Anyone interested in getting into front- or backend development (or DevOps) should take a look at this learning roadmap from medium.com. It gives a complete chronological outline of what someone getting into these fields should be learning and how to connect them together. They lay out a path of topics to learn in order to build up a robust and marketable skill set for modern web development.
To me these step by step roadmaps are something I never realized I needed. I’ve always looked things up and learned new pieces of the web dev puzzle as I needed them, and never really had a direction to go in. There are holes in my abilities that I didn’t necessarily know were there, and areas I knew I was lacking in but never knew how to work my way into them. These roadmaps give me direction to fill in these gaps in my knowledge.
In addition to giving a step by step list of topics to learn and explore, many steps give the reader choices in what to learn. For example, for the backend developer roadmap, it starts the reader with picking a language to learn and gives examples of different scripting and functional languages to learn. For relational databases it recommends at least learning MySQL and PostgreSQL but gives additional options for someone looking to learn more in that area.
Instead of learning whatever I need for a project or picking up whatever is trendy at the moment, I have a list of things to learn that lead up to that topic and provide a better foundation of understanding to connect each topic together. Not only do these roadmaps give lists of topics to learn, but they offer some guidance on how to explore them and apply these newly learned skills, like contributing to open source projects in various capacities. I think I’m now able to better understand why each topic is important and how it connects to each other piece of the puzzle, and where to take my web development education given my current skills.