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  1. #1
    New to the CF scene
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Creating a web app in 2019 from scratch. What methods should one learn?

    I am new to web development and want to create a particular web application. Right now my mind is pretty blurry: there are is so much to learn that it can feel too overwhelming to get started. Is it even possible? I am really dedicated to creating this web app.
    - For the past two weeks I have been putting a lot of time into..
    - learning a) HTML and CSS: now I could create static pages.
    - Then I learned some Javascript and could make these pages dynamic. I learned basic jQuery functions because that made getting the functionality I wanted a lot easier.
    - Then I wanted to be able to store user input on forms on my page, to a database. Now I started reading about PHP and mySQL... And other solutions.

    Basically I've found out now that 'developing it all from scratch' is way too tedious and there are many technologies out there that can make developing web apps easier (or possible).
    Right now I'm pretty convinced that the following is a good way to get started:
    - Use django as web development framework.
    --- Knowledge of Python is a prerequisite to use django, so I immediately dove into the Python courses from Michigan State, which seem a nice resource so far.
    - More frameworks! - use React as framework for the front-end, the UX design.
    - Next, on the django web site I've read that the standard django server is NOT meant for production/deployment, just for developing purposes...

    This last finding made me sad: for a good day, I thought learning python and django would enable me to produce my holy grail, my live web app. But no - the back-end needs to be taken care of as well. I want to create the app's functionality and the design, but I do NOT want to be concerned with the server architecture; that seems way too much for now. But now it seemed like I also HAVE to become a server architecture specialist in order to get my app running securely on a well-configured server (the end-goal). Then my search for information continued. I learned that there are Platform-as-a-Service solutions like Amazon Web Services that can host the web app built with django (even free for a year). A big party like that, or other big parties, will definitely be better able to securely serve my web app and data to and from users, than when I try to setup some server myself as mandatory fix.

    So this is my plan now:
    - Become proficient in using django as a web development framework.
    --- But first, become proficient in python.
    - Become proficient in React to develop the front-end, the UX design.
    - Write the app using above technologies.
    - When done with the above, deploy the web app on AWS or a similar SaaS-provider to prevent server-headaches.

    Would you think this is a solid approach to get started with developing web applications?

  2. #2
    Supreme Master coder!
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Cottage Grove, Minnesota
    Thanked 1,189 Times in 1,179 Posts
    Most of us use PHP (server-side scripting) / SQL (PDO) for databases. PHP is something so common, example WordPress, and even this forum you're using now is PHP. A ton of support, examples, pre-existing scripts and it's fairly easy to learn. That being said, PHP is not the only player. Some people still like Perl and webhosts still support it. There is nothing wrong at all with learning other programming languages. You may want to create a "native app" that runs directly on IOS or Android. Now you'll be look at other programming languages.

    You picked django/python. Go for it. There are probably support forums that specialize in django.


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