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Thread: How to Become a Web Developer

  1. #1
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    How to Become a Web Developer

    I am interested in becoming a web developer. My knowledge is very basic at this point. I've created basic websites using FrontPage. I have some knowledge of HTML and CSS. I've been in the IT business for several years, but in a Business Analyst/PM role.

    I just don't know where to begin in my quest to become a web developer. I welcome any feedback on:

    - Which technologies are critical to know?
    - Which skills are in demand?
    - What is the best approach to learning the basics? For example, focus on learning one technology, such as javascript? Then, tackle another? Or, is there a means of learning multiple technologies at one time?
    - Any suggestions on how I can start the learning process, and get up to speed.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  2. #2
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    I'm just starting out myself - from a graphic design background and a little programming experience, so hopefully you get some more informed info than mine, but for what it's worth...

    - definatley a solid understanding of (X)HTML and CSS is a must!
    - php for server side scripting (easier to pick up for a noob than perl)
    - JavaScript for client side scripting
    - mySQL (for databases)

    You will find that with the scripting languages ie. php and javascript, once you have a good understanding of one, it will make learning the other a lot easier.

    I recently bought 4 books (from reveiws that I googled) as a xmas present for myself! (how sad): (X)HTML and CSS, PHP, PHP and MySQL and JavaScript.

    I got stuck into the php and mysql book first because I wanted to learn about forms and database processing but soon realised that my understanding of html and css wasn't up to it so I've gone back to basics and are currently trying to get up to standard on html and css - then i'll go back to php - then javascript.

    Previously I have written some database apps in FileMaker and also various apps in Visual Basic which is helping me a bit - but I have to say that learning web development if a sh*t load more difficult, and harder than I expected - but i'm pressing on.

    btw. these forums have also been a great resource as well.

    Good Luck.

  3. #3
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    I agree with everything Stevo22 said.

    A would also investigate php open source solution to get a head start.

    Go to a site like www.hotscript.com and there you will find many free ready made site of thing like content management systems and shopping carts.

    Joomla is easier to use then most and has modules for the most common web development needs

  4. #4
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    That web address should be www.hotscripts.com
    sorry typo

    joomla can be found at www.joomla.org

  5. #5
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    A couple of years ago, I wanted to know how to build websites. Easy enough huh? I got advice on a forum that I should check out a class at a community college and I did. I was hooked. I started out with xhtml and learned standards and how to develop good habits for a reason. It opened up the door for me and the next thing I know it is 3 years later and I graduated with my associates in applied science. I am going to to get my bachelors in computer science.

    I would start out with (x)html and css. I then would look at php but I had a seperate class on programming logic which helps UNDERSTAND how programs work which will help you write better programs. I also have taken javascript, xml, asp.net, database managment and alot of other concept classes. I know that looks like alot but from my point of view there is alot I dont know.

    If you dont like to learn this is not for you. Things are constantly changing. You have to evolve and be willing to learn and try new things. Everything we do now will be ancient history in 10 years.

    Remember, dont let yourself defeat yourself. You can learn just get out there and code. Being a part of this board will help. There is so much info here that you can learn from.

    Take it one day at a time and the next thing you know you will be giving this advice to someone else like you.

    After all you sound like you know alot more than I did a few short years ago......

    Good luck and have fun!

  6. #6
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    We have a sticky that covers your topic: http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=148682

    KDLA

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice graphical_force,

    Fortunately I don't have to make a living out of web developing at the moment, but that's what i'm aiming for in the future (not too distant I hope).

    I'm currently using GoLive CS for laying out my test pages and don't have any 'real' projects - so I can pretty much take my time - when I have time.

    The thing I don't like about GoLive is not knowing what's going on underneath the hood, and what all the source code is doing.

    So Yep, I'm learning (x)html, also a bit of php because I want to know about forms processing for a personal project and I have a book on CSS which I have basically read through but haven't gone any further.

    CSS appears similar in concept to the way text styles work in InDesign and other page layout programs where you can assign various attributes and styles to your heads, sub heads and body text etc. and change them and your entire layout changes. With CSS it looks you can change all sorts of things including object colour and position - looks pretty daunting at the moment!

    I downloaded the Flash trial and did a few tutorials which I understood reasonably well - similar to concepts in PhotoShop and Illy.

    Maybe I'm looking for shortcuts when I know I really should be getting stuck in to the 'nuts and bolts' and worry about the 'fairy dust' later.

    To be honest, I haven't actually coded a single page of html by hand yet! I need to get off my ass and do it instead of looking for excuses not to by browsing through these forums
    [you said]
    Everything we do now will be ancient history in 10 years.
    I'd be interested to know where you think it's headed.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for that KDLA,

    That's great! I was one of the ignorant before reading your post.

    Web Designer would suite me better being from a graphic design background.
    I also enjoy a bit of programming too.
    Cheers

  9. #9
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    a decent open source (free) html editor is htmlkit. Also dont be afraid to use the basics like notepad. Tools to use are great but when you are just learning, it is nice to get in there and hand code so you understand what is happening. I know (and remember) that when you first start you tend to shy away from forcing yourself to get in there and see what is really happening. But that is how you learn.

    As for the future, who knows? I will tell you that during the short time I have been in school trends shift and change. I have a teacher that thought most pages in the future will be written with xml and xhtml is the transition but now here comes html5 and now we are not so sure now. This teacher I am referring to is going to be a speaker in Beijing at the W3 conference so he has a little credibility LOL. Once you start getting a grasp of some of these technologies you will start to understand benefits of newer and evolving technologies and how they can be used. That is the future.

    The thing I like about all this anyway is being creative while problem solving after all, we're all just big kids.

    Good luck

  10. #10
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    I would firstly install xampp on your computer for testing purposes and then go to http://www.w3schools.com/ and read the tutorials on XHTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript.
    I use dreamweaver for development (with photoshop for graphics) but both cost a bit, so maybe use something like Textwrangler if you want something free, which is really nice (although I don't know if it's for windows).

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up How to Become a Web Developer?

    Quote Originally Posted by blue-eye-labs
    I would firstly install xampp on your computer for testing purposes and then go to http://www.w3schools.com/ and read the tutorials on XHTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript.
    I use dreamweaver for development (with photoshop for graphics) but both cost a bit, so maybe use something like Textwrangler if you want something free, which is really nice (although I don't know if it's for windows).

    Personally, I did that and I learned many things about website development. The point is that you must learn new things by yourself. Everyone can be a developer, it's just a matter of your determination....

  12. #12
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    Wink How to Become a Web Developer?

    You can also visit these sites for more info and tutorials about web dev:

    hotscripts.com
    phpeasystep.com
    www.phpsimple.net

    and join as many web forums as you can to further enhance your web development skills...
    Last edited by sekuchi; 01-07-2008 at 07:38 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sekuchi
    The point is that you must learn new things by yourself.
    That's true, but learning resources really help
    I found w3schools to be horrifically useful for PHP, and that is where I started from. After that I've only really used the PHP.net manual and this forum.
    For HTML and CSS, I've never looked at the w3schools pages, because I basically taught myself completely while only pausing to look up tags in gooooooooogle.
    This forum is really good though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue-eye-labs
    This forum is really good though.
    I agree. I always try and surround myself with more advanced people so I get a opportunity to learn.

  15. #15
    If I were just getting started, I would concentrate on HTML, CSS, PHP and Ruby

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