Are you someone who is a junior developer struggling to climb up the corporate ladder and become a senior developer?
Are you a full-stack developer who feels lost and doesn’t know where to start? ๐Ÿค”

Well, you are in the right place! ๐Ÿ˜Ž
This is a step-by-step roadmap for Junior Developer to become an admired and respected Senior Developer ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Prerequisites

  • Basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge.
  • MERN (MongoDB, ExpressJS, ReactJS, NodeJS) or PERN (PostgreSQL, ExpressJS, ReactJS, NodeJS) stack knowledge is helpful but not required.

Here’s the breakdown of the essential technologies in the roadmap that you can follow step-by-step on your journey to becoming a Senior Developer ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

SSH

SSH plays an important role in secure remote communication. By familiarizing yourself with SSH basics, its commands, encryption methods, SSH key management, and applying SSH for real-world applications, you’re well on your way to becoming a Senior Developer.

  • What is SSH, Anyway?
  • SSH is short for Secure Shell is a protocol designed to establish secure communication between two computers. (Don’t worry about these fancy terms โ€“ a protocol is just a bunch of rules, and SSH is a specific type of protocol.)
  • SSH Commands: One of the primary uses of SSH is to execute commands on remote computers. This means you can establish a connection to a server and interact with it using SSH commands.
  • Encryption: To truly grasp SSH, it’s important to understand key concepts such as encryption, which involves both symmetric and asymmetric encryption techniques, as well as hashing. These concepts lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of SSH’s security mechanisms.
  • SSH Keys: An integral part of SSH is the use of SSH keys. These keys consist of a public key and a private key. Learning how to generate, manage, and securely store these keys on the server is crucial for effective SSH usage.
  • Practice and Test your SSH skills:
  • A great way to practice your SSH skills is by connecting your local computer to platforms like GitHub or cloud providers such as DigitalOcean. This hands-on experience will help solidify your understanding of SSH concepts.
  • Imagine this scenario: “Your web application mysteriously disappears from the server overnight. Your task is to restore all project files onto the server using SSH.” Successfully completing this task showcases your SSH skills and your problem-solving abilities. Basically, if you can do this, you’re awesome!

Performance:

Performance optimization is a crucial skill on your path to becoming a Senior Developer. The following techniques will help you ensure your applications run smoothly and efficiently. And by mastering them, you’ll become a performance guru.

I) Network Optimizations:

  • Minimize the files: Minimizing files is crucial because smaller files lead to quicker loading times. This not only enhances the user experience but can also reduce bandwidth costs for your project. It’s especially important in an era where mobile devices with varying network speeds access websites.
  • 1. File Compression: Smaller files mean faster downloads for users. Learn how to minimize file sizes by using file compression techniques, such as GZIP, to reduce the size of text-based files like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • 2. Image Optimization: Optimizing images through resizing, compression, and choosing the right image format can significantly reduce file sizes. Tools like ImageMagick or online services like TinyPNG can help you with this process.
  • Improve delivery of the application: Improved delivery leads to faster page load times, which can directly impact user engagement and retention. It’s also crucial for global accessibility and ensuring a consistent experience for users worldwide.
  • 1. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): A CDN is a distributed network of servers strategically positioned worldwide to deliver web content, such as images, scripts, and videos, from a server geographically closer to the user, resulting in faster loading times and reduced latency. As a Junior developer learn how you can enhance delivery by utilizing CDNs.
  • 2. HTTP/2 Protocol: HTTP/2 is a major revision of the HTTP network protocol used by the World Wide Web. It enhances website performance by sending multiple files concurrently and enabling faster loading times through features like multiplexing, compression, and header optimization. Implementing the HTTP/2 protocol can significantly improve delivery.
  • Practice and Test your Network Optimization skills:
  • Performance Testing: Junior developers can practice by conducting performance testing using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or WebPageTest. These tools evaluate a website’s performance and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Real-World Projects: Junior developers can practice by working on real-world projects. Building and optimizing websites or web applications from scratch can provide hands-on experience in implementing network optimizations.

II) Front-End Optimizations:

  • Critical Render Path and How to Improve It:
  • Understanding and optimizing the critical render path is essential to make your website load quickly. It involves optimizing the sequence of events from the moment a user requests a web page to the point when it becomes visually complete. Key aspects include minimizing render-blocking resources like CSS and JavaScript, leveraging browser caching, and utilizing asynchronous loading techniques.
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Code Optimization:
  • Developing Progressive Web Apps involves optimizing code for exceptional user experiences. PWAs are web applications that provide a native app-like experience with features like offline functionality, push notifications, and rapid load times. Code optimization practices include efficient caching strategies and minimizing JavaScript execution while ensuring smooth interactions.
  • Creating Offline-Ready Progressive Web Apps (PWAs):
  • Learn how to develop PWAs that work offline and even submit them to app stores using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Offline functionality, caching, and responsive design are essential components for ensuring PWAs function seamlessly regardless of the user’s internet connection.
  • Code Splitting:
  • Code splitting is a strategy to enhance website performance by dividing your JavaScript into smaller bundles that load on-demand. This practice reduces the initial load time and improves the overall user experience, especially on slower network connections.
  • Smart Rendering for React and Redux Applications:
  • Boost the speed of React and Redux applications through smart rendering techniques. This involves optimizing component rendering and state management, reducing unnecessary re-renders, and ensuring your applications respond swiftly to user interactions.
  • Practice and Test your knowledge:
  • Enhance your skills by actually improving a website, such as a company landing page. Implement performance optimizations you’ve learned on a real project, and then test the results. This hands-on experience is invaluable for solidifying your expertise in front-end optimization.

III) Back End Optimization

Backend optimizations, coupled with practice and testing, are fundamental to ensuring your applications can handle growing user bases and provide efficient, reliable services.

  • Content Delivery Networks (CDNs):
  • Content Delivery Networks are distributed networks of servers that store cached copies of your website’s content. These servers are strategically positioned around the globe, allowing users to access data from a server geographically closer to them. This reduces latency, accelerates content delivery, and enhances the user experience.
  • Scaling Databases:
  • Scaling databases involves expanding your database’s capacity and performance to handle increased data and traffic. Techniques include vertical scaling (adding more resources to a single server) or horizontal scaling (adding more servers to distribute the load), ensuring your application remains responsive and reliable as it grows.
  • Compressing Responses from the Backend:
  • Compressing responses from the backend means reducing the size of data sent from the server to the client. Techniques like GZIP compression can significantly decrease response sizes, leading to faster loading times and reduced bandwidth consumption.
  • Caching:
  • Caching involves storing frequently accessed data or content in memory or on disk, allowing for quicker retrieval. Implementing caching strategies can improve response times, reduce server load, and enhance the overall performance of your application.
  • Load Balancing and Load Testing:
  • Implementing a load balancer is crucial for distributing incoming network traffic across multiple servers. Load balancing ensures no single server is overwhelmed, leading to better resource utilization and increased reliability.
  • Load testing simulates real-world conditions to identify performance bottlenecks, ensure scalability, and optimize your infrastructure.
  • Practice and Test Your Knowledge:
  • Implement a load balancer.
  • Actually perform load testing on the project.

Front-end frameworks & concepts

Front-end development is a cornerstone in your journey to becoming a Senior Developer. Familiarizing yourself with these concepts will pave the way to a thriving career in web development.

  • React and Redux: React and Redux are the go-to libraries for building dynamic single-page applications. Start by mastering React fundamentals and building a project. Then, dive into Redux, learning about state management and structuring your applications for scalability.
  • Webpack4 + Parcel: Webpack4 and Parcel are the latest tools for bundling project files and optimizing your production bundles. Get hands-on experience setting up your projects with Webpack.
  • Practice and Test Your Skills:
  • Put your knowledge to the test by building a project with React and Redux.
  • Learn the ins and outs of configuring your projects with Webpack.

Testing:

Testing is an important topic but is also often forgotten by beginners and junior developers.

Companies love testing. So, if you know how to write Unit Tests and Integration Tests, you will write better software.

  • Software Testing 101: Learn what is testing, the types of tests, the testing landscape in the current web development world, what are the types of testing tools and libraries, how to use them and how to set everything up.
  • Jest: One of the top libraries used for testing. Learn to write synchronous and asynchronous tests, write mocks and have coverage reports
  • React Tests: Then dive into writing tests for your React apps. Learn to use snapshot testing and enzyme to write smart tests that avoid bugs in your application.

By the end of this, you should be aware of the entire testing landscape and feel comfortable writing any tests that come your way.

Typescript:

TypeScript is one of the hottest topics in the web developer environment right now.

  • Static Typing: Learn the basics of static typing. Understand why JavaScript didn’t have static typing and instead dynamically typed.
  • Typescript 101: Learn what is TypeScript, how to use TypeScript, what are the different types and how to add them to your project.
  • Typescript in React: Finally learn how to add TypeScript to your own React Projects.

Once again, make sure that you will master these topics.

SPA + Server Side

  • Server Side Rendering (SSR): Delve into the origins of web rendering with server-side rendering. Understand why SSR was, and still is, useful in web development. Learn why some companies continue to rely on SSR for specific needs. Explore the implementation of server-side rendering in React and weigh the pros and cons of this approach.
  • Client Side Rendering (CSR): Gain insights into client-side rendering in single-page applications (SPAs). Understand the advantages and disadvantages of CSR. Learn when to opt for client-side rendering over server-side rendering. Discover how to implement client-side rendering and evaluate the pros and cons of both rendering methods.
  • Next.js: Explore Next.js, a library that simplifies the creation of server-side dynamic applications. Learn how Next.js facilitates server-side rendering and the development of interactive, data-driven web applications.

By the end of this section, you will be ready to make decisions on whether you want a single-page app or a server-side rendered application for your project.

Security:

  • Front End Security Optimizations: Learn Cross-site scripting, and injection attacks like SQL injections. Practice these to learn how they work.
  • Back End Security Optimizations: Learn more about Backend security and what are the Best practices in order to manage sensitive data.
  • Ethical Hacking 101: Learn basic ethical hacking techniques so that we can learn how to protect ourselves when we are building our app.

So, after learning these concepts you must feel confident when you’re building secure applications using the latest tips, and tricks and implementing the latest tools and tech.

Docker:

Docker is a containerization platform that enables you to package applications and their dependencies into portable, isolated containers. These containers can run consistently across diverse environments, from development to production. Docker is a tool that is going to absolutely amaze you.

  • Containers:
  • Begin by gaining a deeper understanding of containers and their profound impact on the way companies structure and manage their applications.
  • Containers enable lightweight, consistent, and easily reproducible environments, revolutionizing software development and deployment.
  • Docker 101 : Crafting Containers
  • Learn the essentials of Docker by discovering how to create Docker files and build your own containers.
  • This fundamental knowledge forms the basis for using Docker to encapsulate and distribute your applications effortlessly.
  • Docker-compose : Orchestrating Containers
  • Explore Docker-compose, a tool for orchestrating multi-container Docker applications.
  • Learn how to define, configure, and manage multiple containers as a single service, simplifying the deployment of complex applications.
  • Microservices vs. Monolithic Architecture:
  • In a monolithic architecture, a single, large codebase handles all application functions, making updates and scaling challenging.
  • Containers enable a microservices approach, where applications are divided into smaller, independent services that can be developed, deployed, and scaled individually. This transition provides flexibility, scalability, and improved resource utilization.
  • Containers (like Docker) are instrumental in moving away from monolithic architecture to microservices. So, learn more about the pros and cons of each Architecture.
  • Practice and Test your Docker skills:
  • Learn how to combine a Redis server, a Postgres database and an API server all into one docker container, so that they all run from one command.

After this section and action item, we’re going to feel very comfortable with Docker whenever we deploy our applications.

Redis:

Redis is one of the most popular and often used databases that is a key value storage.

  • Databases 101: Dive into the topic of Databases and gain insights into the various types of databases and how they fit into the landscape of data storage solutions.
  • What is Redis?:
  • Redis is an open-source, in-memory key-value store database.
  • It excels in data storage and retrieval, making it a versatile choice for applications requiring high-speed data access.
  • Redis 101: Learn how to use Redis. Learn how to use Redis for caching to make our websites faster and session management.
  • Redis CLI: Learn how to use Redis CLI.
  • Practice your Redis skills: Spin up our own Redis server.
  • Key-Value Databases and Their Role:
  • Key-value databases like Redis provide a simple yet effective means of data storage.
  • They store data as pairs of keys and corresponding values, enabling rapid data retrieval.
  • These databases are especially valuable in scenarios where fast data access is critical, such as caching, session management, and real-time applications.
  • When to Use Databases Like Redis:
  • Redis is ideal for use cases where speed and data consistency are paramount.
  • Consider Redis for caching frequently accessed data, managing user sessions, powering real-time applications, and ensuring low-latency access to critical information.

Sessions + JWT

Using your React project, learn how to create an entire dynamic part of the website: that is User Management with the following techniques.

  • Session Authentication: Learn how to create a new profile page. Learn how to use session-based authentication where cookies would be used and learn how to implement it.
  • Token Authentication: Learn more about Token authentication such as JWT tokens. Learn the pros and cons of each authentication type.
  • Secure Authentication Flow: Learn how to implement a secure authentication flow that you can implement in any app that you choose.
  • Practice your Redis skills: Learn how to use and implement Redis for session management
  • So that you we have protected routes
  • Also, this way, any time we have a sign-in functionality, we can use this system, knowing that it’s secure and follows best practices.

Amazon Web Services (“AWS”):

Amazon Web Services, commonly known as AWS, is a powerful cloud platform that has transformed the way companies operate, providing unparalleled scalability and efficiency.

AWS 101:

  • What is AWS (Amazon Web Services)?:
  • AWS is a cloud computing platform that offers a wide array of services, including computing power, storage, databases, machine learning, and more.
  • It provides scalable, on-demand resources, enabling businesses to innovate and grow without the burden of managing physical infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
  • AWS offers Infrastructure as a Service, which allows users to provision and manage virtualized computing resources over the internet.
  • This approach eliminates the need for on-premises hardware and offers flexibility and scalability.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS):
  • AWS extends its services to Platform as a Service, enabling developers to build, deploy, and manage applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.
  • This empowers developers to focus on writing code and delivering value.
  • Scaling with AWS:
  • AWS has empowered companies to scale efficiently, providing access to resources as needed.
  • It allows businesses to match their capacity to demand, similar to tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, ensuring that they can serve customers seamlessly.
  • AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service that enables developers to run code in response to events without managing servers. It offers a cost-effective, scalable, and straightforward way to execute functions in the cloud.
  • Serverless 101: Learn how to use the Serverless framework.
  • Practice your AWS skills: Learn how to implement AWS Lambda into your React Application.

By the end, you’re going to feel confident working with AWS and creating functions that live in the cloud.

CI/CD

After we have tied everything together and created the overall picture of how to write good software and good applications; Learn how to actually create good processes and how to actually deploy your application to production.

  • Continuous Integration: Learn more about good Continuous Integration practices and how to implement these good practices and good tools.
  • Continuous Delivery: Learn more about good Continuous Delivery practices and how to implement these good practices and good tools.
  • Continuous Deployment: Learn more about good Continuous Deployment practices and how to implement these good practices and good tools.
  • Practice your CI/CD skills: Learn how to implement the Circle CI (CI/CD) tool in your project
  • To make sure that from the start your developer team has the right tools and right processes in place
  • To be successful in writing applications with less bugs and cleaner code.

Extra Bits

  • Code Analysis: Learn what to do when you first start off on a project where you have a ton of files and you didn’t write the code yourself! Learn the tips and tricks to really optimize that.
  • Best Practices in general for building quality applications.

Soft Skills

  • In this blog, I’ve primarily focused on the technical aspects of your journey to become a senior developer. However, Soft skills like effective communication and emotional intelligence also play a vital role.
  • Top 7 Soft Skills For Developers & How To Learn Them: For a more in-depth exploration of various soft skills, consider checking out this blog written by Andrei Neagoie, a Senior Developer and Programming Instructor.

Note

  • Different companies may have varying expectations for Senior Web Developers, so make sure to do some additional research to tailor your development path.

By the end, after learning all of the above topics, all of these things will make sense to you. You’ll be able to implement all of these things into your own projects, into your own company. And you’ll know how each and every one of them are connected.

Most importantly, learn these things quickly with the help of this roadmap, compared to other junior developers who take years to learn these skills.

Best Resources

Who Am I?

  • Iโ€™m Aswin Barath, a Software Engineering Nerd who loves building Web Applications, now sharing my knowledge through Blogging during the busy time of my freelancing work life.
  • I’m also a Junior Developer like you learning how to become a Senior Developer and sharing my knowledge along the way.
  • Hereโ€™s the link to all of my socials categorized by platforms under one place:ย https://linktr.ee/AswinBarath

Thank you so much for reading my blog๐Ÿ™‚.

Categorized in:

Junior to Senior Roadmap,

Last Update: 28 December 2023