The Developer Roadmap

What is a developer roadmap? If you search the history of technological innovations, you will learn that web and software development have modernized the products and resources we use in our day-to-day as consumers. The process to build applications is becoming more collaborative and synergistic than ever before. Whereas before, developers and other IT team members worked in environments in which their skills were more silo’ed – causing inefficiencies and breaks in the cross-disciplinary aspects of building applications. Fast forward to the present we see that there has been a major shift in the tech industry – new positions in the field such as DevOps engineers or Quality Assurance testers have come into fruition by bridging the gap between teams and breaking down silos in production.

As technological advancements are made both in hardware and software, there is an increasingly rigorous level of functionalities and principles developers must understand to innovate and be competitive in their fields. As a result, you are seeing the proliferation of guides called ‘Developer Roadmaps’ – roadmaps such as these help map out the skills and fundamentals developers need to know to be effective in the current day, whether you are a front-end developer, back-end developer, fullstack, or occupying the newer position as a Dev Ops engineer.

As a class, we were given access to an informative and well-laid Roadmap made by @kamranahmedse over at Roadmap.sh. What I first noticed about this roadmap is how meticulously laid out each specialization of development is – this helps those entering the field understand what they need to know in order to become programmers. While some may have an inclination towards the front-end, or the build and design of browser-facing apps – others may have a penchant for the back-end: organizing, securing and building data infrastructure that make up the business logic of the product being made. Knowing both sides of app development comes with it’s pro’s and cons, but the emergence of fullstack developers comes from the need to break down silos and make the development and deployment process more efficient. The creator of this roadmap included a detailed portion for the DevOps engineer – outlining the close relationship this novel specialization has in creating agile workflows and helping to scale, automate, and facilitate the whole development process between designers and dev teams, IT departments, and business directors. This was my first time learning about what a DevOps engineer does and from the research I’ve gathered, it seems as thought this role will become even more prominent as companies modernize their deployment process. DevOps is both distinct and similar if not a part of knowing the ‘full-stack’ of tech itself.

I have yet to decide what stack I am going to specialize in or whether I will work towards becoming an experienced full-stack developer. I do have a high inclination to obsess over design details, overall branding and UX/UI design in the front-end realm – however I am equally interested in the mechanics, logic, and architecture beneath apps and the efficient structures lying underneath them. I am a bit rusty with my math and logic skills, but I feel confident that with practice I can get back to speed and perhaps be an effective full-stack developer. Some experts and professionals in the field also recommend to future-proof developer career opportunities by learning DevOps before learning the fullstack, as it has a tendency to pay higher and is becoming an increasingly present position at companies who are scaling up. Either way, I am excited to learned about more of these principles and have gone ahead and created an edited roadmap using the materials from Roadmap.sh. I have merged the various stacks and compiled them together, to get an even better sense of how these stacks interact with each other. At some point I might even print this out quite big, and start highlighting the common skills needed between the stacks – this could be a great way to compare and log the skills you would want to pursue as a developer thus making professional goals even more accessible by having a game plan. You can see a preview of the joined roadmap I made in the featured image above this text and you may download the full-resolution pdf in the link below, as the text is showing up blurry in the preview image because of WordPress’s image compression. I am also including a few youtube videos below that help explain the differences between the stacks. Hope you find this useful, and if you do, please leave a comment! Thanks.

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