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Thread: New to this forum, looking for advice.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3

    New to this forum, looking for advice.

    Hi everybody. I am a new developer but not new to messing around with it. I have been running an online business for 8 years and have messed with a bit of everything developing related but I am not good enough at it to start designing and building websites. So I want to learn what I need to learn so I can start investing my time in this. I was considering going to college and getting a 2 year degree but it seems like they stuff the degrees with so much unnecessary filler and I really don't want to waste any time.

    I was thinking of buying a web design course online that is pretty much an all in one program that is suppose to teach you what you actually need to know versus what a degree teaches and it can be done in about 3 months, or something like that.

    So I am wondering if anybody can recommend a good program that will teach me the ins and outs of html/css and anything else needed to basically just build and code websites? I would much appreciate it if you could!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    St. Helens, UK
    Posts
    74
    Hi KDH, and welcome to the forum.

    Personally, I would advise against going to college or buying web design courses online. It's true that there are some nice websites out there which you can pay for the privilege of using - Team Treehouse (http://teamtreehouse.com/) in particular looks nice - but you can learn much of what you need to know for free. I don't know if you have any programming experience at all, or what your level of knowledge of the web in general is, but I'll attempt to give you a few tips.

    http://code.google.com/edu/submissio...ss-javascript/ - Google's entry level tutorials on HTML, CSS, JavaScript
    http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/1...standards-cur/ - Opera's web standards curriculum; starts with the basics
    https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs - Mozilla Developer Network - One of the best resources for JavaScript that you'll find on the web
    http://javascript.crockford.com/ - Douglas Crockford's JavaScript pages. It's maligned by many people, but JavaScript is the only programming language supported in almost every web browser in the world - Crockford is the person to read if you want to have a better chance of doing it properly.
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL62E185BB8577B63D - A playlist of Crockford's JavaScript lectures that I put together. Worth a look.
    http://jquery.com/ - You'll want to learn something of jQuery - it takes a lot of the pain out of the use of JavaScript.

    Depending on your interests, you might want to check out:
    http://learncodethehardway.org/ - esp. for the tutorials on SQL, something which you'll probably need to know a little of;
    http://www.codecademy.com/ and/or http://www.khanacademy.org/cs - if you've no experience of programming at all and need to grasp some of the basics, it might be worth a look.

    Something you'll appreciate is that the web is a constantly changing beast, which means that we all have to invest quite a bit of time in keeping up to date with what's going on. For this, I'd recommend subscribing to a selection of web articles and podcasts via Google Reader. A few of the ones I like at the moment are:

    .net magazine www.netmagazine.com/
    CSS Tricks css-tricks.com
    NetTuts net.tutsplus.com/
    SitePoint www.sitepoint.com/
    Smashing Magazine www.smashingmagazine.com/
    Speckyboy speckyboy.com

    One podcast that I'd recommend you listen to - it's so good that I recommend you listen to all of the available episodes! - is The Web Ahead, 5by5.tv/webahead which provides an approachable introduction to many current web development topics. (If anyone else has any podcast recommendations, I'd be happy to see them - always on the look out for new things to try.)

    Hope all of the above helps. I honestly think that the best way to learn how to do it is to just start tinkering around with things; if there's a particular site that you like, have a look at the source code and try and work out what's going on, and whether you can replicate it yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    St. Helens, UK
    Posts
    74
    Oops. Double posted. Removed. :-)
    Last edited by daihuws; 09-10-2012 at 09:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,813
    It sounds to me that you do not need a trainiing course. With your level of experience, you should be able to follow the w3s set of on-line manuals to fill in the depth of knowledge that you may lack. My only concern is that you make no mention of PHP or JavaScript. So I would suggest that your order of priorities should be:

    1. Validate your code (if you have not done so already). The question is: what standards do you validate against? I suggest that the answer is HTML5/CSS3. Why? Because it is a cleaned-up and expanded version of HTML4/CSS2. And, basically, there is no good reason not to. I've given some pointers to how to convert to HTML5/CSS3 in my thread "Upgrading to HTML5/CSS3".

    2. Consider learning PHP and/or JavaScript. My preference is to learn PHP, because I think that JS is over-used, and, to some extent, is overshadowed by the enhancements to HTML and CSS, but more of that below...

    3. Look into the new features in HTML5/CSS3. There is a mountain of goodies promised, but there are major issues of browser compatibility that you need to take into account. That is more for the future, as HTML5 and CSS3 mature and become more established.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3
    Thanks everybody! You confirmed what I was thinking about self teaching. My husband swears I need to go to college and I try to tell him that I already know a great deal and I am a very fast self learner.... plus, who wants to pay 50k on college?

    Basically I am just trying to learn how to turn a .psd into a fully functional website using divs and css and right now it is kicking my ass!

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