We have very few industries that are as dynamic and inviting as web software development is. Think about it; to become a surgeon, you have to commit almost 10-13 years after high school before conducting an unassisted surgery.
But the same isn’t true for web software developers. In fact, some developers have self-taught themselves and landed excellent roles in big tech companies.
Even though this sounds like a walk in the park, technology is constantly changing. And as human needs pivot, web developers must develop new solutions to address these changes. For this to happen, we have to revamp existing technologies and, at the same time, introduce new technologies.
Ultimately, this introduces a more pertinent question: how to stay up-to-date as a web developer?
In this article, we will share five main ideas to help you stay up-to-date in your web development areas and remain as relevant as ever.
But first, let’s address the core question;
Why Stay Up-to-Date?
- To stay competitive in the job market. This doesn’t get said often, but the web development field is highly competitive. Employers and clients always seek developers with the latest web development skills and technologies. If you don't keep up with the latest trends, you'll be disadvantaged when applying for jobs.
- To remain motivated and engaged in your career. Monotony and boredom can quickly creep into your career when you’re not constantly learning and growing. Ultimately, this leads to career and job frustration. That said, keeping up with the latest trends will make you more motivated and engaged in your work.
Next, let’s cover the strategies that will keep you up-to-date with the latest trends in web development.
1. Embrace Online Learning Platforms
In today’s digital age, you can access a wealth of information on web development right at your fingertips. Online learning platforms have quickly changed how web developers can acquire new skills and knowledge, thus making them an invaluable resource. Let’s take a closer look at some learning platforms that cater to web development knowledge acquisition.
Zero to Mastery
Zero to Mastery is a comprehensive online learning platform that offers a structured curriculum for web development. Created by Andrei Neagoie, an experienced developer and instructor, Zero to Mastery offers courses covering various aspects of web development, from the fundamentals to advanced topics. The platform focuses on hands-on learning, ensuring that students gain real-world coding experience. If you decide to sign up, use the code FRIENDS10 for a 10% discount.
Udemy is an online learning marketplace with a wealth of web development courses taught by industry professionals. You can find courses on frontend, backend, and full-stack web development.
With a similar learning model to Udemy, Coursera takes it a notch higher by partnering with top universities and educational institutions to offer learners specialized web development courses. Completing a Coursera specialization earns you a shareable certificate demonstrating your experience in a specific area of web development.
Codecademy offers learners a hands-on approach to learning web development. Their platform offers a step-by-step learning experience, allowing you to practice coding directly into the browser.
YouTube is now dubbed as a “free university” thanks to an immense collection of web development channels available from different content creators. There are channels suited to various topics such as frontend development, backend development, frameworks, design principles, and coding best practices.
If you’re looking for in-depth conversations from thought leaders, industry experts, and experienced practitioners on web development, try podcasts. They offer an excellent avenue for web developers to stay informed and learn on the go. Perhaps what makes podcasts unique is flexibility; you can listen to web development podcasts while commuting, cycling, walking your dog, or during other activities.
2. Engage with and Join Community Platforms
The internet has made it easy to connect with like-minded people in the web development field.
There are numerous online and physical communities where you can connect with web developers, participate in healthy discussions, and acquire tips from them to improve your skills.
Usually, speakers in these communities talk about the different web tech stacks they use daily. This is always an excellent chance to experiment with new stacks and gain insights about new stacks. On online communities, you can join Quora, Reddit, and Facebook forums where web developers globally share insights. Here’s a list of excellent communities to join and follow:
3. Follow Influential Blogs and News Sources
Blogs and popular new sources offer you the latest information and tech trends in web development.
Today, blogs are often the first avenues to report on new trends and technologies in web development. This gives you a head start on these latest developments, which you can incorporate into your work.
Typically, experts in web development often author blogs and new sources. And what better way to learn from them than by reading their work? Besides learning from experts, reading content from blogs and news sources can inspire you to start your blog and share your experiences with the world.
You can also subscribe to web development newsletters. These newsletters do an excellent job synthesizing related web development trends and presenting them in an easy-to-digest format.
Similarly, some excellent blogs to follow for tech information include:
- Hashnode: You can find articles organized by various topics in web development.
- Dev.to: Like Hashnode, you can subscribe to topics in web development that interest you and get a timeline curated with posts from these topics.
- Daily.dev: Features curated content on programming trends.
4. Contribute to Open Source Projects and Build Projects
Open-source projects are constantly updated with new technologies and features. By contributing to these projects, web developers can learn about the latest trends in web development. In addition, developers in these projects are bound to interact with industry experts in various coding stacks, and they’re always passing down insights to fellow developers in these projects.
Besides open-source, building personal projects allows you to stay up-to-date with new trends in web development through the following ways:
- You get to learn new things. When building a project, you’re bound to interact with various programming language documentation. When updates are made to a particular programming stack, these documentations are constantly updated with new information.
- You build your reputation. Building and deploying your projects makes it easy for other developers to notice your work and reach out. Through these interactions, you get to learn new insights from people with more web development exposure than you have.
5. Stackoverflow (SO) Top Questions
Usually, web developers will switch to SO when they want a quick solution to a problem they’re facing in their codes. And while SO isn’t about copying and pasting, it’s also an excellent learning platform.
You can browse the hottest questions on SO, allowing you to learn new insights about the technologies you’re primarily interested in. In addition, SO offers web developers an avenue to learn about trendy topics in web development and other programming areas.
If you have invested in the stock market, you understand why it’s crucial to keep assessing and checking the latest value. Failure to do this means you can’t cash your asset at the appropriate moment.
The same goes for web development. If you become oblivious to new trends and technologies, staying relevant in your field becomes impossible.
Knowing what the world is shifting towards is crucial, whether frontend, backend, web design principles, or database and API integration.
While the tips above are not a one-size-fits-all solution, they teach you how to stay up-to-date as a web developer in an age where technology evolves faster than you can possibly keep up with.