If I may spare my opinions:
1- at which kind of projects are you working on now?
Currently I’m doing the whole web presence (4 wepages) of a big real estate agency.
This involves 4 web pages, their internal mailer, the server and SEO.
Plus some JS data visualization for a private admin page of a web app.
Just finished the last week a pure front-end tablet app for a specific fitness equipment machine.
2- What resources do you use to keep up with new web technologies and trends?
Books, video courses but mostly official documentation.
I got “schooled” yesterday by my senior for not using JQuery doc (because…it’s JQuery right? Everyone knows it ) and messing a part of function!
3- Are there any meetups or users groups I should get involved with?
Unfortunately where I live there’s no real groups or meet ups, but if you have some in your area definitely go for it! You can start by joining a FCC group and see how it goes.
Definitely focus on the social aspect of coding since nowadays developing is no more a one-man job: learn teamworks
4- What do companies like yours typically look for in new hires?
They don’t ask you to know everything, but at least the basics of good developing practice.
Git, version control, some knowledge of algorithm and big O notation for example.
Nothing deep, but at least knowing why bubble sort is what it is.
Plus showing that you actually like doing what you do: during my interview they were happy to see that I developed a bot for Discord (really a crappy one to be honest), but they were pleased in seeing that I code also for fun, and not only to show off some skills.
5- What is one technical thing I should be sure to learn during my program?
Commenting your code, keep it clean, readable and easy to maintain.
They confessed after my trial ended that I was hired also thanks to the way I commented my code and how easily they developed from it.
no one expect you to be the next coding wizard, that’s what seniors are for: be humble but be precise
6- What to focus (learning trends to follow) after a good base in FullStack(HTML/CSS, JSS, Node, React)…Ruby? PHP? or just go Mobile with increase requested Swift? What about going into VR or Data Analysis?
As said before go for what YOU like to do; not the market wants you to do.
If you actually focus in doing what you like, not only you’ll enjoy more the journey, but you’ll produce a better result.
Plus passion is what people is usually attracted of.
7- How should I continue from here?
Ask yourself what do you like to code for?
Why are you studying web dev (or whatever you’re studying at the moment)?
Once you’ll find that answer you’ll know what to do…
and if you find it please let me know the answer since I’m looking for it myself too!
Jokes aside, it’s all in the passion of what you’re currently doing.
If you’re here just for the mere work opportunity, I’m sorry but you’re “nothing” but an empty shell. Do something you love.
For example in my free time after work I went home and coded a pure CSS animated Christmas card, that then I presented to my senior… we ended up using it in the official greeting email for our clients.
That was an outcome I didn’t care about: I did it because I felt like it. I had fun doing it.
People like this kind of attitude which is more (or as) valuable as pure technical skill.
thanks for this questions, I had fun in replying to this.