Feedback & experience on study buddy/group & other questions

Since the pandemic I have been telling myself I have to learn coding and while I worked on and off here is my inconsistent progress:

I have learned:

  • Web dev basics
  • Essential HTML & CSS concepts
  • Making websites interactive
  • Essential JavaScript concepts

Topics I think I need to do more on or flat out learn:

  • Responsive design
  • More JavaScript
  • React

Here are some questions or experiences I would love feedback on:
1- Is it better to just focus on front end totally and almost forget that back end exists knowing that I am not motivated as it is?

2-How long approximately will it take to learn the rest of the topics if I can dedicate 5-10 hours per week?

3-Has anyone found success in finding similar aged study buddies or good study groups for motivation for feedback? Any practical suggestions? I think this is one point that would have made a world of difference in hindsight whether for motivation, pair programming, and bouncing ideas and sharing job postings and ideas.

Hope this was not all over the place. Look forward to your replies!

For #1:

You might (or will) eventually have to learn the backend. I learned at first HTML, CSS, and JS (the foundations and advanced concepts).

You may already know that you can host a site without knowing much of the backend (Github Pages) but if you want to build something that has persistent storage (like sign-up & log-in pages) you have to store that user data in a database which is part of learning the backend.

You can use LocalStorage (with JS) to mimic that but it has limitations (security, data is only local to the computer, cannot learn how server connections work).

I did made projects using LocalStorage. It was a good experience to build them but eventually you will have to learn to use a system that actually stores the data forever.

Both the front and back are designed to work together. (To add you might get more job opportunities. You can apply either as a Front, Back, or Full Stack Developer).

Thanks for your valuable comments. What about job opportunities for front end, while learning back end with the skills developed there? What skills do you recommend one focus on for such jobs?

What 3 projects are a good baseline to demonstrate to employers that one can start as a junior front end developer?

If only other people in the forum can answer this question as I have not experienced applying for one yet.

But for skills (on the front and back), you can check out the free curriculum of
The Odin Project. The courses and lessons are arranged in a fundamental way like freeCodeCamp but the difference is you get to be more practical on your learnings, specifically building projects and doing exercises based on what you learned so far.

You can skip some if you are already familiar. That is where I actually had a grasp learning JS.

One important one is Git Version Control (and Github). You will be able to track the progress of the projects you build and save those changes through Github of which people can access and copy if they want.

Github can serve as a platform to store (and eventually showcase) your projects for employers.

Thanks for your suggestion