A few years behind... need some guidance


I used to be very interested in web development in the early noughties. Other things happened in my life and it was not something I was able to keep up to date with. I was able to keep up to date till around 2004 and was most active in around 2002-03.

I am/was very proficient in xhtml/css and Macromedia (now known as Adobe I guess) Fireworks with general knowledge of Photoshop. In terms of programming languages: I can write very basic scripts in PHP and can edit and install web based applications. I also have a basic understanding of Apache.

I know this sounds like a strange question. However, I feel a bit lost. My goals are to learn javascript/AJAX so I have frontend design down pat and also to continue with PHP or Python. From there, pick a good framework that I can generally base any websites I create around.

Am I missing anything? (besides advertising websites, and SEO type info, not really my goal at the moment) Is there anything out there that someone wanting to get serious in web dev should absolutely know?

Any help as always, is appreciated.

Sounds like you know (or will know) the essentials there. Though always keep into consideration just how in depth you are going with all this. You seem to already know enough to manage a basic website. What kind of website are you aiming for?

Well I previously did freelance web design work for a few small business so I’d like to be at a level where I would be able to compete locally just looking after small business and organisations websites. In the future however, I want to be able to offer cloud based services to small businesses. So that would mean a great deal of programming knowledge but I’m prepared for that :slight_smile:

I think it’s generally a bad idea wanting too much at once. You cannot catch up. By the time you have, you’ll have missed a few thousand new technologies. :wink:

Your idea of concentrating on Javascript is a good and solid one. It is a trade most urgently sought after today, so you really cannot go wrong. Why not start with that? That is enough to keep you busy for quite some time.

Try to be an expert at a couple of different things and then try and be proficient in the rest. Its too difficult to be experts in everything!

If you want some advice I would say to start from scratch and revisit the areas which you have already got some basic skills using. Because of the way many web technologies work you really should have the founding languages under wraps before you start getting all guru’d up with the likes of scripting. HTML and CSS are the core foundations of any website and if you have not done so, I would ensure your knowledge is as fresh as possible on those fronts. I do agree that learning everything is a task which hold’s no possibility (no-one can be an expert at everything) so I would choose one particular thing to become an expert in and focus solely on that. It’s all well and good to have ambitions of learning or refreshing your skills with 5 languages but it would be spreading yourself far too thinly. JavaScript is something high in demand these days (especially with stuff like jQuery - a framework for the language you might not have come across yet). Either way my advice is to be a bit more focused and pick something you enjoy, don’t fire in every direction and hope something sticks :slight_smile:

I think that’s what I’ll end up doing. Focusing 60% on getting up to speed with Javascript, 20% on revising my knowledge of CSS and the other 20% learning some general programming techniques. Thanks for the advice everyone.