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#1 InfiniteStateMachine  Icon User is offline

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Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:51 AM

At present, I have just completed a semester where I learned a lot about web development:
1. Database-backed websites, using the common 3-tier structure (presentation, business, and data layers)
2. XML and web services (primarily of the RESTful variety)

Now that summer is here, I want to delve into something more deeply by exploring a web application framework, and I am looking at four options:
1. PHP/MySQL (Freely available, and I have the necessary stuff on my computer to do it. Plus, I already have a complete text at home that can take me through the various aspects of using that particular stack.)
2. Some Java framework, such as Play (Java is the language where I have the most experience and knowledge, so this would be a way to deepen my knowledge of the language around a specific area of programming and design.)
3. Rails (Widely used, seems to be an industry standard.)
4. ASP.NET with Visual Studio (Seems very well developed, and I have used it before, so I'm familiar with the process of linking up the tiers. Also seems to be lots of good books available on the topic. The downside is that I would have to get a Windows machine.)

I do not have a specific project ahead of me, so it's not really a question of what will allow me to do specific tasks. It's more a question of the best place to focus my efforts for the sake of learning something that will open up good professional opportunities.

Any input will be greatly appreciated...thanks!

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#2 laytonsdad  Icon User is offline

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:33 AM

IMO if you want to learn something, do it. If you don't have a specific job for this project then pick the one you are most interested in and do that one then do the next one and so on. there is no reason you can't like and know them all. Right? :2guns: just kill it.
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#3 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:06 PM

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

1. PHP/MySQL (Freely available, and I have the necessary stuff on my computer to do it. Plus, I already have a complete text at home that can take me through the various aspects of using that particular stack.)

PHP is a good platform to know. There's always demand for good PHP developers. - The world is overflowing with bad PHP developers though. But if you've studied 3-tier architecture, and are at least aware of things like SQL Injection and the need to validate user input, that would already put you ahead of most of those.

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

2. Some Java framework, such as Play (Java is the language where I have the most experience and knowledge, so this would be a way to deepen my knowledge of the language around a specific area of programming and design.)

I haven't used anything like Play, but the old-school Java EE stuff that companies tend to use for their web based Java apps is very much a pain to use. Not recommended unless you've got extensive experience with Java.

This Play thing seems to run of Scala? Sounds interesting for personal/educational purposes, but I wouldn't bet on it being a hugely positive move professionally. Java is the "sturdy" language that companies use when they want things to be reliable. Those who want to be "edgy" and innovative tend to go for things like Python, Note and R&R. (Or at least they used to. Not sure what is considered "edgy" these days; it seems to change too frequently to keep up with. Perhaps Play is that now, and I'm just behind the times :)/>)

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

3. Rails (Widely used, seems to be an industry standard.)

I wouldn't exactly say that. Ruby on Rails is somewhat popular, but it doesn't really measure up to PHP, .NET or even Java and Python when it comes to actual usage. Definitely not something I would call an "industry standard". The professional market for R&R development would be far smaller than that for any of the other four mentioned languages, PHP and .NET in particular.

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

4. ASP.NET with Visual Studio (Seems very well developed, and I have used it before, so I'm familiar with the process of linking up the tiers. Also seems to be lots of good books available on the topic. The downside is that I would have to get a Windows machine.)

A huge downside, I'd agree, but .NET is not a bad professional move. It tends to be second only to PHP as far as potential for getting work is concerned. (Though location and market fluctuations play in to that.) It's also a pretty interesting platform - the MVC thing at least - and Visual Studio is a great IDE. It's a relatively costly route, but a good one.
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:35 PM

View PostAtli, on 31 May 2013 - 02:06 PM, said:

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

3. Rails (Widely used, seems to be an industry standard.)

I wouldn't exactly say that. Ruby on Rails is somewhat popular, but it doesn't really measure up to PHP, .NET or even Java and Python when it comes to actual usage. Definitely not something I would call an "industry standard". The professional market for R&R development would be far smaller than that for any of the other four mentioned languages, PHP and .NET in particular.


The RoR market in Boston seems to be quite hot, for what that's worth.
My impression - and this is only an impression - is that PHP is moving into a COBOL mode. You'll be able to get work maintaining sites forever, but the opportunities to deploy new sites will be falling off, not ramping up.

Since you say you have java experience, I'd suggest that Ruby (or python/django) will be more your speed. It'll feel more like what you're used to. Play might be interesting, but I don't know anyone working in it, so that might be a warning sign.
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#5 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:44 PM

There is an interesting infographic here (Nov 2012).
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#6 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 31 May 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

My impression - and this is only an impression - is that PHP is moving into a COBOL mode. You'll be able to get work maintaining sites forever, but the opportunities to deploy new sites will be falling off, not ramping up.

I can't agree with this. I've been working on PHP development for ages, and I see no signs of demand for new sites using PHP going down. If anything, with the improvements to the language these last few years, and the fact that a lot of the popular frameworks for PHP are getting pretty mature and reliable, it's actually more of a contender in enterprise level development these days than ever before, where Java and .NET have traditionally been the favorites.
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#7 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 01:08 PM

I have to agree with Atli, particularly as the WAMP/XAMPP stack makes it so easy to get up and running (which we also know to be part of the problem with PHP ;)).

http://w3techs.com/t.../pl-php/all/all

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PHP is used by 80.1% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.

(but I don't know how reliable a statistic this is :))

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 31 May 2013 - 01:12 PM

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#8 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 31 May 2013 - 01:47 PM

As I say, it's my impression from where I'm sitting. I've been wrong before, and I might be wrong now, but that's what I'm seeing.

I really don't want to turn this thread into a language war, just reporting on the view from over here.
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#9 InfiniteStateMachine  Icon User is offline

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:22 AM

Ah, I thank you guys for the tips. :smile2:
It seems that PHP/MySQL and Rails may be the best two to start with. From there, I can branch out to ASP.NET...and then to whatever else, as needed.
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#10 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Recommendations for a first framework to learn

Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:32 AM

Just to post a differing viewpoint:

View PostAtli, on 31 May 2013 - 03:06 PM, said:

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

1. PHP/MySQL (Freely available, and I have the necessary stuff on my computer to do it. Plus, I already have a complete text at home that can take me through the various aspects of using that particular stack.)

PHP is a good platform to know. There's always demand for good PHP developers. - The world is overflowing with bad PHP developers though. But if you've studied 3-tier architecture, and are at least aware of things like SQL Injection and the need to validate user input, that would already put you ahead of most of those.

PHP is everywhere, and I agree that it's easy to stand out. It's actually verboten where I work due to its many flaws, but a tool is a tool and php lets you get going easily and quickly.

Quote

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

2. Some Java framework, such as Play (Java is the language where I have the most experience and knowledge, so this would be a way to deepen my knowledge of the language around a specific area of programming and design.)

I haven't used anything like Play, but the old-school Java EE stuff that companies tend to use for their web based Java apps is very much a pain to use. Not recommended unless you've got extensive experience with Java.

This Play thing seems to run of Scala? Sounds interesting for personal/educational purposes, but I wouldn't bet on it being a hugely positive move professionally. Java is the "sturdy" language that companies use when they want things to be reliable. Those who want to be "edgy" and innovative tend to go for things like Python, Note and R&R. (Or at least they used to. Not sure what is considered "edgy" these days; it seems to change too frequently to keep up with. Perhaps Play is that now, and I'm just behind the times :)/>/>/>)

Mostly agreed. There's nothing fun about web dev in Java, end of story. Scala is something that I think is very much worth learning if it interests you, but I'd avoid EE if I were you; it's unmotivating.

Quote

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

3. Rails (Widely used, seems to be an industry standard.)

I wouldn't exactly say that. Ruby on Rails is somewhat popular, but it doesn't really measure up to PHP, .NET or even Java and Python when it comes to actual usage. Definitely not something I would call an "industry standard". The professional market for R&R development would be far smaller than that for any of the other four mentioned languages, PHP and .NET in particular.

Rails is HUGE in the startup scene, and it definitely not trailing any (or even all of them) Python framework in the web dev sector, either. It has clear advantages over .NET for the "fun factor" and for portability, and is the second most popular language where I work (we have a LOT of Java services).

Quote

View PostInfiniteStateMachine, on 31 May 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

4. ASP.NET with Visual Studio (Seems very well developed, and I have used it before, so I'm familiar with the process of linking up the tiers. Also seems to be lots of good books available on the topic. The downside is that I would have to get a Windows machine.)

A huge downside, I'd agree, but .NET is not a bad professional move. It tends to be second only to PHP as far as potential for getting work is concerned. (Though location and market fluctuations play in to that.) It's also a pretty interesting platform - the MVC thing at least - and Visual Studio is a great IDE. It's a relatively costly route, but a good one.

.NET is a solid framework and both C# and F# have REALLY nice features. Visual Studio is a far superior (in my opinion) IDE to most used by Java developers. I personally would never chain myself to the Windows platform, but that's truly all I have against it.
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