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Thread: newbie web developer - bad idea at this time?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Question newbie web developer - bad idea at this time?

    Hey everyone,

    I've always been fascinated with the power of the web as a creative tool and for a few years now, I've been interested in becoming a web developer. Until now, I haven't really had the resources to get the training to do so, but now I find myself in a rather boring sales job, with my previous student loans paid off, looking to stir things up a bit.

    My question is: am I silly for thinking about getting into web development right now? I have only limited HTML skills right now and not a lot else, but I am looking a two Webmaster programs offered by local colleges here, which would (supposedly) give me most of the skills I need to be a webmaster (HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, XHTML, JavaScript, ASP, PHP, SSI, SQL, Access, MySQL, etc.) in a 14- or 18-week intensive program.

    I just want to know that I'm not getting into something that will be impossible to find a job in - I'm not concerned about making 6 figures
    (although that would be nice) but I do have a family to support. I understand the answer is likely, "well, how good are you?" but I'm talking in general terms here.

    Any thoughts on this? I live in Toronto, if that helps.

    Thanks very much for your insight.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    I dunno about being able to support a family after just a few weeks training, but I'd certainly say start learning man. Everyone starts somewhere, so there'd no reason on earth why you can't learn enough to make a living from it. Just don't go giving up and paid work before you get a good steady income going from web dev.
    I'm thuper, thanks for asking.

    It lives! http://www.stephenphilbin.com/ (Well it kinda' does anyway).
    My portable colour selection tool

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    New York City
    Generally, I'd say, I'm not all that fond of the classes. If they are really going to teach you all that, than that is one hell of an intense program. Markup, 3 scripting languages, Markup, Styling, flash, and two types of Database connectivity? I'm a bit iffy about that.

    You're best bet is to focus on the things individually. And think about where your best niche is on the web. There are designers who, well, don't code. There are designers that do code. There are scripters, who work on the backend server side languages (Like PHP, ASP, ASP.net, JSP, ect.) and that's it. There are backend scriptors who do coding. And there are those (God must love them) who can do it all. But now, ask yourself, what are your strong points? Are you good with images, a bit artistic, or think you'd be good at design? Than don't learn scripting (Like Javascript, PHP, SSI, ASP, SQL, Access). Well, right away at least. However, if you have a more technical and logical mind, or aren't that good with artistic things/design, than consider focusing on scripting.

    In terms of classes on Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, or Fireworks, well, I personally would consider that a waste. These programs are easy to use at first, and you can very easily learn things by simply exploring them. If you want to learn in depth techniques, there are multitudes of tutorials online. In fact, I'd tell you that unless you feel that there's no way you could learn online (there are some) then simply learn on online tutorials. There's no offical Web Developer Certificate (although there are some programs out there that say your "certified". I guess its something to put on a resume, but is by no means necessary for website develoment). There are many, many, many places to learn, for free, online.


    That's a good one. I myself have never taken any web development classes. I learned online. There are some who can't learn online, and classes are good for them. But I really wouldn't recommend it at first. At least try the internet at first. You can learn at your own pace and there are many different places to learn. If it turns out it doesn't work, then look into classes. But you stand only to gain by trying the net first.

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