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Learning Code & Career Change


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Hello Everyone,


I've recently joined W3schools and have a couple of questions.


1. In which order is it best to learn each subject, or does if matter?

I'm currently looking into php/SQL/HTML in particular, but I can see that each time I learn one it relates to another - I understand that this is always going to be the case with learning coding/programming, but is there a recommended 'order' to learn each subject? Or is it best to learn the progressively all at once?


2. Moving into coding as a career. Realistic?

I currently work within manufacturing but after 20 years really don't have the passion for it any more and feel that it is time for a change and to do something where I feel I can make a difference and that I will enjoy. After using formula to create small programs in Microsoft Excel, my interest in coding has grown over recent years and my passion really is in this area. I feel it is now time for me to change my career, but how realistic is it to find a role and how long does it take to learn enough to become capable of taking on a coding/developer role? (bearing in mind that I'm pretty much a beginner). As a guide I'll probably be studying 1 to 2 hours per evening and probably about 5 hours per weekend (so about 10-15 hours per week). I have a mortgage and planning a family in the next couple of years so really need to remain on a Salary greater than £20,000 per year.


I'd be interested on hearing your thoughts, recommendations and any success stories similar to my above position!


Thank you for your help!



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Learn HTML and CSS first. Don't move on to anything else until you understand them properly. People who code in HTML without knowing CSS end up making really bad HTML. The important thing to understand is that you don't use HTML to make things look pretty, write the HTML to describe the content that is within the tags. Later on you can use CSS to put things in their place.


After you're proficient in HTML and CSS you can learn Javascript and PHP. The order in which you learn them does not matter much. While learning PHP you'll encounter SQL examples.


I have no idea how long it takes on average to learn web development. I've been 10 years at it and still learn new things these days, there was no specific moment when I suddenly changed from beginner to expert. I can guess that one year is probably enough to get you started for an entry level job if you dedicate yourself to it, after that you must continue to dedicate yourself to it and keep learning all the time. Read reference manuals, look for things you still don't understand and find the answers.


If you've never looked at coding before in your life it might take you a while to understand it. It takes time to adapt to a new way of thinking.

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Thanks for your quick response Ingolme.


I'm sure I'll have more questions but thank you for pointing me in the right direction!


I was told to look into coding as I enjoy writing excel spreadsheets/programs. Coding much tougher than excel formula, but I'm enjoying learning it.


Thanks again!

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  • 2 weeks later...

If your looking for a hobby and enjoy coding then PHP/SQL may be the way to go, but if your aim is to get a career than the quickest route is to learn HTML and CSS as Ingolme mentioned. But these skills alone will make it hard to compete in the workforce unless you learn how to design in Photoshop as well.If you really dedicate a solid year to learning HTML, CSS, Photoshop, and best practices, I would then look for a job as a web designer at big corporation. Where I'm from in the states, small agencies will pay web designers $25-$45k/year, but at the big company I work for, they start web designers out at $26/hour (~$54k/year). I've been working here a year and a half and make $32.50/hour. That's $67,600/year which would be £44,855.84/year. Once you get some income to support your new skill set and learning, you can start learning JavaScript and PHP to fulfill your desire to really code.


If your looking for a real coding out the gates, I'm probably not the best person to answer. Where I live however, they are always looking for Java Developers and we hire a ton of them locally, and off shore.


One perk about the web design field is that I'm often encouraged by my employers to learn more. I go to meet ups, forums, and classes paid for by the employer and the more I learn, the more valuable I become. The more valuable I become, the more I get paid. So I'm getting paid to learn more and get paid more.


Whatever you choose, good luck!

Edited by Day
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