Becoming a front-end developer from scratch is always challenging. This includes those who are looking to shift into front-end development having mastered other technologies. It takes an average of 5-6 months to learn front-end development from scratch. However, It will vary from person to person from 2 months to a little over a year.
Timeline variation is a result of not having a good learning schedule and practices. Looking back from being learned front-end development myself, there are a few things I would have changed to learn a lot faster.
That being said, here are the list of shortcuts to become front end developer faster :
1. Allocate a fixed and regular schedule
The key to learning front-end development or any other technology is to use it regularly. Even before you start learning, it is essential to allocate a fixed time in a day specifically for front-end development. This is applicable for learning all of the computer technologies and languages in general. Further, regular practice of web development will eliminate the time to recall all the previous concepts.
You must develop a strong interest in Front end development, which is possible by knowledge gathered from continuous learning. An hour or two every day as soon as you wake up. Alternatively, a few hours before going to sleep will also be ideal.
Practicing only during weekends wouldn’t be recommended. Since it might result in loss of interest with more delay in recollecting prior topics. A regular schedule planned for at least the next 2-3 months is a must. As a result, an effective schedule will lead to significant improvement in technical skills in a short period. A plan to accommodate any abrupt break will also be helpful.
Another approach is to add a topic-wise schedule with deadlines. Also, a topic-wise schedule improves learning speed and helps understand your capacity. Hence, tracking your progress weekly and monthly will be a lot easier.
2. Join Live Front End development Training or coding Bootcamp
Once you have set a fixed schedule, now it’s time to choose between learning yourself or with assistance. Firstly, you can learn it yourself from Youtube video playlists, articles, paid courses, etc. On the other hand, Front end development can be learned through online or offline training. A roadmap is a must if you are considering learning yourself. You can refer to road map 2021 for more info.
Q: How to learn front end development from scratch ?
- Join online/offline coding Bootcamp or training classes
- Understand CSS styles and layouts
- Learn how to use browser tools to debug front end applications
- Hire front-end tutor or mentor
- Complete 1-2 hours quick crash course videos
- Prepare a syllabus on front-end topics
- Build a frond end projects from scratch
If you opt for assistance, A trainer will keep track of the syllabus and progress. As a result, joining training or Bootcamp increases learning speed. Further, the time required to gather resources will be saved. Thus, you can consider assistance if the budget isn’t an issue.
You can click here for a free demo class from ContactMentor for Live face-to-face online front-end training.
3. Use the Developer console to save time
However, most of the time beginners are not aware of the developer console. As a result, they spend more time on manual testing and debugging. Fortunately, learning how to use the developer console is a lot easier than you might think. The video below provides details on how to use the dev console:
4. 50/50 on concept understanding and actual coding
Something that is often ignored is that understanding concepts and coding are equally important. For example, let’s consider two students. The first is more focused on writing code and the second student understands concepts as opposed to actual coding implementation.
The first student may not know basic front end concepts despite being very comfortable in the syntactic aspect. On the other hand, the converse would be true for the second student. In the end, both the students will fall short of becoming a complete front end developer.
5. Develop your end to end Project from scratch
You cannot be called a front end developer until you have developed a project from scratch. The most common problem a beginner faces is “Tutorial Hell“. This term is used to describe a case where a beginner is unable to overcome the learning phase. The easiest way to overcome tutorial hell is by building your project from scratch.
Also, creating a project is a lot challenging with unexpected bugs. Fixing such bugs is something that tutorials cannot teach you. Alternatively, you can create a clone of popular platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, etc. Even building a clone with a home page and some basic functionalities will be a great practice exercise.
An advantage of creating a clone project is you need not have to worry about designs and icons. Additionally, it is possible to use the public APIs as the back end service. For example, YouTube provides Data API v3 for its videos, Twitter API v2 by Twitter, etc.
6. Complete a paid Front End developer Gig as a freelance or employee
There is a huge difference between building a personal project vs creating a paid product or service. Freelancing tasks offer more challenges such as managing deadlines, providing value to the client, etc. Thus taking up a freelancer project will be the final test of your skills. However, It is important to note that tasks are easier said than done. So, you must be very careful before you agree to a task on any freelancing site. You can consider watching the video below for guidance on starting freelancing.
An alternative will be to get hired for a front-end dev job. Even though you need to prepare for an interview to get a job, it is a lot better than freelancing for beginners. Once hired, the company takes care of many things such as fixed salaries, training sessions, support from other developers, etc. Further experience in working as a full-time front-end developer holds more weight than freelancing.
Finally, we can summarize that to become a web developer is essential to set a fixed schedule. Further, find assistance from a mentor if possible and create more projects from scratch to escape “Tutorial Hell”. In the end, you can test your skills by taking up a freelancing task or full-time front-end developer job.