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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast theOC's Avatar
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    .NET Scaredy Cat

    Hello,

    I've been a web designer for about 8 years. Until now, I would consider myself solid at design but overall... a "generalist."

    I've not done any programming to speak of and to be honest, I can't write javascript from scratch. I've messed around using PHP (includes and other lightweight stuff).

    I feel that if I'm to stay marketable I need to pick up other skillsets. Not to start an argument but, I feel .NET has a huge place in the future of the web. I've downloaded the framework, Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Express 2005. For some reason I feel totally overwhelmed. My plan is to start using C#.

    I think ahead and I see the benefit of having solid front-end skills and knowledge of a powerful web development language.

    I'll get to the point... does anyone have any advice, comments, ideas to make this foray into .NET (or web development) seem not so daunting?

    ANY help or insight by you .NET gurus would be most appreciated!

    Best,

    Mike

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard gRoberts's Avatar
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    I was pretty much the same apart from I previously coded Classic ASP and a smidgen of Javascript. I always wanted to jump into the .Net scene as I knew how good it was.

    But each time I tried, new and daunting things would appear and put me off.

    Finally I got a job with a company that only used .Net, and within a week I was hand coding C#.

    I found Codeproject.com and of course here as a good place to start, learn by example and then start reading books.

    Best thing was, I found that after learning C#, javascript was extremely easy to write, and I started doing more javascript than C# (ajax).

    Don't give up, it's great and you will find excuses to use it.


  3. #3
    ALT.NET - because we need it silver trophybronze trophy dhtmlgod's Avatar
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    I would suggest starting off at http://www.asp.net, fire through the quickstart tutorials. Then get some books, I've got this: http://www.amazon.com/Pro-ASP-NET-2-.../dp/1590594967 which isn't too bad. Also get a book on then C# language. One of the most difficult things is actually learn the ins and outs of the .NET framework, so get a book on the CLR.

    If your not working on anything just now, find yourself a project to work on, nothing helps learning something like a real project.

    .NET is HUGE, and it is daunting to start off with, but stick with it. The beauty is that once you learn the ints and outs of .NET, you can take your knowledge and apply it to Web, Windows and mobile development.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot davejuk's Avatar
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    I'd programmed in a number of languages including classic ASP before I moved to .NET and picked up VB.NET very quickly.

    I found the SitePoint book "Building your first .NET website" very useful. It assumes only that you know some basic HTML and CSS, is excellently presented, and gives good examples in both VB.NET and C#

    It's handy to have a hard copy of something like that for reference. I still refer to it from time to time.

  5. #5
    ALT.NET - because we need it silver trophybronze trophy dhtmlgod's Avatar
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    the SitePoint book is good, I've got my free copy sitting behind me, but I would suggest giving it a miss. It's dated now, and deals with 1.1, not 2. Also make sure you install the MSDN docs with Visual Studio. The amount of times I've been stuck, and simply pressed f1 from VS.NET, and something useful pops up in the dynamic help is unreal! The MSDN docs themselves are enough to get started with! When I first learn .NET (back when they released beta 1, late 2000/early 2001 I think, that was all I had at the time, and they have slowly gotten better. Hell, it's 4 CDS! Thats alot of usefull info! It's also all online at msdn2.microsoft.com

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast theOC's Avatar
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    Thank You ALL!!!!

    I have download VS2005, SQL Express and am going to "mess around" and see what I come up with. It's hard not having an actual "project" to work on but, it can't hurt to mess around I guess. I have so many basic questions that I'll be posting so I apologize in advance :^ )

    Best to all of you,

    Mike

  7. #7
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Hey. No problem. Thats wat we are here for. To answer all ur questions and help u along the way. We all started at the beginning and sitepoint helped me a lot.

    Also check out the sitepoint articels and this aswell:

    http://www.codeproject.com/aspnet/

    Goodluck

  8. #8
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    Since you are a designer first (which is where I started) ASP.NET 2.0 has master pages and themes. Learn to use these and you will get your feet wet and you can get into them over the weekend if you pick up on things quickly.

    Also be careful to let Visual Studio do all of the work for you. Learn how to hand code things before you start using the features of the editor even though you will more than likely not use the editor features when you figure out the code for yourself.

    Good luck with it and do not hesitate to ask if you need anything.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast theOC's Avatar
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    Thanks a LOT! I'm not a big fan of "drag n drop." I'm hoping you can actually place your own code in there and insert controls where you want them?

    M

  10. #10
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
    wwb_99's Avatar
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    Yes, you can definitely place all your code and controls where you want them.

    The biggest piece of advice I have is not to start with ASP.NET but with the basics of the .NET framework and object oriented programming in general. ASP.NET is a very, very complex beast to tame at times, and understanding the underlying models helps greatly.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast theOC's Avatar
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    Forgive me but, how do you "start" with the .NET framwork?

  12. #12
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    Sorry for the confusion. A little more explanation: ASP.NET is only one part of a rather vast set of stuff collectively known as the .NET framework. It also happens to be about the most complex commonly used bit. And it is fundamentally different from making web applications in PHP or other more commons scripting languages. Unfortunately, many people jump straight into ASP.NET without any understanding of the underlying constructs, and then try and make things work they way they did in PHP/CGI/ASP/whatever. Usually leading to lots of problems. I know, I kind of did this myself. Luckily I ended up going in the other direction for a bit--that is, taking some basic coursework on C# and OOP. All of the sudden, ASP.NET made a whole lot more sense and things worked alot better as I started embracing, rather than fighting, the .NET framework and ASP.NET.

    So, it really behooves one to learn the basics without the whole ASP.NET/HttpApplication overhead, then get into the rather complex beast which ASP.NET is.


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