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Old 03-18-2014, 01:10 PM   #1
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Default Learning to Program or Build a Website?

*Disclaimer*
I'm a technologically illiterate econ. major with no computer knowledge/skills, so please forgive me if I sound dumb.

With that said, I have a question about learning how to program a computer or build a website. First, is making a website essentially computer programming? i.e., do you have to learn to program in order to create a website?

Secondly, if someone like me with zero computer skills (other than knowing how to type and go online, etc.) wanted to learn how to program, where would I start?

Any good books, websites, etc.? Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

Start with some basics How to Create a Simple Web Page With HTML (with Examples), This is a really good site with lots of useful resources HTML Tutorial
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

You don't have to do HTML to build a website. There are plenty of resources out there that will do all that in the background.

Choose a website builder: 12 top tools | Web design | Creative Bloq
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

Whilst there certainly are many web site builders out there for you it depends on what you want to achieve.

If let's say you owned a business and just wanted a basic web page for it I would recommend a website builder like JMac recommended.

However as a skill to learn to build websites it is essential to learn it properly.

The W3Schools link BK posted is an excellent place to start.
I think in general Google is your friend.

Go through the W3Schools stuff on HTML inc HTML5 and CSS.
Then toy about with it yourself for a while.

In terms of programming in general a couple of things to add.

There are two very popular routes you can go, Web and Desktop, and don't think Desktop Applications are past it, far from it!

Desktop I would recommend something in MS .net either C# or VB. There are a lot of tutorials out there and free tools from MS.

Web well there is a debate as to if HTML and CSS are programming technically they are a markup language and "don't really do anything", in terms of web programming you should look at JavaScript, PHP and again some of the .net stuff.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

To Learn "Computer" programming, I would actually recommend this tutorial.

Python is an older language (although still plenty used), but here's the thing (IMHO) about programming...

Programming is programming is programming.

Every language I've programmed in is essentially the same thing. Now before any code monkeys (which I happen to currently be one) jump in here; all the languages essentially boil down to different kinds of logic statements. Loops, case, if/then/else... they share the same basic principles. Performing logical operations on variables to find an answer.

That's certainly not to say that every language is the same or even has the same capabilities, because they are very different and certainly unique all in their own little ways. Once you understand one though, I've felt that it was easy to transition to another because most of the fundamentals carry over. This isn't true in ALL cases, but for the most part it is.

To Learn "Web" programming, the guys above are pretty on par. w3schools is the holy grail of information on coding standards, and specifically for Website coding. You can get pretty indepth with some of the tutorials, but the basic HTML one will give you a pretty good idea of how pages are constructed and what all a page consists of.

Good luck!

Oh, and don't feel bad about being computer illiterate... I'm a database developer and I damn near flunked micro-economics, so just because you don't understand computer stuff doesn't mean anything. Not all computer guys understand your field of study either.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPwn View Post
Oh, and don't feel bad about being computer illiterate... I'm a database developer and I damn near flunked micro-economics, so just because you don't understand computer stuff doesn't mean anything. Not all computer guys understand your field of study either.
Not all "computer" people understand everything about computers either. I couldn't program anything to save my butt, but I work as a Tech Coordinator managing hardware/networking/servers/etc. And for the record, I got a B in economics 101
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
Not all "computer" people understand everything about computers either. I couldn't program anything to save my butt, but I work as a Tech Coordinator managing hardware/networking/servers/etc. And for the record, I got a B in economics 101
Lol... True true. It's common though for non-technical people to feel stupid when asking techies questions (which I believe that stems from the nerd backlash syndrome) though and I try to bridge that gap (habit from working in Help desk?). All of us have our downfalls, so people shouldn't feel bad or stupid when asking a question that isn't in their field of expertise.

For the record, I am terrible at Economics/Accounting/Statistics. I think I got a D in those classes. However, D = Diploma!
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPwn View Post
To Learn "Computer" programming, I would actually recommend this tutorial.

Python is an older language (although still plenty used), but here's the thing (IMHO) about programming...

Programming is programming is programming.

Every language I've programmed in is essentially the same thing. Now before any code monkeys (which I happen to currently be one) jump in here; all the languages essentially boil down to different kinds of logic statements. Loops, case, if/then/else... they share the same basic principles. Performing logical operations on variables to find an answer.

That's certainly not to say that every language is the same or even has the same capabilities, because they are very different and certainly unique all in their own little ways. Once you understand one though, I've felt that it was easy to transition to another because most of the fundamentals carry over. This isn't true in ALL cases, but for the most part it is.

To Learn "Web" programming, the guys above are pretty on par. w3schools is the holy grail of information on coding standards, and specifically for Website coding. You can get pretty indepth with some of the tutorials, but the basic HTML one will give you a pretty good idea of how pages are constructed and what all a page consists of.

Good luck!

Oh, and don't feel bad about being computer illiterate... I'm a database developer and I damn near flunked micro-economics, so just because you don't understand computer stuff doesn't mean anything. Not all computer guys understand your field of study either.

Very helpful and thank you! I was told by a dormmate that Python is what they teach still was an intro course to computer science.

I saw her work and it was very meticulous, but she said it wasn't hard. Just that it took a lot of time. ....Of course, she's a CS major, so that may not be true for me. The intro class here holds 150 people and isn't full yet, so I can still sign up maybe for next Fall as a pass/no pass class.

I just really want to learn somehting like this for fun. Appreciate the link!
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPwn View Post
Lol... True true. It's common though for non-technical people to feel stupid when asking techies questions (which I believe that stems from the nerd backlash syndrome) though and I try to bridge that gap (habit from working in Help desk?). All of us have our downfalls, so people shouldn't feel bad or stupid when asking a question that isn't in their field of expertise.

For the record, I am terrible at Economics/Accounting/Statistics. I think I got a D in those classes. However, D = Diploma!
In all honesty, I think anyone can major in and get A's in econ. It's probably an interest/time thing for you guys. I've seen the CS homework of two friends of mine and it looks HARD!!....Long math looking problems with symbols I've never seen before (for my friend doing artificial intelligence).

Econometrics is about as tough as it gets for econ. and really all you need is basic one year of statistics for any social science. We're not math heavy at all. I think if you asked your average STEM major to focus a whole semester on social science (like econ.) and nothing else that they'd get straight A's. The reverse just doesn't seem true. I think a lot of social science folks would totally bomb something like computer science, math, physics...

But that's just my personal impression.

I think the biggest problem for me is conceptualizing stuff in these other fields. Econ and history both come naturally to me. But, of course, my grandfather was an MBA and MA in Econ grad working for a large bank. So, we talked macro-economics all during my childhood. heh heh. ...And I used to be in stock market simulator competitions at Investopedia.com as a kid learning to trade derivatives. That stuff is just fun!

On the other hand, I can't conceptualize stuff in math, physics, engineering, etc. well at all. Just very diff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
You don't have to do HTML to build a website. There are plenty of resources out there that will do all that in the background.

Choose a website builder: 12 top tools | Web design | Creative Bloq

Quote:
Originally Posted by BK_123 View Post
Start with some basics How to Create a Simple Web Page With HTML (with Examples), This is a really good site with lots of useful resources HTML Tutorial
Thanks both of you as well!! Goingn to check them out after this semester ends! Summer is free for me, yay!
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Learning to Program or Build a Website?

No, you don't have to know how to program to make a website. There are lots of website builders that generate code for you.

If you do want to learn html, php etc. I recommend Learn to code | Codecademy Online Tutorials
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