There are a number of reasons why your question was closed. I will use quote various resources from the FAQ to help elaborate.
I'd like to push code around and just have my way with connecting to services and using SOA when building web apps... but where do I start?
Where is an answerer supposed to start? From the FAQ:
Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.
If you don't know where to begin, then three or four paragraphs from somebody on the web isn't going to explain everything you are asking to understand. It takes years to master web technologies in just a single framework.
The best you will get are answers giving emotional support telling you that they are going through the same thing and that they remember how hard it was. That may make you feel good, but does it really help you? Does it really help anybody else that finds this question on their feed?
Can someone recommend the right book, or series of books.. the right tutorials, screencasts, or path of learning -- in particular, something that doesn't require a deep dive into theory, but has a practical hands-on aspect to it?
So this is where it is not constructive. You will get lists of peoples favorite books, then arguments will break about authors and then which technology is best. It becomes noisome and is difficult for a reader to feel like they got a solid answer. These kinds of questions don't have real answers. They just involve recommendations.
it is not about .... what language/technology you should learn next, including which technology is better,
The bottom line is that we are different than your typical discussion forum. We are a Q&A site with a high standard of quality content.
I can tell your frustrated by delving into a new world of established technologies and practices, but believe me it takes time. If there is something you don't understand that you wish to know more about then find a book on it, read, and if certain concepts or design patterns don't make sense to you then post back with a more specific question that could have a solid answer.