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  1. #1
    Junior Member benjee's Avatar
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    Starting out... Where do I start???

    Hello. Just a quick introduction, I'm Ben. A Media Production student about to enter my final year. I am interested in gaining the knowledge necessary to create websites suitable for a range of clients. However I feel quite a long way off.

    As a Media student the course is very loose and I have not touched upon more web specific skills such as coding. I do however have decent graphic design skills on Photoshop and Illustrator, But I need to backmy designs with code so that they function correctly. I have basic html skills and I am fine with stuff like domains and servers\ftp clients, But that's as far as it stretches, CSS is almost a complete unknown.

    I was hoping a few people here could point me in the rite direction so that I learn the core basics. What languages do I need? What software can I use to get up to scratch on industry standards?.... Are on-line course worth trying? The ulitmate aim is to be able to create company style websites from scratch. In addition the knowledge to apply these skills to content based sites like wordpress.

    Sorry if the post is a bit vague... I had to rewrite the post.

    Thank you everyone, I hope to see more of the forum
    Last edited by benjee; Jun 13th, 2013 at 07:39 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Give this a look:
    W3Schools Online Web Tutorials

  4. #3
    Junior Member webdesignblog's Avatar
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    I agree with BluesMatt. Here is another good place to go when starting out with [EDIT: Link drop removed by TheGAME1264. Please read the forum rules first.] Here is another good site for [EDIT: Link drop removed by TheGAME1264. Please read the forum rules first.] There are a lot of valuable resources and free templates & stuff on there.
    Last edited by TheGAME1264; Jun 13th, 2013 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Link drops.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    A media production student and they don't teach current web trends ?

    I was in need of a graphics person last year to fill a marketing position and do graphics related work.

    During the interview process, I heard some inconsistencies in the "skills" claimed on the resume, brought them to the attention of the decision makers, I was overruled as the resume was glowing and "perfect"... she had every excuse in the book when it came to actually producing, and her major "marketing",, I have to really wonder, are they actually teaching anything actually related to what the degree is about ?

    or is marketing and digital production now the "business major" of the 70's.

    if your goal is to work for a wide variety of clients, your skills and drive must match. Meaning get off your butt, stop the partying, take some extra classes in "web design"... slicing & dicing won't cut it... any decent class on design is going to "focus" on CSS and current "design technologies",,, stay away from the "creative suite" classes, they focus on using the program to "generate the code"... and that's fine, once you understand the basics and can work in code view.

    just my opinion...

    BTW... after a year... the "perfect resume" was finally let go

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    He's part of the British Commonwealth, WZ. Education is secondary to understanding of one's place in the hierarchy and the exact positioning of one's personal glass ceiling. Not his fault. By the way, benjee, I'm Canadian, so that's me speaking from experience.

    The reason I have a problem with your post, benjee, is that both you and WZ are absolutely correct. You are a long way off. If you were to put where you are as one point on a Google map and put where you probably should be as a second point on the same Google map, you'd have to zoom all the way out to even come close to getting both points in the viewport at the same time.

    I'm not sure how many years you've been in the course, but since you say it's your final year I'm going to assume at least two. That means that you should have at least been introduced to CSS at the same time you were learning HTML, as HTML is a markup language and CSS is the actual styling. So you will definitely need to learn that. You'll also be well-served to really learn a server-side programming language...if you haven't heard this term before or if it hasn't been mentioned in a class yet, go to your dean or your headmaster or whoever's in charge, drape him over his desk, and give him a swift kick in the "arse" with the toe of a steel-toed boot, because this is something you should at least have been introduced to. When I say learn it, I don't mean learn just enough so that the "community" will pick up your slack...there is no such point, and the "community" will fail you. I mean learn it to the point where you can solve just about anything under the sun by yourself. PHP, ASP.net in at least either flavour (C# or VB), even classic ASP...it almost doesn't matter, as long as you have this skill. If you're going to play around with W*rdPr*ss, you'll probably want to go the PHP route, although personally I'm not a big fan of PHP because I started with classic ASP back in 2000 and PHP just looks like a dog's breakfast to me whenever I see stuff coded.

    Software: tough call. Whatever works for you, but from a code point of view, text editors only. Do not under any circumstances rely on a "WYSIWYG" or "E-Z" editor to generate code for you. There are a few good ones out there, such as Notepad++ or Microsoft Visual Web Developer Express, that are free to use.

    I haven't yet come across any online courses worth trying, but then again, I'm looking at this from my point of view, so you may have a different set of criteria to judge on than I do.
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  7. #6
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    Hey I would agree with the Game here. Learn some server side programming if you can, but you definitely need to pick up the CSS stuff as a designer. I don't know how well versed you are at coding, but if you can pick it up easily, then I would definitely learn as much programming and coding as you can.

    One thing you can do to build your portfolio and work samples is to sell what you are strong at at a discount. This will help you build a portfolio, make money and do some networking.

    I know some people who use jEdit to code, some swear by google chrome dev tools. Firebug plugin for your browser. Some prototyping software (I know some people use flash although it's not really meant for that). Some project management software. There are free ones out there, and you may not have to use one, but some familiarity with it may help you get hired.

    I dunno about your area and what is popular, but another thing you can do is check job ads and see what skills and software employers are looking for. Sometimes you might see some proprietary product that all the big names are using, then maybe you can get a demo version or just dig through some of the documentation.

    Hope this helps.

    Sidney Lisojo

  8. #7
    Junior Member benjee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. The problem with my course I feel is that it is primarily focused on film making, I feel the design module is there to experiment with, its all arty farty and unfortunately a lot of students don't take it too seriously because it is mandatory at the start. In the final year however only those that want to do design will be on the course because you have to pick between the two routes. I have decided to do design instead of film making as I enjoy the design side of things much more and I feel I have more chance of a high grade. I'm not impressed by the level of learning really... Buts that what I have to work with. In fact i've self taught myself most skills such as html, photoshop and illustrator myself, I guess I get a piece of paper at the end though... well worth 9 grand huh? -_-

    I have downloaded sublime 2 and kompozer. So far I have only used sublime though. Trying out teamtreehouse for a couple of months and referring to W3schools and Littlewebhut as I go.I've realised that I have coded css in the past without really knowing what it was so understanding that first, it doesn't seem to difficult, at least the basics anyway. Going to learn one thing at a time, I don't think there is any point going down the wordpress route for a while. Maybe jQuery and JavaScript useful to look at later on? Thanks for the help!

  9. #8
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    jQuery is wicked awesome and I highly recommend it (after you learn Javascript first), but it's much more useful if you pick up a server-side programming language. If you use jQuery in conjunction with a server-side programming language, you'll be able to take advantage of AJAX and really build some cool stuff.

    I'm not surprised at all by the lack of pragmatic value provided by your course. It's the reason I dropped out of university...I was bored and learning nothing other than that which I wasn't supposed to know or figure out. Like you said, you'll buy a piece of paper, and if you go down the web design and development route, the piece of paper won't be worth the paper it's printed on in the eyes of many. Your portfolio and your demonstration of skill and applied knowledge will be what matters, not whether you graduated from Bob's Community College of Arts and Elitist Douchebaggery.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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