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  1. #1
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    Beginner web development help

    I'm very new to web development, and so far I'm teaching myself. I plan on enrolling in my local community college and entering the web developer AAS program, but want to know a lot of the basics before I do. I already have an associates, and a bachelors degree in Advertising & Public Relations but after I graduated in 2003 the market was so bad that I got into banking instead. I'm not liking where I'm at in my career currently so I want to try something new.

    I have a pretty good grasp of HTML so far and starting to learn CSS. I have a couple of questions though to make sure I'm on the right path.

    1- The programs that I believe I should know to start are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Photoshop. I know Photoshop is more for web design, but I'd like to know it so I can put together my own portfolio once I start looking for a job. Is this a good base to start with?

    2- I already know HTML pretty well, and learning CSS now, but is it OK to learn CSS and JavaScript at the same time as a beginner, or should I focus on CSS first and once I know that pretty well, start learning JS?

    Thanks for any help you can give!

  2. #2
    From space with love silver trophy
    SpacePhoenix's Avatar
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    Javascript is one that you're probably beter leaving till later as with any website it should still be usable if the end user has disabled javascript in their web browser or where javascript has never been available.

    If you intend to build a website that interacts with a database, you need to decide what server-side processing language you wish to learn, a common one is PHP.

    http://www.sitepoint.com/store/ has various books (some in ebook format only)
    https://learnable.com/ has got various courses

    With both of them different books and/or course are aimed at different levels of experience. There was a page with a chart showing what level each book was aimed at. @HAWK ; If that chart has gone could HQ restore it but with it covering all books and Learnable courses?
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  3. #3
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    HAWK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djay80 View Post
    I'm very new to web development... Is this a good base to start with?
    Hi there. Welcome and good on you!

    I can help you out there. As SpacePhoenix says, we have a lot of beginner resources at Learnable. You are right in that HTML& CSS are the place to start. If you are planning on focussing on front end, then JavaScript would be a good follow up, however if you want some more flexibility you could look at PHP as well. Here are a few good resources for absolute beginners:

    Books:
    Build Your Own Website the Right Way Using HTML & CSS
    Jump Start CSS (learn CSS in a weekend)
    Jump Start Javascript (learn Javascript in a weekend)
    Jump Start PHP (learn PHP in a weekend)

    Courses:
    Build Your First Website: Getting Started with HTML & CSS
    Javascript Programming for the Web
    PHP & MySQL Web Development for Beginners

    I hope that helps! Feel free to ask more questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpacePhoenix View Post
    @HAWK ; If that chart has gone could HQ restore it but with it covering all books and Learnable courses?
    Great idea in theory but the number of courses that we are releasing would make it a bit hard to keep up to date. I'll suggest it to the team.

  4. #4
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djay80 View Post
    is it OK to learn CSS and JavaScript at the same time as a beginner, or should I focus on CSS first and once I know that pretty well, start learning JS?
    Hi djay. As SpacePhoenix said, HTML and CSS will take you a long way. JS is nice, but for most websites is not needed at all, and is a nice extra layer—though, as said, the site should work nicely without it too.

    SpacePhoenix said—

    Quote Originally Posted by SpacePhoenix View Post
    If you intend to build a website that interacts with a database, you need to decide what server-side processing language you wish to learn, a common one is PHP.
    The one alternative to that is to use a content management system (CMS). Examples include WordPress, Joomla etc.This is a bunch of software you install on your server that comes with all the fancy functionality you'd want on a dynamic website already done for you, so that you can just concentrate on HTML and CSS. That includes like blog posting, user comments etc.

    In a similar way to there being out of the box options for server side code (CMSes etc.) there are also out of the box options for JS. There is jQuery, for example, which comes with a lot of pre-made add-ons, meaning you can easily add slideshows, accordions etc. to your site without knowing JS.

    So, HTML and CSS are worth learning thoroughly first, as there are fallbacks for the more advanced aspects of web design. HTML and CSS are the meat and potatoes of web design. Then, the more you can learn about the other things, like JS and PHP, the better.

  5. #5
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    1 - photoshop is web design, and html,css,php, etc are web programming. You need both!
    2 - Yes, as soon as you understands the basic.

  6. #6
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    in my opinion you should start learning css (would be helpful to have dreamweaver on this one) first, then php, and if you wan't to learn some designing you could put photoshop in there. Javascript i would put last on this list.

  7. #7
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    If you plan to create a website that communicates with a data source, you need to choose what server-side handling terminology you wish to understand, a typical one is PHP.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member Colin1M's Avatar
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    What I have done over the last 3 months to learn web design from scratch:

    Learnt the basic of wordpress + plugins + themes

    Learnt basics of domain names + hosting

    Set up a website with hosting (total cost so far 15 dollars for year)

    Started asking questions as to limitations of any word press theme. e.g. how do I put menu in footer

    Look at what wordpress does when you switch from visual to text mode. (i.e. basics of HTML)

    Started using Div statements and Basic CSS

    Read the forums, its a bit like free homework. You'll be able to answer questions before you know it.

  9. #9
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    Yeah these are the fundamental for web design you should learn this the photoshop, HTML CSS. if you want to learn this in depth and from begginig then you can browse w3schools.com.
    yes it's really great to learn JS but it would be nice if you first focus on CSS later on JS. but it going to be perfect if you've intrest in PHP Mysql and other programming languages this would be really helpful for your job.

  10. #10
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    According to my opinion should begin studying css (would be necessary to have dreamweaver on this one) first, then php, and if you wan't to understand some developing you could put photoshop in there. Javascript i would put last on this record.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast zakelijk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    Here are a few good resources for absolute beginners:

    Books:
    Build Your Own Website the Right Way Using HTML & CSS
    Jump Start CSS (learn CSS in a weekend)
    Jump Start Javascript (learn Javascript in a weekend)
    Jump Start PHP (learn PHP in a weekend)

    Courses:
    Build Your First Website: Getting Started with HTML & CSS
    Javascript Programming for the Web
    PHP & MySQL Web Development for Beginners

    I hope that helps! Feel free to ask more questions.
    That's a nice list. Do you know any books which are for people who can write a bit code in PHP but wanna learn more...(can't find any nice books) I always think practising is the best way to do it, but i always get a bit confused if i see OOP terms in scripts.... You got some solution for me to extend my PHP programming skills? or some books you used? Thanks in advance

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zakelijk View Post
    That's a nice list. Do you know any books which are for people who can write a bit code in PHP but wanna learn more...(can't find any nice books) I always think practising is the best way to do it, but i always get a bit confused if i see OOP terms in scripts.... You got some solution for me to extend my PHP programming skills? or some books you used? Thanks in advance
    You should check the list at learnable. There are courses and books for begginer to advanced and there's definately a course about OOP PHP

  13. #13
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    HAWK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zakelijk View Post
    That's a nice list. Do you know any books which are for people who can write a bit code in PHP but wanna learn more...(can't find any nice books) I always think practising is the best way to do it, but i always get a bit confused if i see OOP terms in scripts.... You got some solution for me to extend my PHP programming skills? or some books you used? Thanks in advance
    Sure.

    Check out:
    Object-oriented PHP (a course)
    PHP Master : Write Cutting Edge Code (a book)


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