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Learning Web development / programming

Hi all,

I am looking to start learning web development/programming.  I have been searching the internet but haven't yet found some of the answers I am looking for.

From my initial search it seems that starting with HTML and/or HTML5 and CSS is a good starting language (correct me if I am wrong).  Or should I jump straight to PHP or perhaps even JavaScript?  I have very basic knowledge of Python.

That however isn't my main question but feel free to answer :-) .  I have been looking for a good book or learning tool/guide to get me started but am unsure what to look at.  Something that is fun to read and has interesting projects to test your knowledge at the end of each chapter or section.

So, what suggestions do you all have for someone who is just starting out?

Thanks
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Marius Gunnerud
Asked:
Marius Gunnerud
4 Solutions
 
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
HTML5/CSS is where to start.  PHP, ASP.Net, and the other scripting languages build on that.

There are too many resources to name, but here are some  good, general places to start:
http://www.w3schools.com/
http://www.w3.org/
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Ray PaseurCommented:
I would probably start with HTML4 to get a feel for markup, then HTML5 because that's where the world is going.  You will also need to understand CSS and (a little) JavaScript.  As soon as you have a foundation in JavaScript, move directly to jQuery.  As you learn jQuery. the CSS will suddenly make a lot more sense.  Next, learn PHP and MySQL.

The learning resources, including books, from SitePoint are excellent.  Other good resources are available online at W3Schools, Tizag, CodeAcademy, CodeAvengers. And techie people are pretty good about reviewing techie books, so if you find a book that is highly rated by a lot of people at Amazon.com, you can bet it's worth the investment (so long as it's not more than a couple of years old).

FWIW, I teach PHP for Boston University and I have accumulated 11 shelf-feet of PHP books over the years since I started using the language (PHP3 in 1999).  My two favorite "starter" PHP books are these:
http://www.sitepoint.com/books/phpmysql5/
http://www.amazon.com/PHP-MySQL-Web-Development-Edition/dp/0672329166/
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
As usual, I agree with Ray.  You need to know about HTML so you will know what to do with PHP on a page.  Other than general programming ideas, I don't think Python is a good starting point.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
There are literally tens of thousands of tutorials for HTML and CSS. there is very little point in trying learn other web technologies until you have mastered both CSS and HTML, because they are the underlying technology that everything else depends on.

HTML is the structure and and content carrier.  CSS is the presentation layer. They are not complex, and they are not programming languages they are markup notation.  For dynamics the next thing you learn should be javascript which will introduce you to the Document Object and then you will actually be learning to program the effects and dynamics.

Stay away from jquery until you have a very good understanding of javascript.  A huge mistake that many new web developers make is jumping into jquery shortcuts and plugins without understanding that jquery libraries are just a layer of abstraction for javascript.  learning jquery without fully understanding javascript will cripple you and limit your ability to interact directly with the browser.

Once you are comfortable with those client side pieces you can move to any number of server side scripting platforms PHP/mysql is the most common, but asp, jsp, and others including python also have a place, though python is not very widely used.

Cd&
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Ishaan RawatDesigner | Developer | ProgrammerCommented:
You know ... According to me learning by video is more effective then by just reading...

Check this site it has almost all languages and coding tutorials with 100% knowledge...

http://thenewboston.org/tutorials.php
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Marius GunnerudSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your insight
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I can read very fast and I hate videos for learning.  For one thing, you can't copy and paste from a video to try it yourself.  And I can read a lot faster than they can talk.  And I can jump around to get the parts I want instead of waiting for 'them' to get to it.
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