An illustrated guide to becoming a React.js Developer with links to relevant courses
Backed by Facebook, React JS, also known as just React is has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and became the de-facto library for component-based GUI development.
Though there are other front-end frameworks like Angular and Vue.js available, what sets React apart from others is maybe the fact that it just focuses on component-based GUI development and doesn’t invade on other areas.
For example, Angular is a complete framework and gives you a lot of features out-of-the-box, such as a Dependency Injection, Routing system, Forms handling, HTTP requests, Animations, i18n support, and a strong module system with easy lazy-loading.
So, if you already have libraries to do those stuff or you might not need them altogether than React is a great choice, but learning React is not so easy, especially if you are starting as fresh in web development.
When I was doing some research about the right way to learn React JS, I come across this excellent React Developer RoadMap which outlines what is mandatory, what is good to know and what are some extra stuff you can learn as React developer.
This React Developer RoadMap is built by adam-golab and it outlines the paths that you can take and the libraries that you would want to learn to become a React developer.
So, if you are wondering What should you learn next as a React developer? then this roadmap can help you.
Similar to the DevOps RoadMap I have shared earlier, this React JS roadmap is also great on exploring the React and you can use this to become a better React developer.
But, if you are wondering where to learn those mandatory skills, then don’t worry, I have also shared some online courses, both free and paid, which you can take to learn those skills.
Anyway, here is the React Developer RoadMap I am talking about:
Now, let’s go through the RoadMap step by step and find out how you can learn the essential skills to become a React Developer :
It is one of the first pillar and the most important skill for web developers as it provides the structure for a web page.
If you want to learn HTML, you can check to Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3 course on Udemy.
And, If you don’t mind learning from free resources then you can also check out my list of free HTML courses.
It is the second pillar of web development and used to style web pages so that they look good. If you want to learn CSS then you can find a couple of free CSS courses on my list of free web development courses.
Btw, instead of learning these technologies individually, it’s better to join a complete web development course like The Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele which will teach you all the essential skills you need to become a web developer.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a frontend developer or a backend developer, or even a full-stack software engineer. You must know some general development skills to survive in the programming world, and here is a list of some of them
2.1 Learn GIT
You must absolutely know Git to become React developer. Try creating a few repositories on GitHub, share your code with other people, and learn how to download code from Github on your favorite IDE.
If you want to learn then Git Complete: The definitive, step-by-step guide to Git is a great course.
If you need more choices and don’t mind learning from free resources then you can also explore my list of free courses to learn Git.
2.2 Know HTTP(S) protocol
If you want to become a web developer then it’s an absolute must to know HTTP and know it well.
I am not asking you to read the specification but you should at least be familiar with common HTTP request methods like the GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, OPTIONS and how HTTP/HTTPS works in general.
2.3. Learn the terminal
Though it’s not mandatory for a frontend developer to learn Linux or terminal, I strongly suggest you get familiar with terminal, configure your shell (bash, zsh, csh) etc. If you want to learn terminal and bash then I suggest you take a look at this Linux Command Line Basics course on Udemy.
And, If you need more choices, you can also explore my list of free Linux courses for developers.
2.4. Algorithms and Data Structure
Well, this is again one of the general programming skill which is not necessarily needed for becoming a React developer but absolutely needed to become a programmer in the first place.
To learn Data Structure and Algorithms you either rad a few books or join a good course like Algorithm and Data Structure part 1 and 2.
If you need more choices, you can also check my list of free Data Structure and Algorithms courses.
And, if you love books more than courses, here is a list of 10 algorithms books every developer should read.
2.5. Learn Design Patterns
Just like Algorithms and Data Structure, it’s not imperative to learn design patterns to become a React Developer but you will do a world of good to yourself by learning it.
Design patterns are tried and tested solutions of common problem occur in software development.
Knowing them will help you to find a solution which can withstand the test of time. You can read a few books about design patterns to learn them or join a comprehensive course like Design Patterns libraries.
If you need more choices, you can also check my list of OOP and Design pattern courses to get more ideas.
Now, this is the main deal. you got to learn React and learn it well to become a React developer. The best place to learn React is the official website but as a beginner, it can be a little bit overwhelming for you.
That’s why I suggest you enroll in a couple of courses like Max’s React MasterClass or Stephen Grider’s Modern React with Redux to learn to React well.
Those two are my favorite React courses and also trusted by thousands of web developers. If you are serious about your React skills I strongly suggest you look at those courses.
And, if you don’t mind learning from free resources, then you can also take a look at this list of free React JS courses.
If you want to become a professional React developer then you should spend some time to get familiar with tools that you will be using as a web developer like built tools, unit testing tools, debugging tools etc.
To start with here are some of the build tools mentioned in this roadmap:
There are a lot of package managered mentioned in the roadmpa but It’s not important to learn all these tools, just learning npm and Webpack should be enough for beginners. Once you have more understanding of web development and React Ecosystem you can explore other tools.
If you want to learn Webpack then Webpack 2: The Complete Developer’s Guide is a great place to start with.
If you are aiming to become a front-end developer like React developer then knowing a bit of Styling will not hurt. Even though the RoadMap mentions a lot of stuff like CSS Preprocessors, CSS Frameworks, CSS Architecture and CSS in JS.
I suggest you to at least learn Bootstrap, the single most important CSS framework you will end up using every now and then. And, if you need a course, Bootstrap 4 From Scratch With 5 Projects is a handy course.
And, if you want to learn bootstrap, If you want to go one step ahead, you can also learn Materialize or Material UI.
This is another important area for a React developer to focus upon. The roadmap mention the following concepts and frameworks to master:
If this sounds too much to you, I suggest you to just focus on Redux, it’s great and there is a great course from Stephen Grider to learn Redux framework well.
Both Max’s React 16- The Complete Guide and Stephen Grider’s Modern React with Redux courses also covers State Management in React and Redux in good detail.
But even if you don’t use those, React has some built-in type checking abilities and learning them can help you to catch bugs early.
And, If you need more choices, and don’t mind learning from free resources then you can also check out my list of free TypeScript courses for web developers.
8. Form Helpers
Apart from Type Checkers, it’s also good to learn Form Helps like Redux Form, which provides the best way to manage your form state in Redux. Apart from Redux Form, you can also take a look at Formik, Formsy, and Final form.
Components are the heart of React’s powerful, declarative programming model, and Routing components are an important part of any application.
React Router provides a collection of navigational components that compose declaratively with your application.
Whether you want to have bookmarkable URLs for your web app or a composable way to navigate in React Native, React Router works wherever React is rendering.
Apart from React-Router, you can also take a look at Router 5, Redux-First Router and React Router.
Both Max’s React 16 — The Complete Guide and Stephen Grider’s Modern React with Redux courses also covers React Router in good detail.
Thankfully, there are many API clients available for React developers, here is a list of them:
Btw, if you don’t know GraphQL and REST, I suggest you to spend some time learning them. If you need courses, the following are my recommendations:
These are the libraries which make your work easier. There are many utility libraries available for React developers as shown below:
I don’t suggest you learn all these and so does RoadMap. If you look closely only Lodash, Moment, and Classnames are drawn in yellow, stating that you should start with them.
Now, this is one of the important skill for React Developers which is often overlooked, but if you want to stay ahead from your competition then you should focus on learning libraries which will help you in testing. Here also, you have libraries for Unit testing, Integration testing, and end-to-end testing.
Here is a list of libraries mentioned in the roadmap:
End to End Testing
You can learn the library you want but Jest and Enzyme are recommended. The Complete React Web Developer Course (with Redux) also covers Testing React application covering both Jest and Enzyme.
This is another important topic for developing front-end which is used worldwide. You may need to support the local GUI version for Japan, China, Spain, and other Europian countries.
The RoadMap suggest you learn the following technology but they are all under good to know:
Both these library provides React components and an API to format dates, numbers, and strings, including pluralization and handling translations.
14. Server-Side Rendering
You might be thinking what is the difference between Server-Side Rendering and Client Side rendering, let’s clear that before talking about the library which supports Server Side Rendering with React.
While in the case of Server-side rendering, React components are rendered on the server and output HTML content is delivered to the client or browser.
The RoadMap recommends following Server-Side Rendering:
But, I suggest learning just Next.js should be enough, and Thankfully, Max’s React 16 — The Complete Guide also covers Next.js basics which should be good enough to start with.
15. Static Site Generator
16. Backend Framework Integration
React on Rails integrates Rails with (server rendering of) Facebook’s React front-end framework. It provides Server rendering, often used for SEO crawler indexing and UX performance and not offered by rails/webpacker.
The RoadMap suggests you learn following libraries:
But, I think, just learning React Native is good enough.
Thankfully, there are some good courses to learn React Native are also available like Stephen Grider’s The Complete React Native and Redux Course which will teach you how to build full React Native mobile apps ridiculously fast!
There also exists some React based frameworks to build desktop GUI like React Native Windows which allows you to build native UWP and WPF apps with React.
The Framework suggests the following libraries:
But, they all are for advanced exploring. If you already mastered React, you can take a look at them.
19. Virtual Reality
If you are interested in building Virtual Reality based application then also you have some frameworks like React 360, which allows you to exciting 360 and VR experiences using React. If you are interested in that area, you can further explore React 360.
That’s all about The Modern React Developer RoadMap. It’s indeed very comprehensive and there is good chance that you won’t learn all of these, but don’t worry, all the technologies are still valid for a long time and you can this React RoadMap as per your convinience.
Other Programming Articles you may like
Thanks for reading this article so far. You might be thinking that there is so many stuff to learn, so many courses to join, but you don’t need to worry.
There is a good chance that you may already know most of the stuff, and there are also a lot of useful free resources which you can use, I have also linked them here and there along with best resources, which are certainly not free, but completely worthy of your time and money.
I am a particular fan of Udemy courses as they are very affordable and provide a lot of values in very small amount, but you are free to choose the course you want.
At the end of the day, you should have enough knowledge and experience about the things mentioned here.
Good luck with your React JS journey! It’s certainly not going to be easy, but by following this roadmap and guide, you are one step closer to becoming the React Developer, you always wanted to be
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All the best for your React Journey !!
P.S. — If you are looking to learn React.js in depth with some modern features like Hooks then you can also check out my list of best React.js Courses to start your journey.