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Classes/career Advice?


mike60640
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Hello all,Not sure where to post this, but this seems the best forum for these questions. I'm looking for advice from those working in the world of web development on where to focus from here.I worked in a commercial photography studio for the last 22 years (retoucher, management, all the tech management as well) and now find myself looking for work. Retouching work is hard to find and because photographers are looking for work, they are also taking retouching work. As well as there is less of it to be had.I have lots of experience in graphics, digital images, art direction, and logical/technical thinking. But I think i need to move in more of a web focused career building on what i already know. I did old frame based web design a long time ago, and have started to learn clean css/xhtml design.My questions are this....What web areas would you recommend I focus on? CSS, Flash, PHP, etc...What technologies are hotter in web design or going to be?Are certificates/diplomas that valued when hiring? (in photography it never mattered, it was always about your book) If so, what are they? I have no idea what's available.I guess that's enough broad questions for now. Thanks for any feedback.

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I would definitely focus on CSS/HTML. Since you have good digital media skills, you should probably try your hand at Flash; that's not something everyone can do well, or least in the same amount of time it can take to get a handle on the basics of CSS/HTML. I think playing on your skills as a designer will really compliment your technical skills as your progress. Best best is to just start making sites and see what you come up with and what people think of it. A good portfolio says a lot in this industry.Peeking into the PHP tutorials in some time could be helpful too if you want to start adding more dynamic content to your site, say in the shape of image galleries and the such, or other content delivery mechanisms.

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Thanks. I thought CSS/HTML/XHTML would be the base of my education. But was also thinking that feels a little basic and everyone and their grandma are using programs to do it for them that it might not offer enough of a career edge. And i need to eventually go another step and learn more. Flash may be a good focus cause it is more difficult and not everyone does it. As long as no one says "Flash is going to be dead because..."I also think because I don't have the years of experience, having completed courses or certificate of some kind (if ones exist) might help (as well as good samples), cause I'm 43 and not getting any younger.

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Flash is going to be dead because of HTML 5. :) Well, not necessarily, but Flash's purpose-base has been eroded in recent years with the evolution of JavaScript and the emergence of advanced lightweight scripting libraries of said language that allow most of what was previously only possible in Flash to be completed in a simpler, lighter, and more compatible fashion with JavaScript. HTML 5 will bring further technologies to the table, such as advanced multimedia tags, that make Flash even more redundant for general web and interactive design. Personally, I would learn JavaScript.Note that even though you may end up moving on to more advanced languages, in the end you still need to use HTML and CSS to deliver your pages.

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Thanks for that GREAT foresight. I will take it to heart.
But keep in mind that it will be quite a few years down the road before Flash becomes obsolete, as the HTML 5 spec is moving slowly, and even if it was to reach reccomendation status tomorrow, the thing that matters most anyway is whether it is supported by browsers, and browsers have a varying degree of supporting vaying HTML 5 features. We're far from the day where we could truly say that all browsers completely support HTML 5, and every one of its APIs.
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But keep in mind that it will be quite a few years down the road before Flash becomes obsolete, as the HTML 5 spec is moving slowly, and even if it was to reach reccomendation status tomorrow, the thing that matters most anyway is whether it is supported by browsers, and browsers have a varying degree of supporting vaying HTML 5 features. We're far from the day where we could truly say that all browsers completely support HTML 5, and every one of its APIs.
Thanks, that is the reality of how slow things change. HTML -> CSS -> javascript (and maybe throwing in good understanding/samples of Flash) does sounds like good plan.
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