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What do I need to be a web developer?

 
 
Josh R.
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      03-10-2005
Hi everyone

I hope you don't mind a general question.

I'm pretty proficient in HTML and CSS and have a few simple sites
to my name. I enjoy developing sites so much I'd like to do it
for a living. So I'm curious to know, what is a good range of
languages/technologies I'd need to master to become a good web
developer?

Thanks for your time,
Josh
 
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Stewart Gordon
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      03-10-2005
Josh R. wrote:
> Hi everyone
>
> I hope you don't mind a general question.
>
> I'm pretty proficient in HTML and CSS and have a few simple sites
> to my name. I enjoy developing sites so much I'd like to do it
> for a living. So I'm curious to know, what is a good range of
> languages/technologies I'd need to master to become a good web
> developer?


If:
- you understand the logical structure of HTML
- you know properly how to use the tags and attributes you have use for
- you can make your pages validate
- you can make your content accessible and reasonably mess-free to
everyone regardless of browser, configuration and physical/sensory
ability differences

then I guess you're probably a good web developer.

What other languages you need depends on what you want to do and the
requirements of the company you want to work for.

Stewart.

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Adrienne
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      03-10-2005
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Josh R." <(E-Mail Removed)> writing in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> Hi everyone
>
> I hope you don't mind a general question.
>
> I'm pretty proficient in HTML and CSS and have a few simple sites
> to my name. I enjoy developing sites so much I'd like to do it
> for a living. So I'm curious to know, what is a good range of
> languages/technologies I'd need to master to become a good web
> developer?
>
> Thanks for your time,
> Josh


In addition to what Stewart said, you should also look into server side
languages, I would recommend PHP and ASP. Databases are something else
you might need to know, SQL (Structured Query Language) can be used with
many databases, but differs slightly in each.

I feel it is just as important to separate content from presentation as I
do server side from client side code. If you're going to use javascript,
put it in an external script. Reuse code, use include files. Come out of
the scripting language and go into HTML, don't use the scripting language
to write client side HTML. For databases, use Stored Procedures
(something I'm just converting to myself).

Although validation is not the beat all to end all, IMHO, especially when
using server side languages, it's important to validate what the server
spits out. Validation has shown me scripting errors that I otherwise
might not have caught.


--
Adrienne Boswell
http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
Please respond to the group so others can share
 
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mark | r
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      03-10-2005

"Josh R." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hi everyone
>
> I hope you don't mind a general question.
>
> I'm pretty proficient in HTML and CSS and have a few simple sites
> to my name. I enjoy developing sites so much I'd like to do it
> for a living. So I'm curious to know, what is a good range of
> languages/technologies I'd need to master to become a good web
> developer?


try ASP, if youve got windows xp/2000 then chanses are that you can run it
locally (while developing) before uploading it to a server. for an easy
database setup try MS Access, again, youve probably already got it so no
problems there. things to look up are www.asp101.com for some basic display,
add, edit, search and delete coding - from there you can do pretty much
anything, im no great asp coder (got guys here to do it) but for simple
databases and data filtering its easy.

other people recomend PHP and MYSQL but to be honest it seems a pain to
setup (install apache, install php install msql install msql editor blah
blah...) when my pc already had everything i need to be up and running.

Mark


 
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JDS
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      03-10-2005
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 18:44:02 +0000, mark | r wrote:

> other people recomend PHP and MYSQL but to be honest it seems a pain to
> setup (install apache, install php install msql install msql editor blah
> blah...) when my pc already had everything i need to be up and running.
>
> Mark


Well, *my* PC already had PHP, MySQL, and Apache installed. But no ASP.
Hmmm....

--
JDS | http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)lid
| http://www.newtnotes.com
DJMBS | http://newtnotes.com/doctor-jeff-master-brainsurgeon/

 
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Augustus
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      03-10-2005

"Josh R." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hi everyone
>
> I hope you don't mind a general question.
>
> I'm pretty proficient in HTML and CSS and have a few simple sites
> to my name. I enjoy developing sites so much I'd like to do it
> for a living. So I'm curious to know, what is a good range of
> languages/technologies I'd need to master to become a good web
> developer?



There is really three distinctly different routes you can take in this
field: "Self Employed", "Web Design Company" or "IT Department Resource"

Web Design Company:
A web design company usually employs people specifically for 1 or 2
skills that they excel at... they don't look for a "jack of all trades,
master of none" type employee. If your niche is programming (be it PHP, ASP
or something else) thats pretty much all you will be doing... they will have
people making sales calls, doing the graphic design, writing javascript,
doing the primary CSS and HTML or building the flash component to a site.
If you choose to go this route, you will need to pretty much pick a
technology and learn to master it, IE: programming, database design, graphic
design, flash, etc... everybody will need to know HTML and CSS and how to
integrate what they have developed into the grand scheme of things.
Whatever you bring to the table you will need to know the proper methods of
working with that technology: IE: proper database design, structured
programming, optimizing graphics for size, etc.


IT Department Resource:
In this case you would be working for a big company whose primary focus
has nothing to do with webdesign... your primary job here will be to update
and maintain the website. This will usually require you to be a "jack of
all trades, master of atleast a few things" depending on the size of the
department.
If you go this route you will usually be working on the same projects
over and over again, rarely dealing with anything new or different and
probably be expected to know the whole hosting aspect of it all and working
with web servers and setting up websites.
This will often be the most stable job and have that guaranteed paycheck
coming in... but you do have to watch out for the day the IT department
manager says "We have decided to outsource our website maintainence and
development" (which is happening more and more nowadays). These jobs can
also be very hard to find, because there aren't that many of them.


Self Employed
If you are self employed, this is going to be similar to working for a
web design company - and thats because thats what you will be: a 1 person
web design company.
The first thing this means is that you are going to need to know how to
do just about everything a web design company might have 1 specific employee
for: programming, database, graphic design, hosting, sales, search engine
optimization, etc. There are going to be workarounds you can use: ie: why
develop that PHP script if you can just download one that does everything
you want? And ofcourse you can always just get jobs that deal with the
skills you have (don't know how to develop an SQL database and integrate it
into a website? Then just pass on the job until you have the skills... or
take it up as a challenge that is going to force you to learn).
What its all going to boil down to is: Anything you can't do is probably
going to cost you money. So if there is something you can't do or find a
workaround for that the client has asked for... then you'll probably end up
contracting that part of the job out to somebody, which comes out of your
bottom line.

Self Employment might sound like a great way to go: you are your own
boss and can make some pretty good money at it. But there are two VERY
important things to remember here:

1) It doesn't matter how much you like "programming" or "designing new
buttons"... the absolute number 1 skill you will use being as a self
employed web designer is "SALES". If you cannot sell your web services to
people then you'll just end up as another out of work web designer peddling
coffee at Starbucks for minimum wage and whining about how the IT market is
dead. You can't just build a portfolio page and put it up on the internet
with your rates and samples of work you have done and then sit back and wait
for the jobs to roll in... you have to be out there selling people on your
services, advertising, making cold calls, etc.

2) You aren't "just like a web design company"... YOU ARE a web design
company. The big difference here is that you only have 1 employee:
yourself. If you are a goof off or take forever to get started on a project
then you have to remember here: If you don't do it, its not going to get
done... there isn't going to be somebody to pick up your slack or a boss
yelling over your shoulder to get your act in gear or you're fired.





 
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JDS
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      03-10-2005
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 10:59:26 -0800, Augustus wrote:

> There is really three distinctly different routes you can take in this
> field: "Self Employed", "Web Design Company" or "IT Department Resource"


Nice response.

--
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| http://www.newtnotes.com
DJMBS | http://newtnotes.com/doctor-jeff-master-brainsurgeon/

 
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Adrienne
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-10-2005
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "mark | r" <(E-Mail Removed)>
writing in news:423095be$0$26725$(E-Mail Removed) :

>
> "Josh R." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Hi everyone
>>
>> I hope you don't mind a general question.
>>
>> I'm pretty proficient in HTML and CSS and have a few simple sites
>> to my name. I enjoy developing sites so much I'd like to do it
>> for a living. So I'm curious to know, what is a good range of
>> languages/technologies I'd need to master to become a good web
>> developer?

>
> try ASP, if youve got windows xp/2000 then chanses are that you can run
> it locally (while developing) before uploading it to a server.


That would be XP Pro, not Home Edition. Some people have been able to
install IIS on Home Edition, but it is not recommended, nor easy.

> For an
> easy database setup try MS Access, again, youve probably already got it
> so no problems there.


No, Access only comes in the Professional version of Office, again quite a
bit higher price than Standard.

> things to look up are www.asp101.com for some
> basic display, add, edit, search and delete coding - from there you can
> do pretty much anything, im no great asp coder (got guys here to do it)
> but for simple databases and data filtering its easy.
>


http://www.asp101.com is a good source, and http://www.w3schools.com/asp/
has good tutorials.

> other people recomend PHP and MYSQL but to be honest it seems a pain to
> setup (install apache, install php install msql install msql editor
> blah blah...) when my pc already had everything i need to be up and
> running.


You don't have to install apache to install PHP or MySQL. I have PHP
available in IIS and I have MySQL server running as well. MySQL is more
robust than Access, and a lot of hosting companies are offering MySQL
instead of MS SQL because of licensing costs.

> Mark
>
>




--
Adrienne Boswell
http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
Please respond to the group so others can share
 
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Uncle Pirate
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      03-10-2005
mark | r wrote:

> other people recomend PHP and MYSQL but to be honest it seems a pain to
> setup (install apache, install php install msql install msql editor blah
> blah...) when my pc already had everything i need to be up and running.


Are you writing web pages to serve from your PC or from a server? When
doing things to be served from a server, write your code to use things
on the server. Who cares what's on your PC?

On my server (the school's, I only administer it), you could put all the
ASP pages you want and they will not be served up properly because I use
a Linux server without M$ extensions installed.

On the other hand, PHP is soon to be installed to serve up PHP pages.
Learn what's available on the server(s) you use, not what's on your PC.

I do not know PHP but soon will. MySQL will also come later and I'll
learn the server side of that too.

--
Stan McCann "Uncle Pirate" http://stanmccann.us/pirate.html
Webmaster/Computer Center Manager, NMSU at Alamogordo
Coordinator, Tularosa Basin Chapter, ABATE of NM; AMA#758681; COBB
'94 1500 Vulcan (now wrecked) http://motorcyclefun.org/Dcp_2068c.jpg
A zest for living must include a willingness to die. - R.A. Heinlein
 
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Uncle Pirate
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      03-10-2005
Augustus wrote:

> There is really three distinctly different routes you can take in this
> field: "Self Employed", "Web Design Company" or "IT Department Resource"


Good post, but you forgot one (maybe more?). "Webmaster of a large
site" is a bit different from "IT Dept Resource" although shares many
similarities. I manage a large (school) site that many employees work
on pages for their departments/areas. A "jack of all trades" managing
not only the site in all aspects, but the server as well.

I must train employees to use the templates I create for them and how to
use the software provided for editing web pages (Netscape or Mozilla
Composer is easy for most and doesn't do too bad a job). So add the
ability to teach.

I do have resources that I can call upon (graphic design program) for
some of the pieces I'm not too good at. I download and install programs
much like a self-employed developer would do, but also do some things
using my own Perl scripts and am about to launch into installing and
learning PHP and later MySQL to provide more interaction with the site.


> IT Department Resource:
> In this case you would be working for a big company whose primary focus
> has nothing to do with webdesign... your primary job here will be to update


That's where I started and grew into the "Webmaster" job.

> and maintain the website. This will usually require you to be a "jack of
> all trades, master of atleast a few things" depending on the size of the
> department.
> If you go this route you will usually be working on the same projects
> over and over again, rarely dealing with anything new or different and
> probably be expected to know the whole hosting aspect of it all and working
> with web servers and setting up websites.


Yep. But with me, there is the occasional "new" stuff. For instance,
my site's overall look and feel is committee driven while I do most of
the actual work. I will soon be leading the committee in coming up with
a total revamp of our 95-96 style site bringing it into the 21st
century. I've been updating my skills lately changing many of the old
table layout tag soup pages to HTML 4.01 strict and CSS although keeping
the same look and feel for now.


> Self Employed
> If you are self employed, this is going to be similar to working for a
> web design company - and thats because thats what you will be: a 1 person
> web design company.


I do this too on the side. I have my own server at home on a DSL
connection hosting several websites for non-profit agencies. No pay,
but good learning experience and I find it rewarding.


> Self Employment might sound like a great way to go: you are your own
> boss and can make some pretty good money at it. But there are two VERY
> important things to remember here:
>
> 1) It doesn't matter how much you like "programming" or "designing new
> buttons"... the absolute number 1 skill you will use being as a self
> employed web designer is "SALES". If you cannot sell your web services to


I'm very thankful for my full time job because I've tried exactly what
you've said. I created a web site "portfolio" hoping to gain some
paying customers but I'm not a salesman so it's gone nowhere.

--
Stan McCann "Uncle Pirate" http://stanmccann.us/pirate.html
Webmaster/Computer Center Manager, NMSU at Alamogordo
Coordinator, Tularosa Basin Chapter, ABATE of NM; AMA#758681; COBB
'94 1500 Vulcan (now wrecked) http://motorcyclefun.org/Dcp_2068c.jpg
A zest for living must include a willingness to die. - R.A. Heinlein
 
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