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Thread: Just out of curiosity...

  1. #1
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    Question Just out of curiosity...

    When does an average web developer learn each language (HTML, Javascript, PHP, etc.)? I'm 14 years old and I know almost all of HTML and CSS. I also know most of PHP, SQL, and Javascript. I know that's a lot for my age, but when did you guys learn these?

  2. #2
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    Well, none of those existed when I was 14, so that should give you some clue.
    "Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
    ~ Terry Pratchett in Nation

    eBookworm.us

  3. #3
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    Knowing and doing are two separate things. Only real-world experience proves to be valuable. Even if you claim to "know" these languages, you have nothing without a resume and experience.

    Try getting hired as a 14 year old developer in a market saturated with "bull**** artists" who also claim to know everything but don't product squat.

    To answer your question, I started at 18 years old, back in 1993 when the web was just taking off. Acquired everything else along the way. I now teach part-time along with my fulltime job just to make ends meet.

    I know:
    HTML, XHTML, HTML 5, Javascript (yes the real deal), PHP 3,4,5, MySQL 4,5, jQuery, MooTools, YUI, XML, XSLT, MS Access, MS Sql Server, PostregeSQL, ASP 3 (gave up with .NET), Apache Web Server, Apache Cocoon, IIS, Linux Admin, some Java, Perl, OSX, Windows 95/2000/XP/Vista as well as frameworks such as CodeIgniter, Zend, Kohaha, Drupal, Joomla, Ruby On Rails etc...

    As well, I decorate my experience with FBML, FBJS, Facebook Apps and other modern languages/concepts.

    I have seen it, done it, been terrible at it, been good at it and persevered through my entire career with web development.

    In short, I am reading into your question as if you are boasting about your abilities at only 14 years of age. So, I naturally question your abilities and the fact that you "know" what you say you know. Have you ever had to prove it?

  4. #4
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    I'm not boasting (sorry if I sounded like I was). My question is basically, is what I know a lot? One of my friend's mother works with MySQL databases as her job, but she barely knows what "echo" does in PHP. Another friend's father does general computer stuff, but he barely knows HTML. So I've been thinking maybe I learnt more than they learnt in University. Therefore, I decided to compare myself to other people here.

    In addition, I do not plan on being a web developer for my future job.

  5. #5
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    In addition, I do not plan on being a web developer for my future job.
    So why are you here on this forum?

    Simply because you are an arrogant teenager that thinks they "know it all" and you are judging adults' abilities. Sure, maybe in your mind, you could "do" the job of your friend's mother but you better tread lightly as you are disrespecting an adult that most likely has a family, mortgage, bills and other responsibilities that you have no clue about at 14. (who pays your cellphone bill?)

    Don't even try to compare yourself to an adult in the industry until you actual can bring in some revenue with your ego. When it comes down to it, development is 30% of the job, the other 70% is clients, people, and politics so you don't really know anything.

    Am I bitter? Yes, I meet a lot of young people that say they "know this and know that" -- and they really have no clue what they are talking about. You want to test your knowledge in the real world, can you build this? http://standardscompliance.com/devel...ic/panels.html
    Last edited by Webnerd; 07-03-2010 at 11:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    All I wanted to know is how am I compared to others. I know I still have a lot to learn, I still have years ahead of me.
    I am not disrespecting adults. I don't know how much people need to know to get a job, so I'm asking the people here.
    I'm working on a website in case I do not get the job I want. Like all kids and teenagers, I want to be famous. If I do not achieve that dream (it's likely), I can always go back to web developing.

  7. #7
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    If you are really interested in comparing yourself with others, you need to show example work for people to critique.

  8. #8
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    A client's boyfriend is an intranet expert so she thought he could take over maintenance for a complicated site I built for her and save some money along the way. Just a matter of time before she comes knocking on my door again, oh well.

    A computer is a versatile tool and it's what you do with it (and your skills) that defines its and your role. The fact you can hold a hammer doesn't make you a carpenter.

  9. #9
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    Let me restate my question: When does an average web developer learn PHP and other languages? (forget about me, I want to know about you guys )

  10. #10
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    There is no such thing as "an average developer" learning languages at average ages. It's not a job that people get into like teaching or pharmacy. Added to that, it is extremely broad. The work of a developer in a large company is totally different to an independent web development firm doing websites for various clients.

    You cannot know "most of" or "all of" any programming language. That means nothing, especially for mark-up languages. As Pris puts it well, being able to hold a hammer doesn't make one a carpenter. It's a pointless question, you make "know" HTML and whatever else you mention, but until you start building websites you will never be any good at making websites. It's more of a skill than knowing the basic structure of a HTML document. And if you don't understand arrays fully, you do not know PHP.

    You also have a serious misconception. If you work with MySQL databases, you do not need to know what PHP echo statement does. If you develop in Lisp, how Perl works is utterly irrelevant. If you do "general computer stuff" you do not need to know HTML as HTML is a mark-up language solely used for the web.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by narutodude000 View Post
    When does an average web developer learn each language (HTML, Javascript, PHP, etc.)? I'm 14 years old and I know almost all of HTML and CSS. I also know most of PHP, SQL, and Javascript. I know that's a lot for my age, but when did you guys learn these?
    I can only go by your posts that I have read and I haven't seen anything in your posts that shows that the bit in red is evenly remotely true.

    I also fail to see the point of your question because imo provided one is willing, physically and mentally capable you are never to old to start trying to learn anything.

    But I don't doubt you are only 14 years old
    Last edited by tirna; 07-04-2010 at 10:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by narutodude000 View Post
    When does an average web developer learn each language (HTML, Javascript, PHP, etc.)? I'm 14 years old and I know almost all of HTML and CSS. I also know most of PHP, SQL, and Javascript. I know that's a lot for my age, but when did you guys learn these?
    Sometimes you have to "create" something that you can use all you have learnt to prove you have indeed learnt something.

    Just like schools have project assignments, why not you think of one project yourself and you work on it ?

    I started my pet project way back in year 2000 when I try to learn Java and Swing. It is not for making monies but more for having at least some "objectives" for me to achieve.

    Just like fifa world cup 2010, the objective is to put the ball into the net isn't it ? When you have put it in, well at least that is something. If you have not then there is one "objective" not yet achieved isn't it ?

  13. #13
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    If you know PHP, have you ever created a standalone socket based server to handle multiple HTTP requests? If you know PHP, have you ever worked with Zend, Codeingiter, Kohana, CakePHP or any other MVC framework?

    If you know Javascript, have you ever used jQuery, MooTools, Prototype, YUI or ExtJS? Have you ever written your own PHP objects?

    If you know HTML, can you define what the difference is with HTML, XHTML and HTML5? What is standards compliance? Accesbility? Section 508? What does W3C stand for? Do you understand semantics? Do you apply them? How well do you work on a team with other developers?

    Have you had to crank out a fully compliant XHTML, Javascript, CSS, PHP, MySQL solution with CMS in 5 days that works on all browser platforms?

    You learn with experience, not by age.

  14. #14
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    Sorry if you guys don't like what I said, I didn't mean to make it sound offensive (I thought it was just a harmless question to ask). I know I still have a lot to learn, I just started learning PHP about a month ago. I just wanted to compare myself with other developers.

    I will be taking Computers and Information Science next year. However, I have no idea how good my classmates are. So I wanted find out by asking here.

    In addition, I do write stuff. I never read textbooks on web developing. I learn by editing open source softwares like Wordpress and phpBB, as well as by asking questions on webdeveloper.com.


    Webnerd: I know you know a lot more than me. I never said you didn't. I merely said that what I know is a lot for my age, since my classmates are still spending hours playing video games.

  15. #15
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    Narutodude000,

    Welcome to the "agism" of the business world. I deal with problems like this every day because I look "very young". This causes me to "prove" myself on a pretty regular basis. One thing I am always careful of is stating that I know "all" of something. It would be impossible without accessing some reference material to remember all the functions of several languages. I was around your age when I started taking freelance web development jobs. At first I only got them as "I can do better than what you have if you like it pay me" but as time went on I got projects slated for me directly. That being said, even though I have well over 10 years of web development experience (for pay no less) I still, at the fortune 500 company I work at currently, have to pretend like I don't know some of the things I know to get those who are much older (though they may not have the experience to back it) to understand some the concepts needed to fix their code.

    The important thing to garner from this thread is that yes there is "agism" but also that no one really starts learning the same stuff at the same age. In fact computers are changing so rapidly that most of the stuff we are all learning now wasn't even around when I was your age. Don't get discouraged by the others in this post, it is ok to get excited when you figure something out. Just be careful in your wording and scope.

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