title, headers, etc.

Even if you know HTML, there is no harm updating yourself with the latest development, and if you want to start from scratch, I suggest you join the Learn HTML 5 Programming from Scratch course on Udemy. It also covers CSS, which we'll discuss next in the list.

What should a Frontend Developer Learn in 2020?


2. CSS (Flexbox and Grid)

Apart from HTML, if there is another web technology that is irreplaceable is than it must be CSS or Cascading Style Sheet. CSS is used to style your web page, I mean to make it look more beautiful. You can also use CSS to specify the layout of the element.

Just like HTML, it's scarce now to style your web pages by writing CSS classes by hand, instead of many people and the team use a framework like Bootstrap, Tailwind CSS, Materialize, etc. Like HMTL, CSS is also evolving, and now you have things like Flexbox and Grid.

Since it's absolutely essential for any project you work to look more beautiful, you have to learn CSS. If you are a beginner, I suggest you start with barebone CSS and then move onto these new developments like Flexbox and Grid.

If you need a resource, I recommend Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations and More! course, which not only covers CSS from scratch but also teaches you Flexbox and Grid, which is going to serve you well in 2020.

10 Skills every Web developer should learn


3. JavaScript

This is the third most essential thing any Web developer should learn; in fact, without JavaScript, the web would not have been where it is today. When I learned JavaScript, people told me that it put life in your webpage, it can make your webpage interactive.

Like you can do things when someone clicks buttons, you can change animations and look and feel of your webpage when the user moves the mouse, etc. All those are still true, but JavaScript now offers much more. In fact, you can develop a complete web application end-to-end just using JavaScript.

It has evolved from an essential frontend programming language to a full-stack language, which also allows you to write backend code. This was made possible by Nodejs, another necessary framework for web developers. JavaScript is still evolving, and now we have things like WebAssembly, which allows you to run code as fast as C, C++, and Rust in your browser.

The bottom line is, JavaScript is absolutely a must for any Web Developer, both frontend and backend, and you should definitely spend some time learning JavaScript in 2020. If you need a resource, I recommend The Complete JavaScript 2020: Build Real Project class by Jonas Schmedtmann on Udemy, which is a great course to learn JavaScript in depth. It's equally useful for both beginners and experienced Web Developers.

10 things every frontend developer should learn


4. React

As I have mentioned in the previous paragraph that Web Development, particularly frontend development, has come a long way in the last decade. Now, you don't need to write HTML and CSS to create your webpages, like many other web developers and I have done in the late nineties and early 2000s.

Now, you have a framework like React, which can dynamically generate web pages for you. That's why it's essential for a web developer to learn a frontend framework like React.

Btw, React is not the only one out there, in fact, there are many other frontend frameworks which are as powerful as React like Angular, Vuejs, Svelete.js but I recommend React because it has adopted by many companies, both small and large and I think it is here for a long run.

If you want to learn to React in 2020 and looking for a recommendation, I suggest you join the Maximilian's The Complete React Guide (with Hooks) course which is most up-to-date and also covers React Hooks, an essential concept to master in 2020.

10 Technologies every Web developer should learn



5. NPM

Now that we have covered the most essential programming language and framework for frontend development, it's time to look at tools that are essential or web development, and first, ane of them is NPM. If you don't know, now you don't need to write code for everything you need.

For example, if you want to generate dynamic web pages, you don't need to write a framework, someone else has already written, and you can just import them to use in your project, and all this was made possible because of NPM or Node Package Manager. It's the world's biggest software registry and hosts more than 800,000 code packages.

Technically, NPM is a package manager of JavaScript programming language. It is also the default package manager of Node.js, which provides a JavaScript runtime environment for server-side development.

It consists of a command-line client called npm for downloading those modules and also hosts both public and private packages online. You generally learn about NPM when you learn nodejs, but even if you don't know node, you should learn NPM, and if you need a resource, I recommend Andrea Mead and Rob Percival's The Complete Node.js Developer Course on Udemy, one of my favorite course to learn Nodejs from scratch.

10 Frameworks every Web developer should learn


6. VSCode

When it comes to code, the IDE is your most important tool, and as a Java developer, I always feel lucky that we have not one but three top-class IDE - Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJIDEA. For long, when I do web development, I think we don't have any tools which can compete with IDEs like these.

No doubt that you can use them for web development, too, but it makes more sense for Web developers who use Java in the backend. Microsoft VSCode changed that thing and has come along as the most potent IDE or Editor for Web Development. Compared to those fat IDEs, VSCode is also very lightweight and highly configurable.

You have plugins for almost anything from developing frontend to connecting to a cloud-like AWS, Azure, and GCP and deploying your application. If you want to become a proficient Web Developer in 2020, I suggest you learn VSCode in 2020, and if you already know, just learn more like shortcuts, new extensions, etc. If you need a resource then John Papa's The Visual Studio Code course on Pluralsight is the best one to start with.

IDE every Web developer should learn



7. Chrome Developer Tools

This is another essential tool for Web Developers, particularly frontend developers. For a long time, I relied on View Page Source option of Internet Explorer to figure out what's going on a particular web page, it's an old story, but things have changed ever since Chrome took the market by storm in last decade.

Now, almost 70% Web is browsed using Chrome. Many web Develolepr don't know that Chrome has a built-in debugging tool, know as Chrome Developer Tool. You can access this by right-clicking and clicking on "Inspect."

This tool not only allows you to see raw HTML but also CSS, JavaScript libraries, and much more. You can even change the CSS classes on the fly and play with look and feel. I strongly recommend you to learn this tool in-depth, and if you need a resource, I recommend DevTools Pro: Beginners to Expert course on Udemy. It's a good beginner-level course to start with the Chrome Developer tool.

Tools every Web developer should learn



8. Postman

This is another absolutely must-know tool for Web Developers. Since today's Web world is Web of APIs, you need a tool that can help you to explore APIs, and there is no better tool than Postman for interacting with APIs. You can use Postman to send HTTP requests, access APIs, check their response header, and do much more.

It doesn't matter if you connect to internal API or external APIs offered by Google, Facebook, Amazon, and many other payment gateways, Postman is essential for exploring and understanding them. It's also an excellent tool to test your own APIs.

You can get Postman as a Chrome extension or a desktop client. Again, I strongly recommend you to learn Postmand if you need a resource check out this Postman Complete Guide: REST API Testing course by Valentin Despa on Udemy.

best course to learn Postman tool for API testing



9. Responsive Web Design

This is a no-brainer but again an essential thing to learn for Web developers. If you want to develop a website or web application, it must be responsive to cater to your audiences and customers accessing your site from different devices.

Responsive web design allows you to best present your website depending upon the size of the tools your users are using. I have seent many frontend developers not paying attention to this essential skill, don't be one of them, and learn Responsive web design.

Most likely, it will be handled for you by a framework, but knowing how it works is essential to troubleshoot and maintain your web project. If you want to learn Responsive Web design in 2020, I suggest you take a look at Jonas Schmedtmann's  Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3 course on Udemy.


best course to learn Responsive web design


10. GraphQL

If you know, most of the Web is driven by APIs, mainly REST APIs. One of the crucial jobs for a web developer is to either develop APIS as a backend developer or consumer those APIs as a frontend developer.

In both cases, you need to know how to interact with them. While REST is an easy and accessible way for developing APIS, it has some shortcomings for any practical web application like too many end-points to maintain and unwanted data to download and process.

GraphQL addresses that problem, and it's already powering the next level of APIs development. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, I recommend you to learn GraphQL in 2020, and if you need a resource, I suggest you take a look at the GraphQL with React: The Complete Guide course by none other than Stephen Grider, one of Udemy's best instructor.

should web developer learn GraphQL


That's all about what web developers should learn in 2020. These are the essential technologies for any web developer, but particularly frontend developers. There is a good chance that you already be familiar with many of these technologies like the big three of web development - HTML, CSS, and JavaScript but they keep evolving like CSS now have FlexBox and Grid, JavaScript has ES6 and WebAssembly, etc. Spending some time to keeping yourself up-to-date will go a long way in becoming a better web developer.

In this article, I have tried to mention the most essential things, but as a Web developer, you also need to learn a lot. I don't want to overwhelm you, but things like HTTP, SSL, Certificates are also essential. If you're going to in more details, I also recommend you to check following Web Developer RoadMap, which includes a lot more things a Web Developer should learn.


Other Web Development Articles you may like
The 2020 Frontend and Backend Developer RoadMap
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10 Things Java Programmer Should Learn in 2020
Top 5 Java Frameworks to Learn in 2020
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Top 5 Courses to learn HTML 5 and CSS in 2020
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Thanks for reading this article so far. If you find these article useful, please share with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback, then please drop a note. If you have any other tools, technologies, frameworks, libraries, and skills which a Web developer should learn, feel free to drop a comment.

P. S. - If you are a complete beginner not just for web development but also on the programming world, but aim to become a web developer in 2020 then I also suggest you join The Complete Web Developer in 2020: Zero to Mastery course on Udemy. It's one of the comprehensive and most up-to-date resources to learn Web development in 2020.

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