How to get started with web programming

Yesterday, I was talking with one of my friends. He was very satisfied with most of the classes and opportunities he had in the SMSU computer science program. His one regret was that there is a real lack of training in web development.

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Win/MacToday, almost all applications relate to the internet. They either send information over the internet, pull information from the internet, or they are webpages. It is essential for a programmer to have at least a basic understanding of web programming.

I would strongly suggest that any computer science major go through the tutorials at W3Schools.com. They are very informative and can very quickly make you a pro at most aspects of web development. Start with the tutorial on XHTML, move to CSS, and finally SQL. You can do more than that, those are just the bare minimum.
If you do not have access to a web server, install your own “local” web server on Microsoft Windows. Use Devside.net‘s WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) setup. You can then use your Windows PC as a practice web server. In fact, you could actually use it as a real web server if you wanted to. That is what I did at first.

As you begin to get more involved in web development, I would also encourage you to get some sort of Web Development Environment, like Dreamweaver. This is not essential, just recommended. Dreamweaver allows you to see what your website will look like as you are coding it. It makes navigating code much quicker.

Dreamweaver is very expensive, so if you are only a casual user, don’t bother. Instead, get a free alternative like Nvu. I have to be honest, I have never really used Nvu, but I have heard good things about it.

One final note, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT USE Microsoft FrontPage. It is perhaps the worst Web Development Environment I have ever seen. When using the WYSIWYG editor, it turns the code into an unreadable mess. Steer clear of this software at all costs!

A person can usually grasp the basics of web development in a short time. The W3Schools tutorials, in my opinion, provide users with the most success. So go ahead and make some webpages. Happy coding!

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