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Looking for advice/guidance


Dahaka
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Hello,I am 19 years old and during my college years I managed to pass a GNVQ Intermediate ICT course, as well achieve IT Users and IT Principles Diplomas from City and Guilds e-quals. Nothing exceptional I know, but that's just a brief insight into my academic background.I have been using Adobe Photoshop for several years now to produce graphics (signatures & avatars) mostly for online communities. I am very modest about my ability and do not regard myself particularly highly. I have also found myself suffering from a chronic graphics block. I simply open Photoshop and become devoid of ideas and technique. I am only really acquainted with some HTML and CSS. I can make your standard Table code layout, only using Div to position my table more specifically. I considered learning how to slice layouts, but I found that a little daunting.With the bar continually being raised in Web Design, I am sure most employers will be prefer designers fluent in HTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, Flash etc. it seems like by the eternity it takes me to learn them, they'll be a whole new batch of coding language to absorb.Although I still have a keen interest in Web Design, I have to ask: 'Do you think it is worth pursuing?' You only have to briefly browse the internet to see an abundance of people creating graphics and attractive websites. Web Design doesn't seem as particular anymore, and consequently is going to be a far more competitive career to pursue.Ultimately, I know it is my decision to make, but I would like some feedback, as I am sure there are many of you here who are blessed with Web Design knowledge and may be pursuing this kind of career yourself. What would you suggest I undertake in order to improve?Thank you for your time- Dahaka

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well I for one think it is worth it. Q. why not just use a site builder or something? A. a site builder can't tell you what's wrong if your site doesn't look right, or if there is an error.that takes care of the site builder competition...probably the next thing you should do is learn Javascript, sharpen up on your CSS, and upgrade from HTML to XHTML.LG

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Considering your graphical skills, it's kind'a hard to understand what are you looking for.I mean... what is your main goal? Designing the graphics of web sites? If so, I would suggests that you learn XHTML and CSS (as perfectly as possible) and not pursuing any other languages. With your graphical skills at hand, you could make a great web designer or in other words: take care of how the pages look. If you can get in a duo with a friend who is fluent with JavaScript and a server side scripting language (in other words: web developer), you could make a very professional team- each one of you only concerned with what (s)he knows and applying all best powers to it.If you mean graphics in general (all kind of logos, photos, etc.), then you don't need XHTML and CSS either. What you already know is more then enough for "common knowledge" and you could concentrate in truly guruing Photoshop.If you mean that you want to become more of a coder and use your graphical skills only as a plus... well, I would take myself as an example...before attempting any web stuff, I had some experience with Bryce 5, Wings3D and Anark 2.5. I was on my way of creating 3D graphics which was a really amazing thing for me. My ultimate goal back then was creating games, but scince I never targeted C++ or any OOP language, I concentrated on 3D models instead. However, I soon saw what's a good 3D model, and when trying to accomplish the same thing I failed. Some small details which other atrist noticed I didn't. I simply don't have the eye for it. Not to mention that there were different editors, different tools to keep track at. When I look at code however, there's all plain text. No colors, shades, edges, cameras, etc. to keep an eye on. No additional tools needed. Text editor is all you need and everything is in the text. It was as if I see it all, or at least, that's what I though when I began. Now I like to think I see what should happen, but not what actually happens (due to a variety of issues every web developer faces every day).What I'm trying to say is that you must concentrate on what you're good at. Not everyone in this world is meant for a web developer, and not everyone is meant for a web designer either. And there are very few who are meant to be both. Infact, I'm starting to think that with all of the great coders here, we miss some good graphic designers.

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There are enough "mediocre" web developers out there that, unless you make yourself stand out from them, it's really easy to get lost among everyone else. People who know HTML/CSS are a dime a dozen, if you want to be able to pull in jobs you need another skill. You can either focus on graphics and make yourself stand out in design, or you can take on something like PHP and focus on functionality, but being plain old HTML/CSS probably won't get you very far. If you want to learn PHP, it's never a bad idea to take a 1 or 2-year college course on programming. If you want a good book to start with, try Programming PHP.codehtml.jpg

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Thank you for taking time to reply to my problem, everyone. Most certainly a lot of food for thought there. boen_robot, regarding what you said about finding my expertise, that is something I have deeply pondered for awhile. Like I said, I am mundane when it comes to graphics design, and a novice at coding, since I only know some HTML & CSS. The thing is, if it turns out I am not cut-out for both, then I really do have some head scratching to do. I'm 19 years old and it's about time I knew what path I wish to follow.So, justsomeguy do you know what an official title of a PHP Programming course would be? It'll be more helpful if you're from the UK, but if not that's cool, I'll just have to browse on my local colleges' websites.I think learning PHP would especially be a fine asset because when I eventually create my own website, I want to install a VBulletin forum into it, which is written in PHP. So, that way I will not have to rely on others so much to assist with the technical side of it.How difficult would you say PHP is to get into? Do you suppose a person like me, who has yet to even master HTML & CSS, would be able to absorb it? Or do you think I should brush up on my HTML beforehand just for the sake of it?

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well, it depends on how well you pick up languages like this. it isn't that hard to learn, if you have the right resources. I used a book called PHP for Dummies (actually, I am still using it) and it seemed to help me a lot. PHP would also help you get a job if you want to design for people.LG

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Hello.Only a couple of months ago I was in, literally, exactly your position. I use the GIMP, but had a block---what to make? Should I waste the rest of my life making little signatures? What should I code? So I decided to learn some new languages. One thing I have to tell you, is that, do not count on coding professionally---no matter how much experience you have. Computer programming, sure. It's a steady road, you know that the job will still be around in 10-20 years. But web coding...who knows? The internet might be even removed in the next couple of years. It's not a good idea to point your eyes towards the internet. Focus on something else. Try computer programming.I'm not saying not to learn all of the web languages---HTML, javascript, PHP, ASP, .NET....XML....CSS.....etc. In fact, you'll probably get better oppurtunites by learning the aforementioned. Just don't, like I said, count on being a professional...lets say, PHP coder tomorrow. Garbageman, sure. Cook, sure. Banker, sure. I hope i'm being clear. Set your sights to something else, and learn the web on the side. Even run a business that you can come home to and play around with.Re your graphics.Graphics will be very important if you ever consider a career in web designing. Websites these days, also known as dial-up-assassinators, are heavily graphics intensive. Like boen has said, pair up with a web developer, and you've got a killer combo. Get a bit famous, and you can seriously make some money off of this. I think, no matter what, try to improve at photoshop. Make web templates and then slice them. It doesn't mattter, as long as you're doing something.Re your PHP question.http://www.zend.com/education/certificationCheck there. They have a list of over 3500 centers where you can get your PHP certificate after taking an exam. They're also an online learning center for PHP. If that doesn't help, I'll dig up some other links.I hope this helps a bit. I know how it feels not to know what to do next :)Choco

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In terms of school and classes, I got my education in a standard computer science course, and that has helped me more than anything else. There were no web programming or PHP courses there, but if you learn the basic concepts of programming you can apply them in any language. My university covered around 12 languages or so during the entire run, just to illustrate different concepts or paradigms in languages. If you are serious and have 4 years or so to spend, then look up some of the entry-level classes. I don't know what the UK uses, but in the US they would have titles like CSE 100, CSC 100, CS 100, or something like that, you are looking for an introduction to programming or an introduction to computer science. If you spend the time and learn about the programming concepts, you can apply them to any language you want, and you can do web programming like ASP or PHP, or you can do simulators or desktop applications or whatever else.As an example, here is the course catalog for the Department of Computer Science at Arizona State University. You can expect to take most (not all) of the 1xx-4xx level classes. Of course, the 5xx are where the fun happens.https://sec.was.asu.edu/coursedb/search/res...ear=2006&term=7

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