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Thread: Career Path

  1. #1
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    Career Path

    Hey guys, I am a 22 year old aspiring web developer/designer from Toronto. I am very interested in this field and am very new to it. I have recently been taking the Web Development track over at Treehouse and am learning a lot. I am only familiar with HTML and CSS but would like to add PHP in there eventually. Is this a good career path? I am very determined and study/work every night at Treehouse and enjoy it. Is it too late for me to try and learn web design/development? I read the sticky which cleared up a lot of questions I initially had. Is this field in demand right now? Like I said I am in Canada so it may not be the same for the U.S. I enjoy making the layout of the page and using CSS to add style/layout. Do I have to learn Photoshop and those sorts of skills to become a designer? I am not expecting this to happen overnight but I would eventually like to land a job in the web industry and am working towards that goal. Is this goal attainable for someone with no prior programming experience? Thanks very much.

  2. #2
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    One decision to make (or not make) is if you want to specialize in the front end (what the user sees) or the back end (what happens on the server side, usually involving a lot of database stuff). The latter requires no artistic ability, which is why I've pretty much ended up there. If you want to be a one-person freelance developer, you'll need to be pretty strong in both, or else be stronger in the design side and pick projects that you can fit into existing CMS platforms so that you don't have to do a lot of server-side coding. At this point, it sounds like it might be time to jump into some PHP/MySQL stuff and find out now whether that sort of thing appeals to you and if you have an aptitude for it (that sort of programming has pretty much nothing to do with HTML/CSS mark-up skills), or if you might be better off being a client-side specialist -- though that actually requires JavaScript skills if you want to be a full client-side developer, so I guess you need some programming skills either way, unless you just want to be a graphic artist sort of person?
    "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

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogDog View Post
    One decision to make (or not make) is if you want to specialize in the front end (what the user sees) or the back end (what happens on the server side, usually involving a lot of database stuff)...
    I don't think graphics is really up my ally. I'd say I want to start off as a front end person. So HTML, CSS, Javascript more stuff. Is that what I should learn to start? I have been told PHP is good to know even though it's a back-end language.
    Last edited by jedaisoul; 09-15-2014 at 03:57 PM. Reason: abbreviated quote

  4. #4
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    Everything you can learn is good, and each language you learn makes you better at the languages you already think you know. PHP is probably is some ways easier to learn than JavaScript, but because it's not stringent and designed to force a particular programming paradigm down your throat, it also allows sloppy programming; so just take every PHP tutorial out there with a big grain or two of salt (and there are more than a few tutorials out there using PHP functions and techniques from the 1990s that no one should be using now).
    "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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogDog View Post
    Everything you can learn is good, and each language you learn makes you better at the languages you already think you know. PHP is probably is some ways easier to learn than JavaScript, but because it's not stringent and designed to force a particular programming paradigm down your throat, it also allows sloppy programming; so just take every PHP tutorial out there with a big grain or two of salt (and there are more than a few tutorials out there using PHP functions and techniques from the 1990s that no one should be using now).
    Now in terms of a realistic goal, is this something that I could obtain? I have no degree in computer related fields but I do work in IT for a software company. Will they want to see a degree and some programming job experience? I've been told that this field really doesn't care too much about education it's all experience and skills.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Withers View Post
    Now in terms of a realistic goal, is this something that I could obtain? I have no degree in computer related fields but I do work in IT for a software company. Will they want to see a degree and some programming job experience? I've been told that this field really doesn't care too much about education it's all experience and skills.
    Everyone is different and every job is different, so there's no hard and fast rules. Now, after that virtually useless bit of philosophy, my only degree is in music education. I kind of stumbled into the IT world many years (decades!) ago, first in not very technical jobs, then in software testing, then into software test automation, then doing some web dev stuff on the side, and now working full-time as a web developer mainly specializing in server-side stuff, working with PHP and PostgreSQL (and starting to learn Ruby/Rails). So if I can do that, you can do whatever you set your mind to with enough determination. And network, in the people sense: who you know is often much more important than what you know when it comes to get those job interviews -- though you have to supply the goods once you get a job. (I got an interview for my current job based on knowing somebody online in another PHP forum. )
    "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

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