how to choose the first web programming language?

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#1 Guest_vosnbpwg*


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how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:19 PM

The choosing of the first programming language for dynamic web page programming

I do not have any particular project in mind. My aim is to choose the right first web language for educational purposes. All answers and opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

1) What are the most demanding languages in the industry for dynamic web page programming?
2) Would you recommend to start learning a first language that would give me bigger job opportunities in the future? Or should I choose the language that is easier to learn?
3) What features of the language should I look at in order to make a good choice? In other words, Which of these features are considered as strength or weaknesses of the web language?
4) Do you think my previous knowledge of system programming (C++, Java) would be of much help learning a dynamic web language?
5) Since I am only picking a language for educational purposes, should I take the compiler for that language into consideration?
6) How should I pick the right tutorial since there are so many of them?

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Replies To: how to choose the first web programming language?

#2 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:22 PM

Know your static HTML and CSS first, then Javascript/PHP seems to be a good combo.
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#3 v0rtex  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:37 AM

Yep, Definitely learn HTML first then CSS and then PHP I think.
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#4 Creecher  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 05:33 AM

What I did:

HTML -> CSS -> PHP/SQL -> Javascript.


Some people I know chose JScript before PHP/SQL, but I liked the way I did it.

Really, theres no wrong way to go, it's just finding which one you like the most and sticking with it :)
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#5 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 05:40 AM

HTML should take you like 30 mins to get the basics, then a bit longer for CSS, then combine and play around for most effective results. The more advanced HTML might take a while, but don't get discouraged. PHP is just like any other scripting language, so if you know bash or something, it's kinda similar (but not a ghetto), and you should know how to make basic SQL queries, which is pretty easy peasy. tizag.com is a great resource, try that!

Now the harder part (for me anyways) is setting up the damn server lol.

This post has been edited by NeoTifa: 20 May 2011 - 05:41 AM

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#6 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:13 AM

HTML > CSS > Javascript > PHP/MySQL
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#7 codeprada  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:30 AM

View PostNykc, on 20 May 2011 - 09:13 AM, said:

HTML > CSS > Javascript > PHP/MySQL


You're gonna need to know SQL (MySQL) syntax to manipulate databases since most websites these days rarely run without one. Apart from knowing syntax languages you must know how to prevent threats against your site. Each language has it's own form of vulnerabilities which when you're making a production site need to know. There's XSS, SQL and mail header injections to name a few.

C++\Java's syntax is somewhat similar to PHP's. Programming concepts like implementing classes, interfaces, loops, etc... are carried over to other languages.

As opposed to picking a tutorial...I'd suggest getting a book or ebook. Why? Books cover topics in sequence thus not introducing you to advanced topics when you haven't learned the prerequisites as yet. If you go through online tutorials and such, which is not a problem, you'll find that certain aspects of a language you'd have missed.

Example You don't want to learn about PHP's interfaces and abstract classes when you haven't been introduced to construct and deconstruct methods.
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#8 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:47 AM

The path I listed is more less the path I chose, however depending on your overall goals/objectives HTML/CSS are fairly easy to adapt and learn and with that knowledge you will possess the ability to serve up static pages. Javascript is essential for handling client side scripting and using the JQuery library. PHP/Ruby are both viable server side languages which will give you the ability to communicate server side and make a website truly come to life.

More recently as I dive deeper and deeper in my professional career as a web developer I am finding the need to know more and more about Git and Apache/IIS. Not languages/scripts per say but there are learning curves to handling both of them.

While it is good to know language concepts/fundamentals it is important to know things like Content Management Systems, .htaccess files, URI handling, Installing and managing an Apache Server. LAMP/WAMP/MAMP stack and or Managing an IIS server Cookie handling, Frameworks (Rails, .NET, ZEND)

If you are looking to get into web development knowing this stuff is priceless. I continue till this day to learn new things - so it never stops.

Follow developer twitter accounts, follow developer blogs, become active in forums/communities.

It won't happen over night, but it is a good field to choose for a career path as they are always looking for developers.
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#9 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 07:16 AM

View Postvosnbpwg, on 20 May 2011 - 12:19 AM, said:

The choosing of the first programming language for dynamic web page programming

I do not have any particular project in mind. My aim is to choose the right first web language for educational purposes. All answers and opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

1) What are the most demanding languages in the industry for dynamic web page programming?
2) Would you recommend to start learning a first language that would give me bigger job opportunities in the future? Or should I choose the language that is easier to learn?
3) What features of the language should I look at in order to make a good choice? In other words, Which of these features are considered as strength or weaknesses of the web language?
4) Do you think my previous knowledge of system programming (C++, Java) would be of much help learning a dynamic web language?
5) Since I am only picking a language for educational purposes, should I take the compiler for that language into consideration?
6) How should I pick the right tutorial since there are so many of them?


One at a time, then. For "dynamic web page programming"...do you know what the potential candidate languages even are? As pretty much every person here has said, there is PHP but there is a fair amount of other languages to choose from. You should have a short list of languages assembled so that folks here can more narrowly address the other questions you raised.

"Educational purposes"? Perhaps a more clear definition of what you meant here is required. Is this for school?

"Most demanding languages". Well, that would depend on both your ability as well as what you define demanding to be. Demanding is a rather subjective assessment.

Better money vs easier to learn (aka "quicker money"). Again, that has more to do with what you want to do, doesn't it? One thing I will say: there are a metric ton assload of PHP devs in the world and as such, they don't tend to demand as much per hour as devs who use competing languages. Perhaps you should also think about how long whatever language you select will be relevant. Not too many years back you'd have heard folks telling you how great Powerbuilder is, for instance. Today, not so much.

Your knowledge of C++ and Java ought to have introduced you to logical thought processes and OOP...both of which will serve you well as a web dev no matter what language you select.

Many web dev languages don't have a compiler. The code gets executed most often by a web server that translates the finished product to HTML and Javascript to send to the user's browser. Not too many web dev languages require you to be an expert at configuring the web server (although it is a handy skill to have).

As for tutorials, well, you first need to select the language you're going to use. Once you've made that decision then simply ask people "I'm thinking of trying out XXX tutorial. Has anyone used this and if so, what did you think?"

Truly though...start by narrowing down your list of web dev languages to a reasonable few candidates. At that point, the merits and detractions for each can be directly compared. As others have already pointed out, HTML, Javascript and CSS are to be considered mandatory skills you should possess no matter what language you choose. Those languages include (but aren't limited to) PHP, ASP, JSP, Coldfusion, Python, Ruby, Flex (kinda), Perl...and prolly more than I'll be able to recall.
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#10 BenignDesign  Icon User is online

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 07:24 AM

How to choose the first depends entirely on what you currently know.
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#11 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:46 AM

well web programing revolves around HTML, so first learn HTML. just in case it hasn't already been said enough.
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#12 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:19 AM

There's nothing that says you can't learn these things simultaneously.

And Craig is correct. Just because the first few people mentioned PHP doesn't mean that's the only way to go. I'd suggest learning ASP.NET MVC 3. Especially if you have Object Oriented programming background. It follows the very popular Model View Controller pattern, and puts a heavy focus on HTML/CSS/Javascript for the frontend, where as traditional ASP.NET used ASP controls. And since you have Java experience, C# won't be all that big of a leap.
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#13 EnvXOwner  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:08 PM

HTML -> CSS -> PHP -> Javascript -> Ruby/Python.
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#14 dorknexus  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:11 PM

consult the necromages.
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#15 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to choose the first web programming language?

Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:13 PM

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the really important part? just START. you're thinking about learning more than you are learning now. fix that.
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