Category Archives: design

How to become a web developer?

There’s a HECK of a lot to learn to be able to do web development effectively. Just to be ABLE to do it, you have to learn:

 

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP or some other server-side language

To do it EFFECTIVELY, you’ve got a lot more to learn:

  • SQL
  • JavaScript
  • libraries and frameworks
  • a bug tracking system
  • Subversion or some other revision control system
  • IDEs
  • other tools
  • Apache
  • Linux command line

To do it WELL, there’s even more:

  • usability
  • unobtrusive JavaScript
  • separation of concerns (MVC, etc)
  • testing
  • customer relations 
  • HTTP protocol
  • AJAX

I think that skipping PHP and the others and going straight to Rails is a good idea. Maybe. At least if he’s talented. But he’ll still have to learn a lot of things before he’s any good at creating a site. (Don’t forget that we found Rails easy to learn because we already knew a lot about web development.) He’ll still have to understand HTML and CSS. The Agile Web Development with Rails books is excellent, but it takes a lot to get through. If you’re the type who can read a manual to learn how to do something, then it’s fine. But if you need to start out with a tutorial, then you’ll need to start with a different book. If you do go this route, I’d recommend learning in this order:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Apache (as little as possible to get 2 virtual hosts running)
  • Rails
  • Subversion
  • Test-Driven Development
  • Ruby
  • SQL

If you want to make a living at it, I’d expect it to take at least a year of full-time (self-)education. Everyone learns differently, so it’s hard to recommend learning materials. I’ll offer some ideas though:

  • books (my favorite; I look for conciseness)
  • formal training classes
  • (community) college classes
  • local user groups (attend if topic is pertinent)
  • online videos/screencasts
  • podcasts
  • web tutorials
  • blogs (hard to get the basics though)
  • personalized training
  • mentoring

If he just wants to play around, I suppose the order is not as important. Learn things as they interest you. Eventually, you’ll find you’ve learned a ton and enjoyed doing it.

Alexa Changes it’s design With Addition of Some New Features

New Alexa Design Alexa an Amazon.com company is best known as a website that provides information on web traffic to other websites. Today Alexa changes it’s design module with addition of new Features like daily average rank, daily average Time spent, previous day rank and more.

Screenshot of the new website traffic overview page.

Alexa Screenshot

Also it have effected some of the websites’ traffic rank. Alexa ranks sites based on tracking information of users of its Alexa Toolbar for Internet Explorer and from integrated sidebars in Mozilla and Netscape.

With change in design and introduction of such features, I think it will also improves the accuracy of the traffic rankings.