Web Development Roadmap & Trends in 2024

Web Development: A Pathway from Novice to Professional.

Web applications are classified as distributed applications, usually in a client/server structure, so we have part of the code running on the client and the other part of the code running on the server. Those applications on the client are the front end, usually referring to our browser. The most commonly used technology for front-end development is HTML + CSS + JavaScript. In addition, with the emergence of Node.js, more and more web front-end developers have begun to enter the field of server-side programming, and even play the role of web full stack development in some projects.

1. Basic Frontend Knowledge

For beginners, if you want to become a front-end development engineer, you first need to master basic knowledge such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This part of the content is recommended to be learned through books. In the introductory stage, you don't need to learn much. You just need to grasp a few core contents and go through them quickly, such as selector, cascade, inheritance, box model, flex layout, grid, etc.

2. JavaScript/TypeScript

JavaScript is one of most popular scripting language. Since its birth, it has been the dominant language in web development. Twenty years later, Microsoft launched TypeScript, a JavaScript superset designed for the development of large-scale network applications.
JavaScript is a multi-paradigm language that supports various programming styles, such as functional programming, imperative programming, and event-driven programming.
Top 5 best JavaScript books recommended by the professionals in 2024:
  • Head First JavaScript Programming
    This book covers the basic knowledge of JavaScript as well as objects, functions and browser document object models. The book is equipped with a large number of interesting examples, illustrations and exercises to make it easy for readers to master the JavaScript.
  • A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript
    Without making any assumptions about what you already know, It will slowly guide you to learn JavaScript.
  • Eloquent JavaScript (Online free Book)
    This book starts with the basics of programming knowledge such as variables, functions, and data structures. Then it moves to more complex topics such as object-oriented programming(OOP), regular expressions, and event handler. With clear examples, Eloquent JavaScript will make you to use the Web language fluently immediately.
  • JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
    This book is more suitable for people with certain programming experience. For those who want to understand and master the JavaScript language and Web platform to a higher level, this book is the most suitable. This book aims to systematically explain JavaScript language. It explains each knowledge point in great detail. For nearly 25 years, this best-selling book has been a must-read technical work for hundreds of thousands of JavaScript programmers.
  • JavaScript: The Good Parts
    This book summarizes the core content of the JavaScript with refined text, railroad diagram and short code fragments. For those who already have a deeper understanding of JavaScript, it can help you organize and deepen your understanding of JavaScript.
In large-scale applications, JavaScript complexity grows exponentially, which will make the application difficult to maintain. It supports compile-time type checking, so that the code will be more standardized for teams. TypeScript also makes code refactoring easier because it adding explicit type annotation to variables and functions.
Top 3 best TypeScript learning materials recommended by professionals in 2024:
  • Effective TypeScript
    This book is not to teach you TypeScript, but to help you upgrade from a junior or intermediate user to an expert. It provides actionable suggestions to help deepen your understanding of the TypeScript.
  • Learning TypeScript
    As long as you understand JavaScript, this book will take you to learn the concept of TypeScript and master the technique of TypeScript. Great examples and an easy to follow guide will show you how to integrate TypeScript's type system into your web apps or libraries.
  • Build JavaScript applications using TypeScript
    Online TypeScript courses offered by Microsoft. you’ll learn how using TypeScript for web development. It can help you build more robust code, and reduce runtime type errors

3. CSS Preprocessor

CSS preprocessor defines a new language to add some programming features to CSS (e.g. variables, nesting, mixins, and inheritance).
  • Sass/Scss
    Sass is fully compatible with all versions of CSS. Sass can help complex CSS be more organized and easy to share designs within or across projects.
  • Less
    Less is an extended and dynamic style sheet language for CSS. It can run on the client or server side to help us customize, manage and reuse the style sheets of web pages.
  • styled-components
    Styled-components is one of an implementation of CSS-in-JS. The CSS-in-JS is to write CSS style in the JavaScript file. In this way, you can use some language features belonging to JavaScript such as module declaration, variable definition, and function call.

4. Frontend Framework

The frontend framework generally refers to the framework used to simplify the web design. These frameworks encapsulate some functions, such as html document operations, beautiful various controls. Using the front-end framework can help quickly build a website. The framework is to provide a complete set of solutions, which are arranged according to the prescribed code structure. Using the frontend framework can reduce the interface development cycle and improve the aesthetics of the interface.
  • React.js
    React is generally used as the V layer in MVC. It does not rely on any other libraries. Therefore, it can be integrated with any other libraries in development, including Jquery, Backbone, etc. It can be run on the browser side or rendered on the server side through Node.js. React's idea is very unique and has outstanding performance. It could write front-end code with few repetitive codes and clear logic and reuse stateful logic between components via react hook.
  • Vue.js
    It's a progressive framework for building a user interface.
  • 5. Editor & Plugin

    VSCode is recommended for web development. It's a free, open-source, and high-performance editor. Here are some VSCode extension for beginners:
    • GitLens
      GitLens is a VS Code extension that can be used to view project submission records, file modification records, and display submission records for each line of Code. Get valuable insights through rich visualization and powerful comparison commands.
    • Path Intellisense
      VSCode extension that autocompletes filenames.
    • Todo Tree
      Show TODO, FIXME, etc. comment tags in a tree view.
    • IntelliSense for CSS class names in HTML
      CSS class name completion for the HTML class attribute based on the definitions found in your workspace.
    • JavaScript (ES6) code snippets
      Code snippets for JavaScript in ES6 syntax.
    • ES7+ React/Redux/React-Native snippets
      Code snippets for React development in ES7/ES6 syntax following the JavaScript Standard Style guidelines.
    • Template String Converter
      Converts a string to a template string
    • ESLint
      Integrates ESLint JavaScript into VS Code.
    • IntelliCode
      In recent years, artificial intelligence has developed rapidly and has been applied in all walks of life. Especially in the past two years, AI development tools for developers have also emerged one after another. From these tools, we can see that AI can bring more convenient development experience to developers.