While this is going to be specific to Lambda School, it applies to simply self-taught learning, as well as other boot camps.
Now here is where things diverge a bit. Some boot camps do EITHER front or back end. Lambda is full stack with react => redux => node. Then into a CS unit to learn basic python and algorithms.
Pretty sweet right? Yes, and no. It leaves huge gaps to fill which is what we will be addressing here. I want to fill those gaps and ensure that you are able to get things all put together so that you can get to the end goal of being a well-rounded software engineer. We will see from HTML to Node in this article, outside of that we will not be addressing because this is what I consider the Critical Core.
Now after finishing this I realized that it is a bit choppy (sorry) but it gives you a ton of resources to get to where you want to go. As a final piece of advice I propose that you clock the hours that you are working on learning. While this is kind of an odd thing I think personally that it is beneficial, and I wish that I had started logging my time from the beginning.
The reason I like this idea is to show yourself (or potentially others) what you are investing into your learning. It forces you to start and stop your clock so that you know when you are learning the most, and most focused, and it gives you the ability to provide a timeline of when you learned what.
Here is a free timeclock that I use: https://clockify.me/
You might notice that you spend almost as much time burning through what's in this document as you would to get your AA, or potentially depending on how hard you struggle, your BA.
NOTE: UDEMY CONSTANTLY DISCOUNTS COURSES! WAIT FOR A SALE!!!
This is honestly the easiest aspect of web development, and if you struggle to grasp this then you might want to consider a different path. There are complicated topics, but generally, there is a base level that you need to hit to move on. Get to that point.
Now the majority of the materials in this course will be paid materials, but I honestly do not feel like it is really worth paying to learn the very bare-bones basic, and in fact, there are some boot camps that give this content away freely, but I want to give you less specific materials here.
For learning HTML/CSS I would suggest these resources:
Only do HTML/CSS Here: https://www.freecodecamp.org/
Tons of articles to refine your HTML/CSS/Flexbox & CSS Grid: https://css-tricks.com/
Amazing Resource for front end development: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/
Similar to Mozilla MDN: https://www.w3schools.com/
Critical Topics for these (since the links above are a bit vague):
Basic Elements & Syntax
You will notice that I did not include a pre-processor here. Well here are the two major options. You will also notice that I did not include bootstrap, and that is because really, you need to do everything that you can while using bootstrap from scratch.
SASS: https://sass-lang.com/ (This is what I learned)
LESS: http://lesscss.org/ (What Lambda School Used to teach.)
Here people will likely disagree a bit, but my favorite resource to learn JS is a gentleman named Mosh Hamedani. He is very methodical, and he provides an amazing base to use as a springboard into more advanced concepts. So I would use him to start learning beginning JS.
Now here I am going to take a moment to address all of this. There are udemy courses that cover from barebones basic JS all the way through ES6 and into advanced topics. In fact below this, I will link a couple that does exactly that. I am linking materials that I have either used personally, or have had people send me glowing reviews on, or are simply done by industry leaders, who are very very well regarded. I am not going to get paid by anyone that I link, this is simply the best of the best that I can share with you to fill out your learning, and get you to the next step. It also provides you a road to travel to ensure that you get to that end goal of getting work.
We are going to add to your roster of things to learn a SuperScript of JS called TypeScript. https://www.typescriptlang.org/
I will offer 1 course on TypeScript here. Only because it is the one that I found most valuable (I took a couple over the last few months).
The instructor Stephen Grider is pretty awesome and offers additional courses on his website: https://www.rallycoding.com/
So lets take a moment to recap where we are at:
Pre-Processor-CHECK (if you took the initiative to find more training than just the docs)
Now Personally I found the course that Taught this the best to me was this one by Andrei: https://www.udemy.com/course/complete-react-developer-zero-to-mastery
Note that Anderi has additional courses on his website as well, and regularly offers promotions (check all the links per course before paying full price!): https://zerotomastery.io/promotions
He also offers a monthly/annual subscription model if that appeals to you.
I loved this class because it covers SOOOOOOO much. Not only will you learn React and Redux, but you will also learn Firebase and GraphQL
Additionally, Mosh has a number of courses that fit the bill. I will simply link to his site, instead of linking them one by one. He also has a FULL stack developer course, where he bundles all the courses you need to get the basic full-stack.
Course Catalog: https://codewithmosh.com/courses
Alright, so now we theoretically have our front end. What’s next? And well this is another crossroads here. We can spend some time learning Cypress and/or Jest to do testing, or we can keep moving on with the stack. I will say that I have NOT looked up any sort of courses on testing because it came rather easy to me. There are a TON of resources on YouTube for testing, and I would advocate using those since testing is a SUBtopic of what we are doing.
Next is Node/Express. This will be our JS server. You will have node installed by now since I know without fail that 99% of the courses above would have had you do so. BUT you have only used it as a live server to project your project, it can do sooo, sooo much more.
I linked all of the Mosh courses above, use the node one there as a base, or use this one (there are a TON and I simply do not have the time to filter through everything to find you more good courses, these should get you on track regardless!)
Andrew Mead Website: https://mead.io/#courses
Now you will find that I keep linking the instructor's websites for the courses that I like. I am doing this for a MASSIVE reason. All of the instructors that I have linked are PROVEN. They are awesome instructors and have helped 1000s if not 10s of thousands of people either fill gaps or simply learn the material for the first time. Most of them will offer similar courses, but they might offer courses to further fill the gaps.
So right now we are already exceeding the core of Lambda Schools curriculum (TypeScript is not offered) minus the testing side of the equation. So now let's keep going and see if we can take it up to an even larger level. And to take a slight step back, we have not had a dedicated course on SQL at this point, but again we have touched on it a couple of times. Now we are going to expand our Node knowledge a bit more, and we will address the SQL elephant in the room.
My GraphQL course suggestion (and again, just hit the instructors linked above and their sites likely have GQL) is this:
Imagine that… It is one of the instructors that we already know… I sense a pattern here… There really is. While I was diving into all of this and trying to make sure that I had the resources to round myself out, I found a very tight core of instructors that I could follow, understand, and actually spend 10–40 hours listening to, and being able to stand their voice is a big deal!
Alright! We are almost there! At this point we have made dozens of projects, either used TS while making them or refactored the code after the fact, now we are on to our last CRITICAL CORE. Databases. Now personally I want to ensure that I have the best leverage to ensure that I get hired RAPIDLY, and for a higher rate than most beginning programmers, or just out of college Computer Science majors. I want to make sure that once I have that cute little endorsement seal from Lambda School that it is used, but it is just the base of what I know.
Alright, Databases. I went with a couple of SQL databases, and a NoSQL database. (I really do not count firebase, but it applies as well).
Now keep in mind that once done with the SQL course you can leverage that into learning PostgreSQL, and basically ANY SQL database.
Now I want to say that while this is the end of our core stack that programmers are always learning. We have our core, that with a good portfolio, and some EPIC projects (THINK BIG & BE CREATIVE!) you should be able to leverage into a decent paying gig, and have enough flexibility to move up in the world of Software Engineering.
Now lets end this by looking at our stack:
GraphQL/Apollo (I know I did not say anything about apollo, the course linked above should explain it. For more info: https://www.apollographql.com/ )
That is pretty impressive, right? You have the full stack and then some! 14 Skills to put on your resume! 14 potential matches when using job sites like Indeed, Monster, or ZipRecruiter. By the time you hit this, you will have invested HOURs into learning all of this. I hope it serves you well, and good luck in the job market!