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  1. #1
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    Coding for Non IT Enthusiasts

    Hi all,
    I'm a Chartered Account (40 yr old) with keen interest towards technology in general.
    I want to learn coding and make a living out of it.
    But I've some queries before I embark on this journey:
    1- Can a person who holds no degree / certification in IT, learn HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python etc. enough to dream about making a living out of it?

    All the following questions r valid only if the answer to the above question is a Yes.
    2- Can u pl guide me the sequence in which I should learn the languages. Here is what I've learned from my little research on web:
    1> Html 2> CSS (it should in fact be started while learning html) 3> Javscript 4> Python and others.
    3- Which is the best resource (Free for starters) to learn all these? After some research, I've selected w3schools.com on my own and although I'm already halfway through the html tutorial, I would still like to have a professional advice.
    4- Do I need to get some certification before I present myself as a coder or I can just share some of my projects alongwith my CV and get work?
    5- How long should each of the languages take in my case? I mean I can't commit years for this overall learning considering my current age.
    6- I've heard there r now many WYSIWYG apps which make learning these languages futile. Would u agree?
    7- Would I be adding value being a chartered account and knowing how to code?

    And yeah, I'm interested in part time jobs only because I'm running a textiles related business of my own. It's just that I think I'm not utilising my skills fully by not learning what I like to. And also, there's nothing wrong in making an extra buck if one has enough time at hand.

    Thanking in anticipation!

    Best Regards,
    An Accountant!

  2. #2
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Forget the antiquated w3schools web site - just about any other web site offering tutorials will be at least 5 to 10 years more up to date than that site.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  3. #3
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    You most certainly can. Many of the students that I have taught in the local Technical College have had no background in Web Development. I also run a freelance web design business in the Southern US and I have quite a few freelance developers that work for me on my customer sites that do not hold a degree.

    The sequence that I would follow is as follows.

    1. HTML / CSS - these should be learned together as one is for structure (HTML) and one is for styling (CSS)
    2. PHP / MySQL - (Most everything now is becoming dynamic design) This will give you a good start into designing dynamic web sites and PHP & MySQL are still the most popular languages for dynamic web design. Although there are a couple of newer technologies that are making inroads.
    3. JavaScript / jQuery - this will allow you to add interactivity to the sites you design.

    From there there are many branches you can take, but these are the basics.

    Remember HTML and CSS are NOT programming languages. They are scripting languages. There is a big difference.

    Once you learn one programming language, for instance PHP, the rest f them will become easier. They all have fundamentals that are the same. The syntax may be a little different, but a conditional statement is a conditional statement, an Array is an Array and a Function is a Function, if you get what I mean.

    I have over 200 free videos on my site that can get you started. These videos are based on the classes that I teach at the Community College. I developed them for my in class students to reinforce what they were learning in the class and to help them grab the concepts of web development. I update them frequently to try to keep up with the developments in the languages.

    When I interview for positions in my freelance crew I do not ask for certifications or degrees. I actually give them a test that I developed that looks at their overall knowledge of "Best Practices" and coding principles. It gives them examples of code or structure and I ask them to complete the exercise, design a page, connect to a database, create a database, run through an returned array, etc.

    I found that is much better than looking for certificates or degrees. I have seen many people with degrees in Computer Science that could not even design or layout a landing page.

    Depending upon your background, many of these can be learned rather quickly if you really want to learn them. It will all depend on you. You will get out of it what you put into it.

    Most professional developers DO NOT use WYSIWYG editors. They have too much bloat and overhead. They do not follow "Best Practices" and they tend to generate code that is very difficult to modify and structure for SEO. That is not entirely their fault as it takes years to develop a good WYSIWYG editor and the code specifications are constantly changing. If you find a development team that is depending on Dreamweaver or something similar to develop high volume customer sites, they do no know what they are doing and are doing their customers a disservice.

    With that said, it is not unusual to develop BETA sites for customer demonstrations on those types of editors. They can save a ton of time and allow you to get the customers focus on the platform and not the structure to lock down the requirements. But these types of sites are never meant to Go Live they are just to demonstrate functionality.

    I hope this helps you.

    Let me know if you need any additional information.
    Mike
    Learn Web Development - OnLine Video Training OnTargetHTML5
    Have Questions On Training or Web Development: Contact Mike

  4. Users who have thanked MikeK for this post:

    Accountant (09-02-2016)

  5. #4
    Senior Coder deathshadow's Avatar
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    1) Whiskey tango foxtrot is a "Chartered Account"? I assume you mean accountant, no clue why you keep leaving off the "ant" making it confusing nonsense.

    2) Degrees mean bupkis, the prize in a cracker jack box is worth more than most sheets of paper unfit to wipe with that universities hand out when it comes to IT.

    3) You might want to work on your normal language skills BEFORE you try delving into computer languages. Your broken Engrish moist goodry "Me love you long time" is going to hobble you greatly.

    As generally speaking I failed to comprehend around two thirds of what you posted. It was gibberish.
    I would rather have questions that can't be answered, than answers that can't be questioned.
    http://www.cutcodedown.com

  6. #5
    Administrator VIPStephan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Accountant View Post
    5- How long should each of the languages take in my case? I mean I can't commit years for this overall learning considering my current age.
    I’m sorry to tell you that years is exactly the time it will take if you really want to be a professional (and a good one at that). Web development isn’t just about knowing the scripting languages, it’s also about knowing information architecture in general, semantics (when it comes to HTML), UI/UX design, best practices, and all these things. And it will take you years to fully grasp that. However, it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re determined you’ll get jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountant View Post
    6- I've heard there r now many WYSIWYG apps which make learning these languages futile. Would u agree?
    No. Programs can never replace humans entirely, for they are lacking common sense.

  7. #6
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Consider the time it took you to become a Chartered Accountant. It will take about the same amount of time to learn enough to become a good programmer.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Forget the antiquated w3schools web site - just about any other web site offering tutorials will be at least 5 to 10 years more up to date than that site.
    Thanks for ur reply!

    Can u pl suggest any other resource then?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIPStephan View Post
    I’m sorry to tell you that years is exactly the time it will take if you really want to be a professional (and a good one at that). Web development isn’t just about knowing the scripting languages, it’s also about knowing information architecture in general, semantics (when it comes to HTML), UI/UX design, best practices, and all these things. And it will take you years to fully grasp that. However, it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re determined you’ll get jobs.



    No. Programs can never replace humans entirely, for they are lacking common sense.
    Thanks for ur reply!

    Ok so how many years...considering an intelligent student who can spare 2 hours daily and for 6 days a week?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow View Post
    1) Whiskey tango foxtrot is a "Chartered Account"? I assume you mean accountant, no clue why you keep leaving off the "ant" making it confusing nonsense.

    2) Degrees mean bupkis, the prize in a cracker jack box is worth more than most sheets of paper unfit to wipe with that universities hand out when it comes to IT.

    3) You might want to work on your normal language skills BEFORE you try delving into computer languages. Your broken Engrish moist goodry "Me love you long time" is going to hobble you greatly.

    As generally speaking I failed to comprehend around two thirds of what you posted. It was gibberish.
    Aw that was a typo...and that's the best of my normal language I can currently offer. Sorry for that!

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIPStephan View Post
    I’m sorry to tell you that years is exactly the time it will take if you really want to be a professional (and a good one at that). Web development isn’t just about knowing the scripting languages, it’s also about knowing information architecture in general, semantics (when it comes to HTML), UI/UX design, best practices, and all these things. And it will take you years to fully grasp that. However, it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re determined you’ll get jobs.



    No. Programs can never replace humans entirely, for they are lacking common sense.
    Would u pl reply to my other questions too?

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Consider the time it took you to become a Chartered Accountant. It will take about the same amount of time to learn enough to become a good programmer.
    The same amount of time? That's a lot!

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
    You most certainly can. Many of the students that I have taught in the local Technical College have had no background in Web Development. I also run a freelance web design business in the Southern US and I have quite a few freelance developers that work for me on my customer sites that do not hold a degree.

    The sequence that I would follow is as follows.

    1. HTML / CSS - these should be learned together as one is for structure (HTML) and one is for styling (CSS)
    2. PHP / MySQL - (Most everything now is becoming dynamic design) This will give you a good start into designing dynamic web sites and PHP & MySQL are still the most popular languages for dynamic web design. Although there are a couple of newer technologies that are making inroads.
    3. JavaScript / jQuery - this will allow you to add interactivity to the sites you design.

    From there there are many branches you can take, but these are the basics.

    Remember HTML and CSS are NOT programming languages. They are scripting languages. There is a big difference.

    Once you learn one programming language, for instance PHP, the rest f them will become easier. They all have fundamentals that are the same. The syntax may be a little different, but a conditional statement is a conditional statement, an Array is an Array and a Function is a Function, if you get what I mean.

    I have over 200 free videos on my site that can get you started. These videos are based on the classes that I teach at the Community College. I developed them for my in class students to reinforce what they were learning in the class and to help them grab the concepts of web development. I update them frequently to try to keep up with the developments in the languages.

    When I interview for positions in my freelance crew I do not ask for certifications or degrees. I actually give them a test that I developed that looks at their overall knowledge of "Best Practices" and coding principles. It gives them examples of code or structure and I ask them to complete the exercise, design a page, connect to a database, create a database, run through an returned array, etc.

    I found that is much better than looking for certificates or degrees. I have seen many people with degrees in Computer Science that could not even design or layout a landing page.

    Depending upon your background, many of these can be learned rather quickly if you really want to learn them. It will all depend on you. You will get out of it what you put into it.

    Most professional developers DO NOT use WYSIWYG editors. They have too much bloat and overhead. They do not follow "Best Practices" and they tend to generate code that is very difficult to modify and structure for SEO. That is not entirely their fault as it takes years to develop a good WYSIWYG editor and the code specifications are constantly changing. If you find a development team that is depending on Dreamweaver or something similar to develop high volume customer sites, they do no know what they are doing and are doing their customers a disservice.

    With that said, it is not unusual to develop BETA sites for customer demonstrations on those types of editors. They can save a ton of time and allow you to get the customers focus on the platform and not the structure to lock down the requirements. But these types of sites are never meant to Go Live they are just to demonstrate functionality.

    I hope this helps you.

    Let me know if you need any additional information.
    Thanks for such a detailed reply and especially for the encouragement.

  14. #13
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    Umm btw, how can I delete or edit a post?

  15. #14
    Administrator VIPStephan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Accountant View Post
    Umm btw, how can I delete or edit a post?
    You can only do that after you have been a member for a certain amount of time. This is to prevent users from just deleting their questions once they have been solved.
    I’ve gone ahead and deleted the duplicate posts.

    I wouldn’t get too worked up about how long it takes or what certifications you need. If you’re interested in learning stuff, learn it and do some projects on the side with the knowledge you’ve gained at the point. You’ll never get hired by anyone if you can’t prove your abilities by examples. And to get examples and build a portfolio you have to just do stuff while learning (or learn while doing stuff). Tutorials just get you so far. Nobody cares how many HTML elements or PHP functions you know, people want to see live results. It could start with personal websites for friends or some pro-bono projects for associations in your community.

    In the past I’ve recommended HTMLDog for starter tutorials on HTML and CSS. I don’t know how current their website is but I guess it’s still a good place to start. But remember, you only learn by doing. So, pick a near goal to which you want to work towards, e. g. a simple website for a start. You’ll come across problems for which you need solutions and you’ll find them on the internet (e. g. in this forum), and that’s the best way to learn. And after some time you might feel confident enough to apply for jobs.

  16. #15
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    An outdated website, it will not survive


 
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