The best way to learn Angular 2+ as fast as possible
Published 6 months ago | Last update 6 months ago
Get on the fast track and start using the Angular framework as fast as possible without much time wasting.
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- Grasp the basics, but don’t get into too many details
- Where everything is
- Using HTML and CSS with Angular
- Modules (ngModules)
- Basic TypeScript
- Build your own project instead of finishing a course
- Build something using external APIs
- Remember that no one else actually knows what they’re doing also
- Remember to have fun
Gettings started with Angular can be challenging, and it's hard to find an article that actually tells you what to do, especially if you're not a developer and don't have a very technical background. This is primarily aimed at people looking to get started with Angular as their first front-end framework, but even if that's not you, you still might get some value from this article.
I can't stress this enough. Assuming that you (hopefully) already know how to work with HTML and CSS. If you don’t, go on CodeCademy right now. It should take you like a weekend to learn, unless you’re seeing a computer for the first time.
Grasp the basics, but don’t get into too many details
Angular can be hard to grasp even for developers who already know what they’re doing. You certainly don’t need to get into specifics in orders to be able to do anything with. Think of it like driving a manual car – you don’t need to know everything that’s going on under the hood, but you better under understand enough to be able to shift gears properly.
So, here’s all you need to know about Angular in order to get started on your project:
Where everything is
When I first started learning Angular, I watched a course for about two days without following along. I then tried doing things on my own, only to have to restart the course because I was clueless. Instead of just watching videos purposelessly, learn to work with it. Learn how you add components and services, and how to use them. Make a responsive navbar. Use material design. Do things.
Using HTML and CSS with Angular
Angular can be a piece of cake, but it can also be very tricky if you’re used to more traditional ways of doing things. You better understand how to at least use HTML and style things with it before you go further into using components, or you’re in for a ride.
Let’s say you have a box where you need the user to input something. Or an output table. In Angular, you’d need to put those into components, then use those components in your app. Quite simple really, but it takes some time to get used to. For example, if you want to style a certain component, you have all kinds of different ways and probably at least six different files where you can do that in. You’ll have to choose wisely, or re-using those same components and putting them together into a usable UI will later be a nightmare.
You use these in order to communicate between components. Things can get quite weird here, so I don’t want to put any expectations in your head – you’ll have to see for yourself. Once you figure things out (which can take a couple of days), you’ll be good, though!
Anyway, here are some more tips in order to have you on a fast track to learning Angular:
Build your own project instead of finishing a course
Investing in a course is a probably a good idea, since it’s more likely to keep you on track and will only cost you like ten bucks. That isn’t to say that you just can’t follow some YouTube playlist, but something about the structure of a course that helps me be stay focused when learning something.
Start with a decent Udemy course, but you don’t necessarily have to finish it. Maximilian Schwarzmüller’s course is the most popular Angular one, although he does sometimes get ahead of himself. Once the course gets into specifics (similar to most courses), it’s likely that things will be far different from what you’re looking to build, unless you’re just looking to just learn how things work instead of building your own project. Even then though, you will probably learn A LOT more if you have to use your own brain to learn something different compared to just blindly following a course, and trusting it will deliver. In the real world, it’s more likely that you’ll spend more time scratching your head reading questions on 256Kilobytes than actually coding, so following along a 30-hour course without knowing to put two and two together yourself probably isn’t the smartest time investment.
You’d be surprised by the amount of information you can find on the topics that you’re working on – glue the different pieces together yourself and you’ll develop a core understanding of things, making every next challenge easier and easier.
Build something using external APIs
Most real-world apps use some sort of external API, and probably yours should do. Learn how to get a JSON object response and how to work with it, as well as sharing data between components. This will make your project a lot more valuable if you were to put it in your portfolio, and it would be evidence that you can do more than just glue UI elements together.
Remember that no one else actually knows what they’re doing also
This is coming from someone who’s been doing some sort web design or development for years now – I constantly Google even the most basic things. No, I don’t remember how to vertically center two child elements into a parent one without using either Flexbox or CSS Grid, and that’s perfectly fine – it takes me a minute to find that info online. Why would I even try to remember these hacks? It’s not like I’m doing the same thing on a daily basis, over and over again. It’s always a different problem that requires a slightly different approach anyway. Same thing goes for Angular. I’m here to get things done, not to test my memory on miscellaneous, trivial things. I went to college for that.
I get things done much faster and probably using better practices now, but that isn’t to say that the stuff I was building a couple years back wasn’t working. All these frameworks are relatively new, and if a developer pretends they themselves don’t Google things sometimes to understand some part of something better, they’re either Bill Gates, or laying.
Remember to have fun
Cliché, I know. But, you really should make it a challenge to solve problem after problem, and be content with each solution, because you did it. You can think on your own. You’re smart(ish) now. Not everyone can do what you did! Pat yourself on the back every once in a while.
> All these frameworks are relatively new,
Yes -- Although Angular at this point has been around for long enough to have become a reliable/solid choice in 2018.
It was fully reworked/rewritten when version 2.0 was released (previously it was AngularJS), which resulted in a bunch of projects written in v 1.0 needing to either stay in 1.0 or be rewritten. It's in version 7.0 currently and has stabalized a fair amount and is a solid choice for web dev projects.
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