web courses fro beginners

murraybiscuit

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Oct 10, 2008
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A friend called me up, wants to "make websites"
"is there a 5 day course that can get me started?" :wtf:
My assumption is that they just want to theme a cms and manage content. Whoopy doo.
Anybody here know any place where she can get started on wp/joomla and not get ripped off too much?
 

Venom Rush

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Sep 19, 2008
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You won't find a 5 day course anywhere (not to my knowledge at least). If she doesn't want to get ripped off then tell her to go to www.w3schools.com and learn from there. It'll be free and it's a good place to start.

P.S. She's going to need to spend a lot of time learning before she can start skinning CMS' like wordpress etc.
 

murraybiscuit

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Oct 10, 2008
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hmmm. i can see where this is going.
i say she must teach herself, she tries, fails and realises that she doesn't really want to do this with her life.
okay, off i go to break the news ;)
 

Venom Rush

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Sounds like she wants to do the design side of things rather than the actual coding of the design. She should look for graphic design course then ;)
 

Raithlin

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Ask her what she means by "make websites". Get some details first. If it's a design course, that's different. If it's HTML, CSS, JS, etc. then be gentle. ;)
 

jamiebarrow

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Sep 28, 2010
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Yes, definitely decide if it's software development, or website design, that your friend wants. Software development means coding up everything related to the website. Website design, means using Photoshop to mock out what the site will look like, or maybe even Dreamweaver, and hand this design to a web developer.

I think for both, w3schools.com, alistapart.com, and net.tutsplus.com are good resources.

If an actual qualification is needed, for software development, I'd suggest either doing a degree in BSc and Computer Science or getting a diploma in programming from a reputed institution (obviously the degree might be more highly regarded and in demand). For web design, there's institutions that offer web design courses that involve HTML, CSS, Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. though I wouldn't know much about this side of the coin.

w3schools.com is a very good starting point for web development. There's a lot involved in web development. First, learn HTML and CSS. Then learn JavaScript. jQuery is the most popular JavaScript library with a pretty much cross browser compatible API, that helps a LOT in web development these days for rich interactive HTML pages. This is the basics.

Learn how to do progressive enhancement. Progressive enhancement is a technique to first code everything using plain HTML so the most basic browsers understand it. Then adding in CSS to make it look fancy. Then adding in JavaScript to make it even fancier. Each addition just enhances the web page, but allows for less advanced browsers to still use it - accessibility, yay :)

For more advanced stuff, learn the basics of the HTTP protocol and the Domain Name System - How do domain names work? How does a GET/POST work, e.g. what is the content type and how do things get cached by proxies. How cookies work to store information on the client? Tracking user sessions, how to do so without cookies, and what this all means for security?

For even more advanced stuff, learn how to program, and learn a server side scripting language for dynamic pages - e.g. php, Java with Struts or JSF, ASP.NET WebForms, ASP.NET MVC2. For beginners, php is quite a good option. There's a software package called XAMMP, which has a bundle of different technologies involved with php websites. The php documentation is an excellent resource for learning about web concepts and programming in general, from what I remember.

And then for even more advanced stuff, choose a programming language and learn it well. Read about the Gang of Four design patterns, understand why they're useful, and use them when appropriate. Read about patterns from Martin Fowler - analysis patterns, integration patterns, etc. If doing Java, learn EJB3 and JPA. If doing C#, learn WCF and ASP.NET WebForms and ASP.NET MVC2.
 
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