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July 22nd 2023

Frontend WebDev, from beginner to developer

A detailed roadmap on every steps required to become a ready for production Frontend Developer.

Over the past few months I've met a lot of people that wanted to either learn Frontend development from scratch, or switch over from Backend, but wasn't sure where to start and what they should expect to learn along the way.
I talked to some of those about it and ended up building a roadmap that would go over this topic through my discussions with them and I'd like to share it to a broader audience now.

In this article I'll go over what is, in my opinion of course, the best roadmap to follow to learn about everything there is to learn concerning Frontend Web Development from the most basic tool to the most complex.

Along the line you'll see that the name of each tool I mention is highlighted like . Clicking on them will reveal a short video explaining what they are and what they do in a relatively concise manner so if you're unsure about some names I mention make sure to click on those.

I'll also share a lot of tutorials from an amazing youtuber called TheNetNinja. He does a lot of tutorial series and I really love his way of teaching stuff so I tend to share his work but feel free to search for any other resource if you want.

Vanilla Roadmap

In this first section we'll go over the underlying languages for everything else and a couple more tools that we can learn before tackling on bigger ones like Frameworks and such.


These are the first things to learn.

stands for "HyperText Markup Language." It is the fundamental building block of the web and is used to create the structure and content of web pages. If a web application was a body, HTML would be its skeleton. One other important thing about HTML is accessibility. Simply put, "accessibility" means making your website as user friendly for any visitor as possible.

, for "Cascading Style Sheet", on the other hand would be the skin and make up of this body. It allows us to apply nearly any style to our websites. Later on I'll mention a couple libraries that allow you to apply CSS to your applications in a different way but you have to understand that the better your understanding of Vanilla CSS is, the more efficient you will be with any of those tools so make sure to learn as much as you can, especially flex and grid display propreties.

Modern JavaScript Tutorial youtube serie from TheNetNinja

2. JavaScript

is the muscle of your web application. This is the programming language that will handle everything for you to build dynamic and interactive applications so a good understanding of it is mandatory.

Beyond stuffs like DOM manipulation and event handling, you should also know about ES6 syntax, like arrow functions, and delve into asynchronousity (this is a term that means doing stuff outside of the normal flow of the code), especially using async and await. Finally JavaScript can also be used as a OOP language so you should learn about Classes.

Modern JavaScript Tutorial youtube serie from TheNetNinja

TheNetNinja also has a paid version that includes the videos above and double more including more complex concepts like OOP and modules which cost $10. I really recommend you to dive deeply into Vanilla JavaScript before attempting to go any further because nearly everything from now on relies on your understanding of it. That's why I would take the full course if I were you but there's many other resources where you can learn this. What matters is that you take your time learning JavaScript in details.

3. JavaScript Modules

You're basically done with Vanilla so you're gonna have to delve into .

That means getting to know what tools like NPM or Yarn are.
This part is more about reading a couple articles to understand what package managers are and what's the difference between the two I mentionned. The main points are to understand how to install a node package and to understand that you must not use both NPM and Yarn in the same project. You either stick to one or the other.

4. Bundlers

The best-known is Webpack. You should look into what it is, what it does and why we need it. Being able to setup a project with Webpack is nice too but in my opinion you shoundn't bother with this bundler specifically because nowadays, although it's still being used a lot, Webpack isn't as interesting or performant compared to new stuff.

There are many alternatives that you can look into, you can learn about some common ones like Parcel, esBuild and Rollup but the one that is growing the most is Vite.

is the up and coming norm for frontend development. A lot of framework uses it as their default bundler now because it is fast, easy to setup up, enables Hot Module Reloading and has a lot of support from the community. You'll benefit a lot from using it so I recommend that you learn how to create your project with Vite as your bundler.

Quick note but if you keep following along this roadmap and wanna learn some of the tools I mention you'll see that most tutorials probably won't be using Vite because it's relatively new. If you don't mind the extra steps I think you should deviate a bit from those and use Vite anyway.

5. CSS Libraries

The most commonly known CSS library is called Bootstrap but honestly, scrap it. It's easy to pick up and that's why new developers like it but it's very restrictive and it teaches you how not to learn CSS which will become a problem.

Learn what is. Again just some article reading to understand the concept of it but you won't really need to do anything because it's included in Vite already.

After you learn about PostCSS, it's time to get into and to learn about the most widely used CSS library :

, it is a tool you have to master when working as a frontend dev. It's basically like Bootstrap because it uses classes in your HTML but it's a lot more modular. It's easy to pick up once you know CSS and it has a great documentation where you can just type what you're looking for and it'll give you the classes you need to use.

Sass Tutorial youtube serie from TheNetNinja TailwindCSS Tutorial youtube serie from TheNetNinja

6. Rendering Patterns

We'll soon get into JavaScript frameworks but first you need to understand what a is and what the different ones are.

At this point you will probably have an idea of what a static page is but acronyms such as MPA, SPA and SSR should ring a bell too. Especially SPA because that's what you'll be getting into next.
It's just theory again here, read a couple articles and stuff like that to understand the concepts.

7. Deployment

Deployment is the final step of this Vanilla Roadmap.
There are multiple solutions to deploy Frontend Application. The first one is Github, it is the easiest one to use and it's a tool you'll probably already have in your workflow so it doesn't require much configuration.
Bear in mind that Github Pages only allow you to deploy static pages websites and is not fitted for more complex applications.

The next two are Netlify and Vercel. I don't have much to say about them, they are great, very well known, both very appreciated. I don't have experience with Vercel personally but I've used Netlify on some projects and it's always been very easy to setup for me.

Frameworks Roadmap

At this point you have access to a fairly good Vanilla JavaScript stack that allows you to create simple Static Pages websites. I haven't mentioned it anywhere yet but I strongly advice you to use a linter like esLint which will enforce quality and good practices in your Javascript code.

Now's finally time to get into JavaScript frameworks !
There are a lot of solutions here and the one that fits you the most will depend on your preference or your region. Your first choice should be among , or . They are the most widely used and really, the only ones that have a professional demand.

How to choose between them then ?
The first thing would be to have a glance at each and see if one catches your eye or not. If you don't see anything that seems to be more interesting than the rest then the other solution is just to see what's in higher demand in your area. Most often than not that'll mean React.

I'm a Vue.js dev so that's what I'm gonna go with for the rest of this article but any tool I'll mention further down will have its equivalent for other frameworks and it'll be easy for you to figure them out.

8. Vue.js

is a JavaScript SPA framework. Like any other framework it has a unique directory structure and an extended JavaScript syntax to build more complex application easily.

If you decide to watch the following tutorial there are two things to keep in mind because it's 2 years old and it is becoming a bit old.

The first one is that the tutorial is going to use the Vue-CLI to create and bundle its projects. The Vue-CLI is now deprecated and the new creation tools are create-vue or create-vite.

The second one is that Vue has a new convention called script setup that did not exist back when the tutorial was made. Make sure to catch up to this once you've finished learning the basics because it's how every Vue applications are made now.

Vue 3 for beginners youtube serie from TheNetNinja

Again, TheNetNinja also has a more complete paid version of this tutorial and also dabs into Firebase which is a tool I'll talk about soon. In this paid version he goes over more complex features and builds a few small projects, it's very well made so I recommend this one too.

9. Routing

This is pretty straightforward, it basically means "how to go from one page to another" in your website.
The routing library for Vue is called Vue-Router and you'll have learned about it already if you followed the previous tutorial.

10. State Management

I won't go into too much details as to what state management is because it wouldn't make much sense at this point but once you reach this step you'll probably understand what it is and you might have delved into it a bit a already. In just a few words though, State Management means preserving data across multiple pages in your application.

The most known library for state management in Vue.js is called VueX but it's not commonly used anymore. Nowadays the best solution for a state management library for Vue is Pinia. It's easier to use and has become the officially supported state management library for Vue so you should definitely go with this one.

Pinia Crash Course youtube serie from TheNetNinja

OPTIONNAL : Backend as a Service

What it means is basically having a whole backend, including database, as a tool already made instead of making your own.
A BaaS isn't mandatory but it's a very good tool to learn at this point to be able to work on "full stack" projects on your own.

is the most popular one but it's made by Google and it tries to lock you in their environment which you might or might not agree with.
If you bought TheNetNinja's JavaScript Course or Vue.js Course then you'll already have some knowledge of Firebase.

is a very popular alternative to Firebase and I would personally reccommend going with that one instead but that's because I want to avoid using big companies', like Google or Facebook, techs to avoid encouraging monopoles so make that choice your own. Supabase also is Open Source which is nice.

Being able to use one of those will not really help you in a real company because they generally have fully built Backend solutions but, as I said, they provide you with a great way to work on personnal projects as a Frontend only developer, and in reality they can scale up pretty far so they should be all you need on a personnal level for a long time.

Getting Started with Firebase 9 youtube serie from TheNetNinja Supabase Tutorial youtube serie from TheNetNinja

Advanced Roadmap

You now have access to a much more complete tech stack and at this point you can safely start looking for jobs with your current knowledge if that's what you're aiming at.

Right now is a good place to take a break before learning new stuffs.
Make a couple small projects, get familiar with this stack if you feel the need to and you can continue with the rest once you feel ready to.

There are still a couple more tools that you should definitely look into at some point though. They are tools that you will have probably seen by name in some articles or in some job posts by now and it's finally time to dive into them.

11. TypeScript

is a language build on top of JavaScript to add static type checking.

To give you a quick example, in JavaScript you could have the following

let variable = 1
variable = "1"

JavaScript won't raise any error although you're changing the type of the variable from a number to a string. This could create issues in your code later on but you wouldn't know until it's too late.

TypeScript fixes that issue by assigning a static type to your variables. Now if you try to change the value of a variable with a new value that doesn't fit the required type it will raise an error and force you fix that on the spot which is a lot safer.

let variable: number = 1
variable = "1" // Type 'string' is not assignable to type 'number'.ts(2322)

TypeScript is becoming very widely used in Frontend Development so you will have to become familiar with it and now is a very good time for that.

TypeScript Tutorial youtube serie from TheNetNinja

12. Meta-Framework

You'll understand what they are along your learnings but in just a few words; they enable Server Side Rendering which improves Search Engine Optimization as well as include some cool utilities to your current JavaScript framework to improve Developer Experience.

Vue.js' Meta-Framework is called

Nuxt 3 Crash Course youtube serie from TheNetNinja

13. Testing

is another thing that you'll eventually get into.

It's not as widely practiced in Frontend development as in Backend development but it's still a very important skill to get.
There are multiple testing patterns and you should understand what they are and when to use which. Once that's done you can start writing your first tests with Jest (the more popular unit testing tool for JavaScript) or Vitest (a newcomer made by the same team as Vite and Vue.js that hasn't reached it's version 1 yet but is expected to take over Jest in the future). Both are very similar so I would personnaly go with Vitest and you'll still be able to use Jest if you need to later.

Once you've wrote some unit and integrations tests, you can also get into End to End testing, e2e for short. There are two candidates here, and .

Start testing with JavaScript youtube video from Fireship

And that's it for this Roadmap. What a ride, huh ?!

If you've reached this point you officially have all the tools you need to become a fully functionnal Frontend Developer, congrats !
It can look like a lot of stuff to go through but in reality if you're motivated this could all be done in a couple month or so, really. Remember that you don't need to be an expert in everything, just being able to work with those tools is enough to complete most projects or to get any Junior position Frontend Jobs.

There's more you can do at this point of course but once you've reached this level you'll be as knowledgeable as I currently am so I'm sure you'll be able to figure things out from now on.

One last thing :
If you wanted you could now get into another JS framework completely ! You know enough to get a job already so you could get into any other framework if you're interested like Qwik, Solid or Svelte. Anything goes and learning a new framework will teach you more about your current one too.

You could also try a new language completely. Learning new languages teaches you more about programming as a whole and in my opinion the more you do the better you get even if it's not the exact same thing you'll be using. Concepts stay more or less the same.

You could also go in the opposite direction and learn more about web designs, UI, UX etc.
Being proficient with Figma if you aren't already for example.

The point is that there isn't any tool that you could add to your stack so you could stop there if you wanted but you could also keep learning new stuff. From now on it's open bar.
Be curious !

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