How to Become a Full Stack JavaScript Developer


Full-stack web development is an amazing modern career and there are various ways to become a full-stack developer. Almost all the major programming languages have one or more web frameworks that you can use at the back-end.

The great thing is that you can use one language to cover everything, which is JavaScript. Along with Python, JavaScript is the most trending programming language at the moment. The reason behind its popularity is that it can be used at both the front-end and back-end.

In this article, we will have a look at how to become a full-stack developer using JavaScript. Let’s dive right in.

Front-End Web Development

First of all, let’s see how you can become a front-end developer. Once you become good at front-end, you can learn some back-end technologies and become a full-stack developer who can build an entire web application.

For front-end, you obviously need to learn HTML and CSS, which are the two core front-end technologies. HTML is used to build the structure and layout of a website, whereas CSS is used to add design to the website. With HTML and CSS, you can build basic web pages without many functionalities. Also, learning the Bootstrap framework will be very handy.

If you want to add more features and user engagement in a better way, you should use JavaScript. With just vanilla JavaScript (pure JavaScript), you can do a lot of functionalities and make the website better.

If you’re taking web development seriously, it would be better to master a front-end JavaScript framework. JavaScript has three major front-end frameworks, which are Angular, React, and Vue.

Angular is a front-end framework developed by Google, which was initially released in 2010. Later, Facebook developed the React framework and use it for their products. In 2014, an ex-Google employee developed the Vue framework, which has earned a lot of popularity recently.

All these three frameworks have some familiarities and many differences. You can check out this article for a detailed comparison of Angular, React, and Vue.

I would suggest you pick any of these three frameworks and become really good at it. If you have learned HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and one front-end framework, then you are a complete front-end developer now.

Now that you know the front-end stuff, let’s see how you can add some back-end technologies and become a complete full-stack developer.

Back-End Web Development

There are a lot of back-end frameworks in the programming world like Django, Flask, Spring, Node.js, Hibernate, Dot Net, Laravel, etc. The list goes on and on. Since you have already learned JavaScript for the front-end, you can choose a JavaScript framework for the back-end too.

The most popular JavaScript framework is Node.js. So if you can become good at Node.js, you’ll be able to do all the back-end activities for your websites. Node.js is a framework that allows fast development with easiness and great performance. Node.js is not that difficult to master, especially when you already know JavaScript.

Along with Node.js, you also need to learn database technology. For building large-scale web applications, you need to have the technology ready to store and manage a lot of data. Also, you should be able to create a login system with restrictive pages and connect the website to the database.

There are many popular database technologies like MySQL, Postgres, MongoDB, etc. I would suggest you learn MongoDB as it is a great technology that is quite modern.

If you can add MongoDB to your arsenal along with Node.js and front-end technologies, you are now a complete full-stack web developer.

Node.js and Mongo DB along with a front-end framework is a great combination to do full-stack web development. You might have heard about popular web development stacks like MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node) and MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node). And recently, the MEVN (MongoDB, Express, Vue, Node) stack is also getting a lot of popularity around the programming world.

Full-Stack Web Development

Now you know what are the essential front-end technologies and back-end technologies that you need to learn to become a full-stack JavaScript web developer. But learning all the technologies won’t be enough if you want to become a great web developer.

How To Become A Full Stack JavaScript Developer

Once you have learned the technologies, you must do some real-world projects combining all the technologies. Think of some ideas and build a complete web application that is ready to use, and deploy it on a server using Heroku or some other web host.

It’s easy to find project ideas. You can think about some creative ideas, or try to automate some tasks for any companies that you know. If you don’t get any ideas, clone some great websites that are there online. Ideas can be cheap, but execution is the key.

Freelancing is another option that you can try to advance your skills along with making some money. Look for some businesses or shops in your area and ask them whether they need a web application to automate their processes or to market their business. Also, tell your friends and relatives about your web development skills so that they’ll refer clients to you if they come across any.

You can also sign up on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, etc., and look for web development clients all over the world. It can be a bit hard to get clients initially. But once you get some projects and you develop a good portfolio, it will be easy for you to get clients and earn money with your skills.

If you are interested, apply for full-stack development roles in software companies. Don’t wait for a long time to become a perfect fit for the role. You’ll never be sure that you are perfect for a role. Just apply for as many roles as you can and hopefully, you’ll get the right job.

Recommended Courses

If you want to learn all these technologies and become a full-stack web developer, let me suggest you some great courses. The MERN Stack Front To Back course by Brad Traversy is the first one I’ll recommend. This is a great course if you want to go full-stack with React. It is less expensive, but it’s the bestseller course on Udemy. You can check out the course contents by clicking here.

If you are going for Angular at the front end, I would suggest Angular & NodeJS – The MEAN Stack Guide, and if you want to learn Vue, I would suggest Vue – The Complete Guide. Both these courses are created by Maxmilian Schwarzmuller and they are highly rated on Udemy. Check them out if you’re interested.

Final Thoughts

As you have seen, you can become a full-stack web developer using JavaScript itself. JavaScript has evolved a lot in the recent past and it has now become a great option to do both front-end and back-end development.

The rise in popularity of modern JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, Node, Vue, etc., makes JavaScript the best option for web development. I’m not saying that other languages and frameworks are not good for web development.

Of course, there are many other great frameworks and languages that you can use for full-stack development. But, JavaScript makes it super convenient for programmers as they don’t need to learn a lot of languages. JavaScript can do the job on both ends and you can focus more on creating the application rather than learning about multiple languages.

I hope this article was helpful to you in understanding how JavaScript is used for full-stack web development. Check out the article that I have written on How to make money with JavaScript.

Thanks for reading. Happy coding!

Ashwin Joy

I'm the face behind Pythonista Planet. I learned my first programming language back in 2015. Ever since then, I've been learning programming and immersing myself in technology. On this site, I share everything that I've learned about computer programming.

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