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Joel Rainwater
Joel Rainwater

Posted on • Originally published at

Web Developer Tools Fundamentals

You know how to write code... now what?

A common challenge new developers run into is making the transition from writing code in a closed environment, such as a tutorial or course, to building a real project. Suddenly there's a whole new world of tools that are mentioned but not explained.

Perhaps you are trying to set up your first development project on your local and don't know where to start. Or maybe you're reading a tutorial or some documentation and it says "Prerequisite: npm/yarn, webpack, hadron collider, etc...". Ok, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.

WTF is npm and how do I use it? How do I set up a local environment, deploy to a server, or share my code with other developers?


I am Joel, a self-taught web developer for over 10 years. As a self-taught developer, and a mentor for new developers, I have both experienced these challenges and hear these questions often from those who are learning to code.

I've noticed that there are a lot of code adjacent things that are not well covered, or just expected or assumed knowledge in a lot of documentation, tutorials, and courses.

What to expect

I will be writing a series of articles in an attempt to break down these popular tools and processes in an understandable way.

I won't be going into tedious depth, this is intended for beginners to get a grasp on the basics. If you'd like to learn something more in-depth let me know and I'll do what I can in a separate article.

Subjects covered

Below are the subjects I intend to cover. Note - some subjects will be specific to a particular ecosystem (e.g. npm for JavaScript projects) while others will be more widely applicable (e.g. git for any code project).

  • git (and the difference between git and GitHub)
  • npm/yarn
  • CI/CD
  • webpack + babel
  • Browser vs Client side code
  • HTTP calls (APIs, database queries, etc...)
  • Servers / hosting
  • CSS preprocessors
  • JavaScript modules (ESM, CJS) and import/export

If there are any subjects you'd like me to cover please post a comment below to let me know!

Follow along

I'll be writing and posting these over time and including them in a series so that this article, and all articles in the series, will update with links to each new article once published.

Subscribe to my posts here if you'd like to be notified when a new article drops. And let me know your thoughts!

See you soon...

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