[thelist] programming info

Ian Anderson ian at zstudio.co.uk
Fri Apr 21 04:33:47 CDT 2006

John DeStefano wrote:
> I'd really appreciate some constructive feedback: ideas on what may
> have gotten you started off on the right foot to learning, books or
> sites that helped you to better understand the process or how to
> recognize what constructs can and should be used in which situations. 
> Anything to give me a boost and help push me up out of this
> nowhereland between "beginner" and "novice".

Hi John,

I think a lot of people in the profession are in the same sort of boat
as you. I flunked out of computer science at university, and worked for
many years in graphic design, training and marketing before ending up
making a living out of web development. Counting myself, I know four
self-employed web developers and none have formal training in programming.

The issue may lie in a single word; necessity. Are there any problems
that you need to solve through coding? I and my colleagues/friends
learned this stuff because we had to in order to deliver some real-world
function or feature that a client was prepared to pay for.

I think you may lack the need to solve a specific problem. It all comes 
back to one thing. What is it you want to _do_?

If it's just general interest coupled with a desire to extend your
skills usefully, perhaps unobtrusive JavaScript would be a good place to
stretch yourself. Have you read Christian Heilmann's miniseries [1] on
this, or Jeremy Keith's book "DOM Scripting" [2]? I would recommend
working through Jeremy's book start to finish. Also, I'm looking forward
to buying Christian's new book when it is done. [3]

Well, good luck



[1] http://www.onlinetools.org/articles/unobtrusivejavascript/
[2] http://domscripting.com/book/

zStudio - Web development and accessibility
- http://zStudio.co.uk
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