This question cannot be improved to the point of being on-topic. The crux of the issue is this:
How can I learn those new, risky things without opening myself up to
bad things as a result of my inexperience?
You are asking "how do I learn something?" which is pretty much in the center of the "education" off-topic close reason.
The "education" part of "education and career advice" is not restricted to picking a degree program, or what class to take. Asking how to learn something, whether open-ended or how to deal with difficulties of a particular topic, is still education.
These are great questions to ask - just not on this site. I have mentored many junior developers and even spoken with teenagers looking to get into computer science. I have had many discussions that ended well - but discussions are off-topic here. That is a big part of why education questions are also off-topic: they encourage discussion, not focused Q&A.