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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    About.com HTML/XHTML Web Guru offers HIGH PRAISE for SitePoint HTML author, Ian Lloyd

    I believe about.com has some affiliation with The New York Times newspaper so praise originating from this arena might possibly be able to be considered an incredible "validation"

    In fact it could be considered the highest POSSIBLE praise for Ian Lloyd's "Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way Using HTML &CSS" as she states in the link above is strongly considering using Lloyd's text as a reference alongside her free beginning HTML class which I am currently enrolled in.

    My first pass through the HTML/XHTML coursework has me doing the exercises in the textbooks by Elizabeth Castro, Patrick Carey, Jennifer Niederst-Robbins, Wendy Willard, Patrick Carey and Ian Lloyd.

    I'm guessing that the study of later material such as Javascript, PHP/MySQL, and XML may be made easier by having a solid understanding of the XHTML/CSS foundation...much like the authors of "Intro to Accounting" textbooks advise students to REALLY NAIL DOWN a good understanding the first 5 or 6 chapters.

    It's taking a longer time to progress through the material this way but I'm beginning to be able to anticipate how the HTML code should be structured and I'm also pretty good at recognizing the occasional "typo" in the textbooks' code.

    I find things that I like about ALL OF THESE authors' HTML/XHTML textbooks and indeed, with the exception of Carey, they all have highly-rated user-review ratings at amazon.com.

    Against this backdrop of my personal study technique, I too would echo Kyrnin's choice of Lloyd's textbook as perhaps the best available textual complement to her free beginner's HTML/XHTML class.

    I'm starting Chapter 8 ("Launching Your Web Site") in Lloyd's textbook today... as soon as I complete the text, I too will be adding an amazon review of my own.

    Kyrnin also has an interesting textbook of her own... Since she teaches XHTML/CSS, design basics, XML on her site, her textbook is more of a COMPANION/ROADMAP to her site(which is both very DEEP and BROAD in terms of a "wealth of useful information") and concentrates on topics such as "site promotion", "accessibility", and "making money off of one's web site".

    A little bit early for me to dive into her book without first having completed Lloyd's book and SitePoint author, Jason Beaird's book on "Beautiful Web Design" but I'll be at that point soon enough.

  2. #2
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    About.com hires people who are experts in their field, felgall from this forum is one of their people in respects to writing about JavaScript, granted getting praise is a good thing but no need to go overboard, It isn't like Ian won an oscar or a webbie

  3. #3
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidChildress View Post

    I'm guessing that the study of later material such as Javascript, PHP/MySQL, and XML may be made easier by having a solid understanding of the XHTML/CSS foundation...
    Hmmm... I'm not sure I agree with that. Scripting and programming languages do require an entirely different approach as opposed to CSS or HTML. If you've dived into Javascript, however, then some of the logic might aid slightly in learning PHP and other programming languages.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  4. #4
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Actually I would agree with that kohoutek, if you know HTML and CSS the concept of the DOM will be known to you, as well as targeting elements, selectors, and stuff like getElementById. From JavaScript of course going into serverside languages is easier as you have the concepts of variables, strings, if statements, elses, math operators and all sorts made known to you

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek View Post
    Hmmm... I'm not sure I agree with that. Scripting and programming languages do require an entirely different approach as opposed to CSS or HTML. If you've dived into Javascript, however, then some of the logic might aid slightly in learning PHP and other programming languages.
    Thanks for the info, kohoutek... subsequent to completing Lloyd's, Niederst-Robbins & Willard's books as wellas the "Beautiful Web Design" book by Jason Beaird, I was going to start into "Simply Javascript", "Beginning Javacript" & "Beginning CSS" by Wrox and "XML in easy steps" by Mike McGrath simultaneously
    Last edited by DavidChildress; Jul 23, 2009 at 07:14.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    About.com hires people who are experts in their field, felgall from this forum is one of their people in respects to writing about JavaScript, granted getting praise is a good thing but no need to go overboard, It isn't like Ian won an oscar or a webbie
    You're correct, Alex... my post did sound a little "sugary"... I just thought that out of the many textbooks that Kyrnin has given good reviews to, that the choice of Lloyd's text was noteworthy.

    Again, I like all of the textbooks I listed(for different reasons) as they are all possessed of different strengths and they all had high amazon user-review ratings

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Actually I would agree with that kohoutek, if you know HTML and CSS the concept of the DOM will be known to you, as well as targeting elements, selectors, and stuff like getElementById. From JavaScript of course going into serverside languages is easier as you have the concepts of variables, strings, if statements, elses, math operators and all sorts made known to you
    Well, I'm in a race against time of sorts... I still have a year of unemployment benefits left so I need to be adroit enough with the skills I have aquired AS WELL AS the skill set that I still need to obtain to capably perform as an "entry-level employee" in a web design firm.

    My last employer says we may be getting called back to work in a few months(December), but they just laid off our entire second shift(3pm to 11pm).

    Even if we do get called back, it will ONLY be for 40 hours per week... I really need about 44 to 48 hours a week of work.

    I don't need to have EVERYTHING accomplished and nailed to the wall, but I'd like to have the rudiments of a portfolio in place and be in a position to "add [the] functionality" you mentioned in another one of your earlier posts as I aquire skills in Javascript, PHP/MySQL and XML.... I could then complete the balance of my education before I head off to my place of employment each evening.

    Right now, I'm unfamiliar with most of the terms you used in your post that this reply services-- so I still have a lot of work to do.

    Since all or a portion of my economic future may lie in making myself "employable" in this field as well as "monetizing" sites of my own, I cannot state in words how much I appreciate those of you with the expertise hanging out in this beginner's HTML sub-forum since there is no college professor that I can go to for assistance(US nationals collecting "unemployment benefits" are prohibited from enrolling in college unless the Unemployment Center within the respective US States specifically directs you there).

    I'm guessing a portfolio demonstrating coding proficiency in HTML/XHML, CSS, Javascript, XML, PHP/MySQL, Photoshop and Flash may be what I need to compete against those applicants for employment who will have the two-year web design degree that I won't have.

    I DO KNOW that one of the BIGGEST CONCERNS for employers in ANY profession is how soon can their "new/recent hire" be "turned loose" to where the expense of an "on-the-job trainer" is no longer necessitated.

    I hope to have a portfolio of my own work that will provide a future employer with a good yardstick to be able to provide himself with an answer to that question

  8. #8
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Actually if you would like some advice, you are much better becoming a specialist in a certain field rather than trying to scrape together a complete package, the problem is that it is impossible for anyone to become an expert in more than 3 fields (depending on what those fields are), if you make yourself so knowledgable in a specialist field you are more likely to push past all the kids out of university with a degree which signifies they know little about a lot rather than a lot about little

  9. #9
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidChildress View Post
    I'm guessing a portfolio demonstrating coding proficiency in HTML/XHML, CSS, Javascript, XML, PHP/MySQL, Photoshop and Flash may be what I need to compete against those applicants for employment who will have the two-year web design degree that I won't have.

    David, it's absolutely impossible to be proficient in all of these fields within a year. Even if you were gifted with a photographic memory (reading once, memorising for a lifetime), it'd be impossible to do.

    What kind of employment are you looking for? You can't possibly know all within one year. You also haven't mentioned the aspect of visual design. Are you looking to become a programmer? A front-end web developer? A web designer? I really think it would be good to formulate what it is you're looking to do, then mapping out the requirements.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  10. #10
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    kohoutek, exactly the point I was trying to make, while you can grasp enough basic skills to get going in a month (depending on learning speed) to actually be proficient enough and understand all the quirks to be able to work at it professionally... it takes years. Those people who do degrees at university aren't becoming experts in a whole bunch of languages, they are spending those 3 years simply just getting to grips with the groundwork and understanding the core elements. Our industry has a real shortage of comitted experts to specific fields which is a real shame because there is a serious need for those kinds of people.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek View Post
    David, it's absolutely impossible to be proficient in all of these fields within a year. Even if you were gifted with a photographic memory (reading once, memorising for a lifetime), it'd be impossible to do.

    What kind of employment are you looking for? You can't possibly know all within one year. You also haven't mentioned the aspect of visual design. Are you looking to become a programmer? A front-end web developer? A web designer? I really think it would be good to formulate what it is you're looking to do, then mapping out the requirements.
    Thanks for the warnings, kohoutek and Alex.

    My idea was to become PROFICIENT/ADROIT in:

    1)HTML/XHTML and Intro CSS in those HTML books

    then CONCOMITANTLY begin my study of

    2)Beginning CSS, Beginning JavaScript, Beginning XML, Beginning PHP6,MySql &Apache

    ...and THEN MOVE ONTO

    3)Intermediate/Advanced versions of those above


    At that point in time... with that skill set "under my belt", as it were... I'd be coming to YOU GUYS here at SitePoint who are possessed of the expertise to ask where I should head next in my studies to make myself employable....

    It does NOT MATTER where in "Web Development" I end up employed in-- I just can't rely on "manufacturing" for steady US employment anymore--- and if I make close to $16/hour (USD) then it is a zero-sum proposition AS COMPARED TO my current wage level.

    Jennifer Niederst-Robbins stated that Flash/Action Script have extremely high learning curves.... I have heard the same thing about Photoshop.

    But my present intent is to get the CORE SKILL SET of

    1)HTML/XHTML
    2)CSS
    3)Javascript
    4)PHP/MySQL
    5)XML

    ...to the point where I have a better-than-good understanding nailed down and then come back here to YOU GUYS at Sitepoint with the appropriate expertise and find out AT THAT TIME where to veer my studies to (someone here told a chap from Toledo, Ohio that if he knew ASP then to add SQL Server if he wanted a hot profession that makes good money)

    I just want something that will provide some insulation from Machine Shops that either "go out of business" or get purchased by competitors to consolidate business operations out of the state/country.

    I know Javascript is "front end" and that PHP is "back end".. I just aquired a little bit more knowledge about what the DOM is from a thread in the SitePoint HTML sub-forum and I think the DOM might be a superset of something called DHTML... I see a lot of books about AJAX and one poster recommended learning about XML and Javascript before tackling AJAX.

    That's all stuff down the road...

    If I can use my copious amounts of available free time to GET CLOSE to where I need to be while I'm still collecting unemployment THEN I CAN pursue the balance of the coursework when re-employed to make the transition to "Web Design"

    Thanks to both you and Alex for taking the time to respond and for extending yourselves on my behalf

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    kohoutek, exactly the point I was trying to make, while you can grasp enough basic skills to get going in a month (depending on learning speed) to actually be proficient enough and understand all the quirks to be able to work at it professionally... it takes years. Those people who do degrees at university aren't becoming experts in a whole bunch of languages, they are spending those 3 years simply just getting to grips with the groundwork and understanding the core elements. Our industry has a real shortage of comitted experts to specific fields which is a real shame because there is a serious need for those kinds of people.


    Well, I sure pay attention to what you say, Alex... I know you spoke in one post of needing to be an expert in hand-coding XHTML and CSS.


    I know in another post you spoke of forming HTML-based sites and "adding functionality" to those same sites as one's set of skills grows

    I know that in another post you spoke of "monetizing" one's sites.

    I'm listening to everything you guys/gals possessed of the expertise are saying to us HTML novices

    There's a "method to this madness" and if you take the time to offer this advice then BELIEVE ME 100%, I will definitely follow it.

    I'm going to belt into Chapter 8 of Ian Lloyd's book right now

    Again, thanks

  13. #13
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Ian's book is great stuff for a newbie, David. It's nice to see people stil getting so much benefit out of the book, it was a revelation when I bought it too.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armchaircritic View Post
    Ian's book is great stuff for a newbie, David. It's nice to see people stil getting so much benefit out of the book, it was a revelation when I bought it too.
    I think the BEST FEATURE of the book is that Ian Lloyd didn't use the 424 pages to do TOO much.

    He clearly outlines each task that he is going to perform along with the rationale, shows one the pertinent portion of the HTML or CSS code subsequent to doing so and then explains what EXACTLY occurred with the markup.... this takes up a lot of "real estate" within the chapters but I'd rather have 424 pages of something I can completely understand than have him try to cram in more topics at the expense of clearly explaining what was going on

    If I'm confused as to what a piece of code is doing, I can remove it to see what its effect will be in the browser or I can susbstitute ridiculously large/small values to once again, witness the effect.

    I like his almost immediate coupling of the HTML markup with the associated snippet of CSS code AS OPPOSED TO 4 or 5 chapters dealing with CSS towards the middle/"last half" of the book--- this isn't meant to be a slap at Elizabeth Castro's or Niederst-Robbins's approach... I like those textbooks also and feel fortunate for having chosen them to work through alongside the Lloyd, Willard and Carey texts. It's just that Lloyd integrated these two (XHTML/CSS) portions very well.

    One of the bigger "confidence builders" for someone new to "web development" is witnessing how what one is learning at the moment is going to contribute to the larger project pages that Lloyd has his students creating. The BubbleUnder site that Lloyd has his students work on is just beautiful and has removed any apprehension that I as a newcomer initially had when I decided to look into "web development" as a career alternative-- with enough practice, effort & application of the techniques that Sitepoint author, Jason Beaird writes about in "Beautiful Web Design", I too can be designing beautiful web pages

    I am heading into the final four chapters of the Lloyd text confident that "web page design" is within the scope of my abilities and that future success in the field is a function of choosing good texts leading to a portfolio of "educational projects" that I can "add functionality to" as my set of skills grow and then to a portfolio of "real world" projects.

  15. #15
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    DavidChildress, just as a side note, for a project to be considered "real world" as opposed to example / educational projects they need to be for genuine websites or actual work you have done. If you want to compete with the people fresh out of university, getting a portfolio built up of websites you have built and maintained are a lot more valuable than examples which show you can follow the tutorials in books

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    DavidChildress, just as a side note, for a project to be considered "real world" as opposed to example / educational projects they need to be for genuine websites or actual work you have done. If you want to compete with the people fresh out of university, getting a portfolio built up of websites you have built and maintained are a lot more valuable than examples which show you can follow the tutorials in books
    Thanks, Alex...

    I was kind of thinking along those lines... Patrick Carey's text is "project intensive" and concludes with 3 case studies which I'd use in an "educational projects" portfolio.

    Carey also just released the same text with 4 chapters on DHTML suffixed at its end.


    Vicki Cox's text projects immediately throw one into the swimming pool.... one is left to one's own devices almost immediately. I don't know what percentage of the "real world" experience would be replicated by this approach but my plan at the moment(things could quickly change though) is to use the most challenging of the later exercises in an "educational projects" portfolio.

    Hopefully, the later projects in any comprehensive text would have the student performing work that would be expected of an "entry-level" employee.... but yeah, I'm hoping capture some low-paying projects at getafreelancer to start building a portfolio of my own

    A friend of mine says "once you work for free you'll always work for free" but there are a couple of bars/taverns & grocery stores in my area who have some pretty old web pages...maybe I can rework them and coupled with any GAF projects I hopefully can snag on lowball bids, fashion some kind of portfolio of "real world" projects.

  17. #17
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I would not bother competing with the entry level positions with people applying who have left university with degrees... there are just too many of them about, if you want to make it in this industry you either need to be an expert in your chosen field, build your own business from scratch or you fight with everyone else for those entry level positions where you can gaurantee 9 out of 10 people probably have a degree in computer science. Personally in this economy I really wouldn't want to try and fight with those kinds of individuals which is why I chose to focus my skills on a small area rather than just end up another generic coder, at least then you stand a chance of making a living because what you do know (however niche it is) will make your skills in that subject extremely valuable for individuals who want to employ someone who really knows what their doing, just my two cents anyway

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast DavidChildress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I would not bother competing with the entry level positions with people applying who have left university with degrees... there are just too many of them about, if you want to make it in this industry you either need to be an expert in your chosen field, build your own business from scratch or you fight with everyone else for those entry level positions where you can gaurantee 9 out of 10 people probably have a degree in computer science. Personally in this economy I really wouldn't want to try and fight with those kinds of individuals which is why I chose to focus my skills on a small area rather than just end up another generic coder, at least then you stand a chance of making a living because what you do know (however niche it is) will make your skills in that subject extremely valuable for individuals who want to employ someone who really knows what their doing, just my two cents anyway
    I did not even consider a scenario like that but INDEED it makes complete sense. I definitely DON'T WANT TO be fighting for a job... that is what is occurring right now in my machining career-- there are 40 to 60 applicants for each employment position that opens up and it looks like things will remain that way into late 2010 or early 2011... this is why I want to leave "manufacturing" completely

    Thanks to Alex and everyone else possessed of the pertinent expertise... all of you please keep on chipping in "[your] two cents" as often as you feel necessary
    Last edited by DavidChildress; Jul 24, 2009 at 06:27.


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