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Phinigma
#1 Aug 31 2019 06:12am
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Hi, I apologize for the long-windedness here as I'm sure I will ramble.

(TLDR at bottom)

I have always loved technology and (at 34) have finally enrolled in college. I haven't actually picked my major yet but it will be technical.

I hope to build and maintain professional websites, (and maybe servers), eventually. For me to wrap my mind around something and actually commit to doing it I have to see a financial upside at the end. Basically, if I can't make money from it later, at this point in my life, I'm just not interested in seeing it through.

That said, and being that I've had a lifelong passion for technology, I think I want to build websites. I've spoken to a friend that does this professionally but I'd like to get some alternative ideas/opinions on where to start.

My crude understanding of how websites function, some of them, is that php controls the back end of things which interacts with sites built using HTML/css/JavaScript. (This is an oversimplification obviously.)

My first question, I suppose is, if I become proficient in these 4 disciplines will I be able to produce and maintain professional grade websites?

Assuming the previous is true, where should I start?

Logic says to start from the ground up. So should I learn php first and then progress to JavaScript and HTML?

I do know basic css and HTML just from years of internetting. I also know basic JavaScript, but not nearly enough to attempt to use it professionally.

Is there some other path to take to achieve my goal? (Building professional and secure websites.)

My friend also mentioned learning Python but I feel my options for employment afterwards may be somewhat limited when compared to purely web-based crafts. Or at least, if I learn to make actually good websites and are able to maintain them, I will be better equipped to monetize my skillset in a more meaningful way.

Am on mobile so I apologize for any errors and if I sound some kind of way. Opinions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
:thumbsup:


TLDR - Wants to make money off technology and wishes to know best language to learn in spare time while going through college.

This post was edited by Phinigma on Aug 31 2019 06:14am
bodierox
#2 Sep 1 2019 05:50am
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Depends, do you want to work more on front end development (the design of the website from the user's perspective) or back end development (the scripts and programming that the user does not see that runs things in the background).
If you are looking more for web design itself, start with front end development.

HTML/CSS then progress into Javascript.
Klexmoo
#3 Sep 1 2019 06:56am
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Exactly what bodierox mentioned. You need to determine if you are more interested in front end (graphical stuff basically) or backend, which is basically the role of PHP, but newer websites today are single page applications that use a REST server as the backend, usually node.js or it can even be something you program in python or any other language. For the frontend, it's popular to use React or Angular for dynamic websites. Other frameworks exist, but since I don't deal too much with web dev, I don't know much about it other than that.

This post was edited by Klexmoo on Sep 1 2019 06:57am
waraholic
#4 Sep 2 2019 10:54am
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If you're enrolled in college why don't you talk to an advisor about their computer science / software engineering programs? They should help you set up your curriculum so you learn everything you need and so you do it in the right order.

---

To do frontend web development you need to know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Developing full stack will require you to learn middleware and backend which can vary greatly. Your school will probably offer a limited selection of languages for these two layers. Many schools teach the majority of their classes using a single language. The nice thing is that programming skills translate well so once you are proficient you can easily learn to use a new language or database.

It is common to just lump middleware and backend code together and call them both backend because they run on a server. That is fine. Completely agree with what Klexmoo says about middleware/backend, but you will also need to learn how to store and manage data using a database, file storage, caches, whatever.
Kalms
#5 Sep 9 2019 03:30pm
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First things first, you are always going to need HTML, and maybe a bit of CSS, as you will need to pass stuff from the front end, to the middle/back end when learning PHP or another language. With regards to PHP vs Javascript, you will need both, but it's up to you which way around you do it. Javascript is the 'Smart stuff' on the front end, and PHP is the 'Smart Stuff' in the back end. Generally speaking you find the really smart stuff happens in the back end, however PHP is much easier to learn than Javascript imo (coming from an existing learner)
Xaysia
#6 Sep 10 2019 07:00am
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You should try to learn both front-end and back-end development on your free time to see what you like the most. However, I recommend that you start with front-end development.

React is a great framework for front-end development.
Search on google for "React setup for windows 10" or whatever operating system you are using (it's easier if you have macOS or a linux distro).
Then follow a guide to setup React along with Node.js on your computer. It takes like 15 minutes to get something working up and running.
The node server is very neat for developing websites locally on your computer and it will be very fun to learn CSS/HTML/JS (try to divide these files into separate files) without having to worry about so many other things.
Just get comfortable with how everything is connected and try to edit files by yourself and see what changed. Then try to design a website on your own (e.g creating a header, content and footer and just making 2-3 pages filled with text).

Once you need back-end functionality (such as storing data in a database, e.g users and sessions), you should look into a python framework. Flask is great to get something easy up and running and to learn python (Django is a bit harder to get started with).
To interact between the front-end and the backend, you should connect them using a rest API (there are plugins for both frameworks which makes this very easy).
Using a rest API will not only make a clear separation of the front-end of the back-end, but it will also be much more expandable in the future.
For instance if would like to create a phone application (which itself is a completely new front-end module which you just connect to the already existing back-end)

You shouldn't bother learning PHP as it's a bad and dying language. You'll enjoy python much more and it has a much nicer syntax. :D
Phinigma
#7 Sep 10 2019 07:08am
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Quote (Xaysia @ Sep 10 2019 09:00am)
You should try to learn both front-end and back-end development on your free time to see what you like the most. However, I recommend that you start with front-end development.

React is a great framework for front-end development.
Search on google for "React setup for windows 10" or whatever operating system you are using (it's easier if you have macOS or a linux distro).
Then follow a guide to setup React along with Node.js on your computer. It takes like 15 minutes to get something working up and running.
The node server is very neat for developing websites locally on your computer and it will be very fun to learn CSS/HTML/JS (try to divide these files into separate files) without having to worry about so many other things.
Just get comfortable with how everything is connected and try to edit files by yourself and see what changed. Then try to design a website on your own (e.g creating a header, content and footer and just making 2-3 pages filled with text).

Once you need back-end functionality (such as storing data in a database, e.g users and sessions), you should look into a python framework. Flask is great to get something easy up and running and to learn python (Django is a bit harder to get started with).
To interact between the front-end and the backend, you should connect them using a rest API (there are plugins for both frameworks which makes this very easy).
Using a rest API will not only make a clear separation of the front-end of the back-end, but it will also be much more expandable in the future.
For instance if would like to create a phone application (which itself is a completely new front-end module which you just connect to the already existing back-end)

You shouldn't bother learning PHP as it's a bad and dying language. You'll enjoy python much more and it has a much nicer syntax. :D


I actually started learning Python at the suggestion of a close friend and I LOVE it. It's really cool.

I've started building a site with Django and am looking forward to delving in more deeply and seeing where it leads.


TO ALL THE WONDERFUL AND THOUGHTFUL COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!
Xaysia
#8 Sep 10 2019 07:16am
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Quote (Phinigma @ 10 Sep 2019 15:08)
I actually started learning Python at the suggestion of a close friend and I LOVE it. It's really cool.

I've started building a site with Django and am looking forward to delving in more deeply and seeing where it leads.


TO ALL THE WONDERFUL AND THOUGHTFUL COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!


Sounds great! My favorite stack is using React + Django :D The Django ORM is so neat, especially the way database migrations are handled.
Phinigma
#9 Sep 10 2019 07:18am
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Quote (Xaysia @ Sep 10 2019 09:16am)
Sounds great! My favorite stack is using React + Django :D The Django ORM is so neat, especially the way database migrations are handled.


I'm actually blown away and fascinated by the simplicity and intuitiveness of Python.

And the syntax is so clean. Lol
shenk
#10 Sep 16 2019 09:31pm
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I am currently enrolled in a coding bootcamp online which costs nothing unless you get a job in programming of some sort making 50k or more a year.
The school and website is called lambdaschool and it is very good. If your college hasn't started yet, i highly recommend a bootcamp over college any day.
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