How can I start a career in web development?

I’m 20 years old and studying computer systems engineering, I have struggled with depression for some time and stopped doing the things I should have done in the past. Now that I’m getting back on track I don’t know where to start to specialize in web development, I want to be full stack and I had a friend ask if I would help him with a system he needs, I took it as an opportunity to learn and grow as a developer and with it as a person. I know basic HTML, CSS, but I don’t know backend or JavaScript, I still haven’t graduated but I feel completely lost.

Coding is an ever-shifting landscape and you never really stop learning. To start, I would go through the freeCodeCamp (FCC) curriculum. It’s not a comprehensive education, but it gets your hands dirty and teaches you the fundamentals of web development. It is also very structured and while some would argue that it’s too structured, I found this approach suited me as it makes learning digestible and acts as a compass for a newbie or someone lost. It’s motivating to know that you’re making progress and not simply stagnant since you can never know everything there is about coding. Coding is a bit of a monster like that. There are other free resources like The Odin Project, but one of the challenges I found with that is you kind of have to figure everything out on your own and that can be challenging. (I actually started at TOP and then switched to FCC). I’m almost finished with the FCC curriculum and I definitely have gaps in my knowledge, but it’s a incremental progression that keeps me coming back because I have an objective way to track my progress.

FCC starts with HTML, CSS and then gradually moves into JavaScript and then various libraries before moving on to Node.js, which is a JS runtime environment, so it sounds like that’s what you’re looking for. The one thing I think FCC lacks–and you’re a ways away from that–is having a framework to find jobs because after all that’s what most of us are aiming for.