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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Yonkers, NY
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    Hey folks!

    I've got a bit of a conundrum here and I was hoping I could draw on your extensive experience. I'm faced with having to decide where I should expend my training efforts. The bottom line is at some point I want to get to a site administrator-type position. And I'm sure that includes experience with back-end development (systems, programming), Front-end (marketing, creative), and some level of business acumen (strategy, planning, project management). And just to let you know, I've downloaded just about every primer to everyone of these questions, and rather than have more answers, I suddenly have even more questions. So I guess my question is:

    If you do could go back and do it all over again, what would you concentrate on and in what order?

    For instance: (btw these are GENERAL questions)
    - Do you think I would be more marketable if I had experience with a UNIX or an NT system (i.e. learn X and you can go anywhere, learn Y and run the risk of pigeonholing yourself in a niche). I'm on a remotely hosted NT system and I have doubts about it's usability for web development.

    - Do I go ASP or CFML? Seems like ASP is the way to go and I'm hoping you can either confirm or deny that. Naturally I understand both have different applications (i.e. ASP = e-commerce, CFML - aggregate content).

    - Do I go Jscript or Javascript (guess that depends on the ASP question)?

    - Would you say a site administrators responsiblities weigh heavier on the systems or web development side?

    - I know that with future releases of the HTML standard, it's going to metamorphis from a formatting language to an actual complex programming language. Should I focus on developing those skills first (C, C++, Perl, CGI, dare I say Java - or in other words - before you do anything, learn this, this, and this)?

    So what I'm looking for is if you all could give me a sense for what your backgrounds are (e-commerce, creative, app development) and what worked for you (knowledge tree), I'd be much obliged, and I'm sure this is a post that could help others in my situation. Also if you could share any war stories or great successes - I'd love to hear about those too.

    I know it's a lot to consider, but I'm kind of learning in a vacuum right now and I have NO ONE internally that I can ask these questions to (praise the lord for Sitepoint). I'm willing to scrape my knee to learn, but I don't want to find myself 3 years into this only to realize that I should, woulda, coulda done something else...

    thanks all...

    (as in Wants to be wluke!!!)

    oh and btw - if I could do it all over again, I would have told her I loved her when she needed to hear it instead of waiting until it was too late, I would have listened more and talked less, I would have NOT spent the $8 to go and watch Casper Van Diem in Omega Code (blech!), and I sure as sunshine woulda spent more time on Sitepoint...

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah but the funny thing about the Omega Code was that the "badguy" was also from Austin Powers...I couldn't imagine him in a serious position. Also when he was running from the truck in the tunnel, he could've ran 3ft to the side! LOL And when did the movie mention any Omega Code? Only the bible code...

    But as for my answers/opinions...

    1. NT is gaining on UNIX/Linux but they offer different things. NT is generally used (generally!!) for ASP, while Linux/UNIX is mainly used (mainly!!) for Perl, PHP, and MySQL (as well as static html pages).

    2. ASP! CFML is expensive and few hosts support it.

    3. Javascript...go for cross-browser compatability.

    4. I'd say they're heavier on the systems side but I'm not a sysadmin.

    5. There are several interesting threads on which programming language is best ( ) as well as one on which to learn first in the General Forums I believe.

    Who the heck is Gen. Failure and why does he want to read my hard drive?
    Soon to come:

  3. #3
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Lancaster, Ca. USA
    1 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    - NT is just as viable a system for web development as Apache, Domino, NetDynamics (though Sun has an awesome array of abilities in NetDynamics).

    Don't listen to others tell you that NT is no good because Hotmail doesn't use NT. Hotmail is proprietary software written specifically for the environment that was developed with free email in mind. Microsoft also purchased Hotmail as a complete entity software and all after it already had several million members.

    - Go with ASP. CFML is proprietary, requires costly software and being relagated to niche software fast. CFML is a custom XML schema with a custom server. You can do the same with a little ingenuity and perserverence in ASP or PHP.

    Your choice of language has nothing to do with ASP. ASP is language independant. The server can use JScript, VBSCript or PerlScript. I recommend Javascript or its standardized cousin, EcmaScript, for client side scripting and either VBSCript or PERLScript for the server-side. Not only can you keep client and server-side code separate this way but you can dynamically build your client-side code as the page is parsed. Makes for some interesting effect.

    - A site administrator's job includes making sure everything works. This includes managing content, development and design.

    - Actually HTML, now called XHTML, is being stripped of its programmatic tags. Future versions will slimmer and easier to work with. HTML's specific purpose is to mark up content. HTML should not tell the user agent (i.e. browser) how to format, color or display that content. That is where they went wrong in the past. All these formatting tags (<img>, <font> and so forth) are being removed in favor of CSS, the DOM, and some improvements to the <object> to replace the depracted <img> tags. There is nothing Dynamic about HTML. You can't script the actual HTML. The Dynamics come in when the user agent treats those HTML blocks on a page as objects via the DOM. Then they can change those blocks at will but only with plain old HTML.

    My background is in applications development with web development thrown on top for the last 5 years. I am excited about technologies like ASP, PHP, COM+, CORBA and the like because they allow that application development to migrate to the Internet. If I had to go back and learn it all over again I would pay more attention to the internal dynamics of TCP/IP because then a product like ICQ could have been mine and I would be typing this on some beach in Australia right now.

    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Moderator/Internet Media Developer
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications


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