DIY programming

What do I need to setup on a computer to toy with programming?  We have a custom app that I would like to tinker with and perhaps post a series of questions on EE as I tinker.  First question is, where do I start?  Set up a test environment? If so, can any of you post idiot proof links for downloading and installing a test environment? I assume that is step one?

Here is the list of tech used in the app:

C#
ASP.NET 3.5
JavaScript
AJAX
Ajax.NET (http://www.ajaxpro.info/)
WebDAV (Exchange interfacing)
SQL Server 2008

Libraries
iText (PDF generation)
zxing (barcodes)
jQuery

Version Control
Subversion SVN
wfcrrAsked:
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Daniel ReynoldsConnect With a Mentor Software Applications Developer / IntegratorCommented:
Go to microsoft and download Visual Studio . there is a free version or you should be able to get the 90 day trial of the professional version.

You can also download jQuery, (google it)

Also, Subversiion SVN is an open source product if I recollect correctly. You can google it and go  to it's download page directly.

You will probably be able to download and use SQL Server Express to take care of the SQL Requirements. (that is microsoft as well)
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wfcrrAuthor Commented:
Visual Studio Express, there seems to be several versions?  Can you look at this and let me know?

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads
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Daniel ReynoldsSoftware Applications Developer / IntegratorCommented:
Visual Studio Express 2010 should do you fine seeing it is .Net 3.5
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What Kind of Coding Program is Right for You?

There are many ways to learn to code these days. From coding bootcamps like Flatiron School to online courses to totally free beginner resources. The best way to learn to code depends on many factors, but the most important one is you. See what course is best for you.

 
Eugene ZConnect With a Mentor Commented:
please clarify your question? are you asking where to get software for free?

if MS (some from your post)

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/default.aspx

free with limits
Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Express
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=1695

or for ~$50 sql2008 DEV edition

also check MSDN Virtual Labs
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/aa570323.aspx
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wfcrrAuthor Commented:
thanks for that EugeneZ. Am looking for input as start dabbling with code and the first thing seems to be how to set up the environment. Where I am at as of last night:

Installed Visual Studio 2010 Express.
Already had SQL Server 2008 installed.

I ran VS last night and went through a couple of tutorials.

What should I do next?  If it simplifies things, I am open to screen sharing so you can see the custom app and then give a little more pointed direction.
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Eugene ZCommented:
it depends what do you need

you can buy books and\or use online tutorials
for example
the C# Station Tutorial
http://www.csharp-station.com/tutorial.aspx

check the free C# projects
http://www.codeproject.com/KB/cs/
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wfcrrAuthor Commented:
I have another question open called "Browser based, but adjusts...".  Can you look at that question and then come back to this one and give input on next step in learning? I did look at the tutorial sites you rec, wonder if there is a more precise starting point, based on what I am wanting to do right now.
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Eugene ZCommented:
<based on what I am wanting to do right now. <computer to toy with programming>

please clarify your  goal
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wfcrrAuthor Commented:
What is the next step, or do you require a lengthy goal dialogue before you can offer next step?  I need to develop a way for a client to log in to our custom biz app and that will be done via browser using smartphone or laptop.  The first thing is what platform to use so that their splash page will auto adjust to their device.
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angus_young_acdcCommented:
It is a very broad requirement you have as you haven't mentioned your own experience.

When I want to tinker with something I just install the software that's needed, look at the code, see if I can understand what it is doing.   I think it would be best to start with the basics before jumping in to specifically alter your existing application, that way you will understand more about what you wish to achieve and how you could go about it.

Oh and I think it's technically a development enviroment you should be aiming for, test would be after you've made your changes.  Then again that's just my opinion.  :-)
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