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What do I need to learn to become a good web developer

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by shenacks, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. shenacks

    shenacks Registered Member

    Sep 8, 2011
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    Freelance Writing
    Hi developers,

    I've always wanted to be an IT professional and I've finally gotten my chance. Since I want to work on the internet, I need to know the things I need to learn in order to become a good developer. How long will it take before I can be good enough to take jobs. I just need general advice.

    I've already download lots of stuffs from the internet and I'm on html 5 and CSS3.

    Do you think I can learn all by myself or do I need to go to a school.

    Thank you.
  2. jiipodd

    jiipodd Registered Member

    Dec 3, 2010
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    Moving around Europe
    I am not a developer (yet), but been learning that stuff. Few things that you most likely need to learn at least to some extent to become a good developer: JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, Ruby On Rails/Python. Most likely you don't need to learn all those, but at least basics would be good to know.

    Are you aware of codeyear.com? There you can learn programming for free (JavaScript, html, CSS, Jquery, Ruby, Python). You wont become an expert there, but you'll learn enough to start learning more on your own.

    Also, one good way to get an idea what you need to know is to check job ads for web developers and see what people are looking for. Which frameworks, languages etc.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. nytrolic

    nytrolic Registered Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    It's imperative you get a good solid understanding of the absolute basics before you start learning a scripting language. Get HTML and CSS down properly first - the amount of times I come to edit other peoples code and the HTML/CSS is just horrendous!
    Then start on a scripting language - the obvious choice would be PHP - It's widely used and versatile, but there are other languages available.
    Then start to learn about databases with PHP, Id recommend MySQLi - its the way to go for basic eCommerce and blog sites ect (But there are others available).
    Then you can start to get fancy with Javascript and its frameworks (jQuery ect)

    Get your head down and you could have a good solid understanding, and the ability to put a functional site together within less than a year.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. dkh1978

    dkh1978 Regular Member

    Jul 2, 2012
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    I concur with the previous posters about the things you should take into account and the things you should learn, but want to add the following: Nowadays you have basically two proper ways of putting up a website, in my opinion both ways have their advantages and disadvantages and they should be understood and used accordingly:

    1. A site made with a Content Management System (CMS; WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.)
    2. Site made from scratch, without Content Management System

    The advantage of using a CMS from the end-customer point of view is that the site is usually easier to update. From your point of view sites with CMS are quicker to setup, but may have limitations you donĀ“t desire.

    I suggest, that you would find out, when to use a CMS and when not. The more custom features needed, a site without CMS might be a better solution, since in this case you have no limitations.

    The previous posters also discussed about learning PHP or Python, and I agree, you should go with PHP first, but afterwards make yourself at least so familiar with Python, that you would have an idea, in which cases to use either ones of those. Both languages have benefits over the other (cannot list them here, since I have personally no experience from Python, but have developer colleagues who are proficient in Python).
  5. V

    V Elite Member

    May 18, 2012
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    learn basic HTML+CSS then go for Javascript. I'd suggest you to visit w3schools, it really has nice tutorials :)
    hope it helps!
  6. james2012

    james2012 Newbie

    Mar 6, 2012
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    Miami, Florida
    Home Page:
    Almost all of the points covered in the above discussion for learning web development. Try small coding practices - to be clear your all doubts and do more and more practice of becoming a good web programmer. Remember, only practice makes man perfect.

    Here, I would like to refer an article which describes you which skills required to be a perfect web developer: webtechtouch[dot]blogspot[dot]com/2012/08/top-5-web-developer-skills-need-today[dot]html
  7. dariobl

    dariobl BANNED BANNED

    Jul 11, 2012
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    HTML, PHP, Jvs, MySQL, Asp, MsSQL for development only,
    if you want to design web sites also : Flash + Photoshop and your own ideas ;).
  8. Blackberry_11

    Blackberry_11 Regular Member

    Apr 17, 2011
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    At first HTML and css it is very essential no alternatives,
    then be an expert on any scripting language like java script,php,c#.
    Finally show dedication for it and then get stet go.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. berkolish

    berkolish Newbie

    Oct 2, 2012
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    I have a friend who learned web development from the Internet.. then walked into the office of a nearby web development agency and landed a job.. For client-side scripting, you need Javascript. And for server-side scripting, you need PHP. After getting the hang of HTML5 and CSS3, you can't go wrong with PHP and JS.
  10. Digital Marketer

    Digital Marketer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Sep 23, 2009
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    Software engineer
    [email protected]
    You need to learn Html,JavaScript, PHP, atleast:)
  11. madoctopus

    madoctopus Supreme Member

    Apr 4, 2010
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    Full time IM
    Well, before you even start learning development, go and learn usability and user behavior. Otherwise you will be a crappy web developer like most are or have to forget some things of what you learned and re-learn them with usability in mind. Most of the times the best way for the user is not the best way for the developer and most developers do it so it is the best/easiest for them => poor results => bad developer.

    Then, learn HDML. Do not bother with CSS at all. Just HTML. It is the fastest to learn. Should not take more than 1 week.

    Then, CSS.

    Then combine HTML+CSS and do a full project for yourself. Can be as little as 1 page that is kick ass - try to clone cnet.com homepage or amazon.com homepage or something.

    Then you you can go two routes - both at the same time (recommended) or one after other - server-size programming language (e.g. PHP) and/or JavaScript and a library (e.g. JQuery). Do not try to become an expert in JavaScript. Learn just enough to get stuff done and focus on JQuery plugins rather than developing yourself or reinventing the wheel.

    Before you learn a programming language, learn how to code. that has nothing to do with the language and you should not learn it using a language but just logic. This is data structures and algorithms. It is the foundation of programming and must be learned first or you end up a bad coder. If you lack this foundation is like building a house on a swamp instead of on hard soil and with a foundation. This is why most coders suck even though they know the language well. Then you learn the language of choice.

    PHP is most used online, easiest to learn, most ugly (well, Perl is uglier) and because is easy to use it allows you to grow into becoming a bad coder. One more reason to learn that foundation I talked about before. Next option is Python - beautiful language design, elegant, more powerful than PHP, but less used because cheapest and most easy to use hosting as well as most popular CMS' are on PHP. At the same time you learn a RDBMS (e.g. MySQL) and SQL language. Most popular is MySQL but good thing here is once you know one the others are very similar for simple things.

    Then you choose if you go towards specializing in a CMS or in custom-coding your sites/apps. If you choose CMS, you pick one.

    Drupal has best architecture but is probably the hardest to learn. Recommended for very large sites. significantly more expensive to develop projects on it than other CMS (hence you get payed better). Also most powerful of them all. Best used on a VPS or Dedicated server for decent performance.

    WordPress is easy to learn, was developed by retarded monkey after they got drunk and smoked pot. Has a shit architecture and is anti-optimized. In other words if I would have been hired to make an app that is against optimization I would have not done a better job than the WP developers. If you're a good coder you will do your best and do a decent job with it even though its core sucks. It is however very popular and more recommended for small simple sites than Drupal.

    If you choose the route of custom-coded sites/apps, you should learn a PHP (or whatever language you choose) framework. For PHP CodeIgniter is the simplest/fastest to learn but not necessarily the best. Yii is a much newer framework, a lot more powerful, a lot harder to learn and more complex. It does force you to be a decent/good coder however.

    It will take several months until you will be capable to build simple sites/projects and about 5 years to become really good (considering you work as a developer and develop every day). A few more years to go past being good and start hating the language and technologies you work with, see the bad parts in them, their limitations, etc. and figure out how to do the impossible with them even though deep down inside of you you knew you should rather learn another language better suited for what you want (I'm at that point now).

    All these years you ill also want or need to learn at least superficially a few other things like server administration, design, etc.

    Do NOT attend a school to learn these things. It will be a waste of time. What you learn in schools is a lot of theory and almost no practical stuff. Also you only learn about 10% of what you need in practice as a commercial developer and you do that in 5 times the time you would need to learn alone at your own pace.

    NEVER EVER try to learn or look for help on forums. NEVER. You will waste your time, develop a bad habit and become a slow and bad coder. If you search on Google and find a forum result, that's ok, but do not start lurking on a forum. You will grow old there. stackoverflow.com is good for punctual questions. IRC (#php channel on irc.freenode.net server) is also good for punctual questions. Nobody will help you or have patience for you if they feel you as being lazy or you don't RTFM. If you don't get an answer then your question is either too complex/advanced for them to know a good answer or your question is a bad question. There is such a thing as bad questions.

    Bad question examples:
    "How do I upload files in PHP?" - you should have Googled that and found a ton of answers/tutorials.
    "How do I make a class?" - RTFM!
    "What is the best ***?" - different people have different "best" choices.

    READ CODE WRITTEN BY OTHERS! This is a great way to expand your way of thinking and coding and learning new or better ways to do something. There are tons of OSS projects out there you can check out. Read code from apps, read code from frameworks. Some are shit, some are ok, some are awesome. You will in time learn to figure out which are which and why, it comes with experience. Thing is you can learn a lot even from bad code. Rule of thumb is KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. Most times (there are exceptions) simple/elegant things are best. As Einstein said, "Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler".

    Also, after you get confortable with your programming language, make sure you start learning about Design Patterns. The sooner the better, even if you don't use them. Some programming languages that have a good architecture and are designed well kinda enforce the design patterns onto you whether you want it or not (Java, C#).

    Good luck!
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  12. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Jan 27, 2009
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    Pusillanimous Knitter
    Buenos Aires
    Print what madoctopus wrote and stick it on the wall :)
  13. janebrendan

    janebrendan BANNED BANNED

    Jul 2, 2012
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    work hard i m sure you can do it .
    why you waste bucks on school ?
    just watch YT tutriol you will learn alot of thing from yt