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View Poll Results: What should I do? Honestly.

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  • Focus on design and continue my studies with the fine arts

    9 64.29%
  • Focus on design and site programing/databases

    1 7.14%
  • Put design on the back burner for awhile and invest in getting my coding skills where they should be

    4 28.57%
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    A designer becoming a "coder"?

    Hey guys,

    I am a designer, by no means a coder, but want to bring an idea to life. The concept of the site is very large and there would be a lot of code. Yeah, I could just read a lot of books and look up php functions but what about security? I have no idea what potential security threats could come up and how to resolve them, or even how diverse they might be. I also don't know the proper way to structure a database or if my mistakes could be reversed.

    Now, my career isn't going to be centered around programming. My passion is design. I don't know if making a large networking site with a good bit of code is even possible to achieve for a guy who's main focus is the design. I plan on hiring a real coder if the site takes off. I already have the office space. The problem is getting things constructed, secured for a successful beta, then able to be redone by someone with experience.

    I know everyone is different, but what do you think for someone who is going to design 50% print and 50% web/interactive freelance, but dreams of owning a network of successful websites?

    Really appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Focus on design, do what you know how to do. Sure you can play with programming if you're interested, but I would never recommend you doing a real project. We do what we do and we don't do everything, it's impossible.

    So I say, stay in design and leave the programming work to others. It is worth to learn, but more like a hobby than another profession.

    Just my two cents.
    Saul

  3. #3
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    what path?

    I tend to want to learn everything, hence the "jack of all trades" in my user title, but keep in mind what the "..." stands for.
    If what you have planned is fairly complex, IMHO you should only learn enough to understand what's going on, but leave the work for others. I imagine most developers would prefer to "do something right the first time", rather than "fix something broken".
    Unless you're a fast learner and have lots of time to learn.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast fLUx1337's Avatar
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    Well, from coming here, and asking this question, you must be serious about this site, and not just a dream....

    IMO, a web designer right now SHOULD have PHP skills, else you are stuck in a bubble, paying people to do something you could do yourself.

    Take a break, learn PHP, I have done it in a year or so (I'm still very bad compared to some people here, but I'm getting their), so if I can do it, anyone can!

    You will then see new possibilities come to you!

    I know this isn't about design, but kevin rose, founder of ****, paid $200 for someone to build the early site, bargin, but if it had failed, and nobody had visited, he is $200 down, and onto the next idea - like many php developers go though! He of course had piles of users start using the site, and so after a while, he could afford for the developers to come back and keep improving it, but if he could have done alot of it himself, he would have saved alot! (not that it matters now! lol)

    fLUx

  5. #5
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    I beg to differ. Don't get me wrong but this very common DYI attitude is total crap. Sure you can have some skills to get around of what is what, but building a site bigger than your personal blog or the likes is too damn quixotic to say the least. Yes, you will pay some for a developer, but you will pay a lot more for someone to fix your mess, if the fixing is possible at all. It's a lose-lose situation in the end of the day no matter how hard you try -- you lose your time and money.

    Once again, don't try this at home, hire a professional.

    Saul

  6. #6
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    Umm...

    > My passion is design.

    So stay with design I think would be a better idea; I've never been convinced that it is possible to do both, be a designer and at the same time, be a programmer. In practice, there just isn't enough hours in a day.

    If you are switching between one and the other are you giving 100% to your client? I mean, could your time be better spent doing the design full time, rather than 20% design, 80% programming, in regards that you are by trade, a designer?

    Also, likewise with any profession, how would you manage to stay on top of all the latest news in regards to your area of expertise? Could you manage to maintain your focus on a half dozen PHP blogs, at the same time as your regular haunts...

    Maybe I'm one of those people that thinks, if you are good at one time, then stick with it and focus on that one thing, rather than try and do more, where doing less is better if you are doing it well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeglopur View Post
    Hey guys,
    I am a designer, by no means a coder, but want to bring an idea to life. The concept of the site is very large and there would be a lot of code. Yeah, I could just read a lot of books and look up php functions but what about security? I have no idea what potential security threats could come up and how to resolve them, or even how diverse they might be. I also don't know the proper way to structure a database or if my mistakes could be reversed.
    You have already answered your inner war. The correct word wouldn't be programmer but technician. There are so many things you have to learn and keep up, you won't imagine. Coding for the web is lot more than programming practices.
    To have a bit of all-around knowledge is good and valuable. As the other guys wrote, you can't be good in many things, just one and if you are devoted to it.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, I would hire a database admin to create your database schema, and a php developer to do your PHP. There are professions based just on one of these things, and to try to come up with both yourself, if you're not familiar with it can be a disastrous move. If you do want to do it yourself, take a couple classes at a community college, or as mentioned, read some books.

    If you do decide to do it yourself, don't try to take people's private information until you know all about the security risks involved in saving to the database, and filtering people's input.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard Hammer65's Avatar
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    Setting aside for the moment the advice to stick with design. If you do decide you want to aquire coding skills, don't overload yourself with all the aspects of a particular project. It can become very overwhelming.

    It's pretty common for people starting out (designer or not) to go through a list like that worried about how in the world they are going to learn all that.

    The fact is, you don't learn it all at once. You have to break it up into pieces. Break it up into basic language constructs (if, else, loops, switch, etc.), then database design, then security not necessarily in that order. The point is one item at a time.

  10. #10
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    Do both if you like.. i like both i do both though i don't consider myself a programmer or a designer but i can do both to a degree. Anyway what is most important do what you like and don't listen to anybody else, well you can listen as long as you don't do what they say
    Go visit my site :-D you know you want to ;-)
    www.mech7.net

  11. #11
    An average geek earl-grey's Avatar
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    Learning programming (concepts, the first programming language, techniques) is a long process and there's a lot to learn before you can start writing production-ready applications.

    On the other hand, if you feel interested in the subject, you can try it. Who knows, probably you'll like it more than you like web design

  12. #12
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    I'll agree with the majority, and say stick with what you're good at; design. Quality development isn't as simple as a quick two week crash course, like many frameworks and other things these days make it out to be.

    My personal advice? Use a quality and proven system such as Joomla, which has tons of extensions already available that can handle many different functions. Then hire an experienced Joomla developer to handle anything that you can't.
    Kiopa Software -- Demo Now Online! Check it out!
    Goal: Consolidate all data & tools you use on a daily basis.
    Grand opening special, licenses FREE for a limited time.

  13. #13
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Joomla? You're kidding, right?

    Anyway, you should follow the current results of the poll and stick with design.

    People get in contact with me, asking me to do the programming for a site, and they design it. Then, we split the pay (Im never sure if I'm getting a fair share, but the payout is still good). That way, people stick to their strengths and create a strong site.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    Joomla? You're kidding, right?
    Ohh, I honestly have no idea. I know several clients use it, and have managed to put together some pretty decent looking sites with it in no time. And I know it has tons of extensions available for various back-end things.

    I figured I'd give it a try myself one time, mainly because I thought it'd be easier to pass off responsibility of the website when the time comes. That only lasted about 30 mins though, before I gave up, and decided it was best just to develop my own site my own way, which I'm still working on.

    I just figured it was a good thing for beginners...
    Kiopa Software -- Demo Now Online! Check it out!
    Goal: Consolidate all data & tools you use on a daily basis.
    Grand opening special, licenses FREE for a limited time.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard cranial-bore's Avatar
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    Realistically you won't be able to build a quality large scale site as your first real project. You need to continually develop over a longer period, learning and improving as you go so that you develop and understanding of what you're doing and can make decisions regarding your apps based on experience.

    That experience just isn't there for a first project. My first DB driven site was crap from a code PoV (and the second and third weren't much better), but you have to pass through that phase to improve.

    You may however be able to build a small scale prototype to demonstrate your idea, but the code will likely not get reused in the final app.


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