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Thread: Getting started with web development. Advice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Getting started with web development. Advice?

    Hi everyone! I'm new here, this is my first post.

    I've studied what's called "practical software engineering" in my country. I've been considering going the freelance route, and a few days ago I got my first opportunity to develop a website. I just started today, and honestly I found out that college did almost nothing for me, and was a waste of time for the most part, as I found myself stuck with so many questions. All we learned at college regarding web development is extremely basic HTML and JavaScript. I had to learn more HTML and JavaScript, and the entirely of CSS on my own. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm making progress. I've also started learning PHP today as well, as I'm going to use PHP for this website (we didn't learn PHP either).

    I offered to do this job for free as I have no work experience and it more than likely won't be anything amazing. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have shown that I'm desperate (even though in reality I am).

    Anyways, I'm glad I found this forum and I'm hoping I can get some advice. My first question is whether I should develop it from scratch or use WordPress. Honestly, I don't like the idea of WordPress, as I don't see how it will help me develop my skills. Furthermore, I feel like with WordPress I won't be able to personalize the website the way I have it in mind. Secondly, how can I actually get started as a beginner with absolutely zero work experience? I've been considering signing up for freelance websites such as Upwork, but how can I get started there if I have no work experience, seeing that almost all jobs require experience? And my last question: can one actually be a freelance web developer? As far as I understand, web development also involves web design, and I'm no designer. Do you absolutely need a designer to build a website?

    Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post.

  2. #2
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    May 2016
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    I just found this course on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/complete-web-developer-course/

    Is a course like this worth the money? It seems pretty useful and seems to contain the material I'm going to need.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    The main thing is to write code and create things -- even if they're just "private" projects. Pick something you're interested in and build it -- probably tearing it apart and rebuilding it as you learn more. When opportunities come up to work with others, or maybe help out a local non-profit, school, church, whatever with maintaining their site or creating a site for them, see if you can help. The best way to learn is often just to do it, while looking for applicable tutorials, books, whatever that apply to the specific problems you encounter along the way.
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogDog View Post
    The main thing is to write code and create things -- even if they're just "private" projects. Pick something you're interested in and build it -- probably tearing it apart and rebuilding it as you learn more. When opportunities come up to work with others, or maybe help out a local non-profit, school, church, whatever with maintaining their site or creating a site for them, see if you can help. The best way to learn is often just to do it, while looking for applicable tutorials, books, whatever that apply to the specific problems you encounter along the way.
    Totally in agreement with NogDog!

    To that I'd add that it's ok to start with an open source insta-site package, so long as never take no as an answer. Anything you want to do can be done, you just have to be willing to look under the hood and figure out what's going down.

    Wordpress, for instance (since you mention it), has a super annoying desire to request a URL from any visitor who wants to post a comment. There are three ways to kill it:
    1. Add a mod and hope it doesn't go out of date
    2. Go into the php and kill it at the source
    3. Use css to disply:none

    If you want to grow as a developer, figure out #2 or #3. When you understand why #3 is the best choice, then you are progressing.

    Here is the very best tip I can offer:
    Start by becoming a god at googling!

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