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Wannabe Geek

Topic # 222690 23-Aug-2017 23:02
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Hi Everyone

I'm a complete newbie to geekzone and joined specifically to ask this question after reading other forum topics and being thoroughly impressed with the community here.

I recently started playing around with some web coding languages and, in a nutshell and to my complete surprise, discovered that I really enjoy it!

So far its only basic stuff in html & css so that I could tinker with WordPress themes a little bit, but the more i discover the more I want to learn! 

I've signed up with Team Treehouse and have worked though some basic tutorials and that's going well :)


To get to the point I've decided to embark on a completely new career path, get out of these muddy steelcaps & hi-vis vests and pursue a career in web development.

After getting very excited about this new venture I soon became very overwhelmed with all that the big wide world of IT has to offer! I haven't had much to do within the IT industry so now I'm reaching out for guidance and tips.

Can anyone advise or share your experiences about the best way to become ready to enter the workforce as a web developer.

In particular:

- paid courses/diplomas/degrees VS open source learning?

- what learning institutions are worth investigating (online or in Wellington)?

- what are the entry level requirements for a web developer in the industry?

I'm ready to work hard, to go out there and kick some courses in the arse, or hibernate in my home office until I've scoured through all the open source learning there is available, so I'm not looking for a quick overnight slingshot to a dream job!

What I want to avoid is wasting time or money committing to a learning path that fails to deliver the basics.

If you made it through my rambling, I'd love to know what your thoughts are.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Ben :)





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3219 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 907

  Reply # 1851638 24-Aug-2017 07:41
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I'm not in web development but have developed api's used by web developers. 


I've wondered whether self learning beats going to a polytech or university.  Probably for specific technical skills self learning is fine. 


Good luck though. 

855 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 255


  Reply # 1851654 24-Aug-2017 08:45
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I am a web application developer.


Although i made my first website about 17 years ago, and things have changed dramatically. However I want to say good on you at giving it a go. I started out in a much similar way to you. 


Back in 2000 I learned HTML. There was not a lot of CSS back then. Most if the styles etc were done with HTML itself. 


I took another job in 2003 selling IT Technology but myself and another guy found the tools we were using to sell it pretty rubbish. So he was self taught in Python, and he built a web based quoting system. I wrote the html front end for him back in 2003. I dabbled here and there for many years, working in sales and as an IT consultant. Then decided to go to Massey Uni and do a Graduate Diploma in Computer Science. 


I have worked with many self-taught people, and many program taught people. And what I have found is some people have a real knack for it, and others don't. I have seen some amazing developers who have taught themselves and written some interesting stuff. On the other hand many self-taught people have knowledge gaps, or can lack understanding from a bigger picture as to why you would do a task a certain way. 


Learning a way to structure an application is quite different than doing the grunt work. And the layout and design is a different kettle altogether. Generally larger project contain teams with mixed skills. 


Admittedly web developement has become more complex when you look at it from a beginners/face value point of view. There are so many back-end languages. Where you can't go wrong is getting a strong understanding of Javascript and HTML/CSS. But as for the server side languages, you can use:








python (C#)




golang (go)




There is no right or wrong. But there are personal preferences. I don't really like node.js because its package manager npm is rubbish once a project gets out of date. But it is a great language for asynchronous processes, its very fast and efficient, and in a nutshell it is basically javascript.




I learned a lot in my grad diploma, feel free to ask anything. But my best piece of advice is to pick something and stick with it, dont try to chop and change until you have mastered a lot of skills. 



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