View Full Version : Which should I learn?
12-24-2009, 09:16 PM
I have no previous programming experience. I have designed websites before in the past using DreamWeaver and understand HTML. I'd like to take the next step and learn how to do some programming but have no idea of what language to learn next.
I'd like to design a regional high school sports website that will cover 40-50 high schools in the region. I'd like to cover several sports and archive previous seasons as well. Currently, I'd have to go in and open each of the school's individual web pages to update scores. For example, say I wanted to update the football scores for the schools I'd cover. I'd have to open 40-50 pages and update the scores one page at a time. I'd also have to update the school's win-loss records as well. I'd like to be able to have each school's schedules generated from a "master schedule" as well as the win-loss record automatically updated.
I understand this may be a tough task and that I'll probably need to study a language for a while before I can master this, but I'm willing to learn what is needed. I just need some guidance to help get me started in the right direction.
Do I go with Perl, C++, PHP and MySQL, or another language?
Any help is appreciated!
I would go with PHP and MySQL. Perl is a bit overboard for dynamic web sites compared to PHP, and C++ is not really optimal for dynamic site creation.
I would look for a book called Visual Quickpro Guide PHP and MySQL from Peachpit Press. It has lots of examples, and is how I really got my intro into PHP.
12-24-2009, 11:17 PM
wige, thanks for your reply! I too was thinking along the lines of PHP and MySQL. I'll look into the book you mentioned as well.
12-25-2009, 02:47 PM
12-29-2009, 07:29 AM
Just one more to add. CSS
12-29-2009, 09:17 AM
I guess you should start with PHP as it is considered the easiest programming language. Moreover, you can find lots of useful and free sources and material about this language.
12-29-2009, 02:07 PM
PHP should be your first language. It is the easiest (within reason) to learn. Once you have that under your belt other languages will make more sense to you.
12-29-2009, 04:38 PM
While you have some well-meaning responses here, I think there are more issues to take into account.
First of all, you don't need to learn any language to start building great websites. I've been programming since the eighties and building websites since before most people had even heard about the Web, but today I almost never build a site from the ground up.
Why not? Because it's quicker and usually better to use a content management system like Joomla. I can build a beautiful site in much less time than it would take me to code one from scratch.
Here are some recent samples:
http://Web-Professor.com (still under construction)
http://cccGourmetFoods.com (uses Virtuemart & Joomla)
http://RisingStarMissionaryBaptistChurch.org (long name, huh?)
There are numerous advantages to my clients when they hire me to build a Joomla site for them. (Watch the video on my website for that info).
As for learning PHP/MySQL (yes, that is the route I would advise if you're sure you want to be a developer), years ago I would have advocated the self-learn route via books and the Web.
Not today. OOP is here to stay and object oriented programming should be learned properly from the start. Check with your local colleges.
Also, it takes a particular type of mind to do well in programming, plus a desire that is so strong that (as in boxing) kids usually start on their own at an early age. Since this isn't the route you took, I would look into the mirror and ask yourself, "Am I really prepared to devote a couple of years or more in properly learning what is essentially a career path?".
It will take dedication and preserverance. It is not like learning to ride a bicycle.
Whichever route you choose - Good Luck!
PS - Thousands of free extensions are offered for Joomla. I believe there are some already designed to track school sports. (See "Extensions" under http://joomla.org ) But if you don't find one to suit your needs, at least your programming needs are reduced to only having to code the scoring portion of your website.
12-29-2009, 05:49 PM
I admire your willingness to learn what is not the easiest course. My experience is the same as yours and I am branching out now to add php when I can find the time. I started using computers 10 years ago and now have 3 websites and am webmaster for those sites and several other clients that hire me from time to time. Cpanel sure is handy as you can use several programs there. This forum is also quite helpful.
12-29-2009, 06:03 PM
Really depends on what your ultimate goal is. What "type" of sites do you want to create?
12-30-2009, 04:50 PM
Just tossing this one out here: If you wish to keep 50 different schools up to date at the the same time, using basically the same information, perhaps you might consider an RSS feed from a central site that is subscribed from all 50 school sites. One feed, one update for each sporting event.
The advice given above on PHP and MySQL is notwithstanding. Keep your goal in mind, as you learn, so you are not taken down too many paths in the early going. What you will find is that your PHP code will end up being 'snippets' incorporated into HTML template pages. Keep it simple.
01-04-2010, 04:50 AM
I have to agree with the comments about using content management systems based in php and mysql. I simply find the amount of free scripting and resources to be great and with a bit of understanding you can usually adapt pre-qritten scripts to suit your needs.
01-04-2010, 05:23 AM
I'd agree that php and MySQL is probably the easiest language to try and learn - but easy is only relative here - learning any scripting language is a major undertaking.
I'd go along with compusolver that there are a lot of good off-the-shelf content management systems (e.g. Joomla, Drupal) that will let you do pretty much anything you want without having to learn the language.
In relation to your specific requirements, it might be that the core system won't do exactly what you want to do, but it's worth spending a bit of time looking through add-in components to check for something close to it that somebody else might have already created.
01-05-2010, 03:30 PM
I endorse what compusolver and Clarrie said.
There are at least a dozen opensource CMS systems built around php and mysql where you can easily establish a classy looking website with little or no php and or mysql knowledge. With the opensource CMS websites you can get a long way if you learn some basic css which will enable you to modify the basic templates to change to look and feel of the site design.
I started like you with html sites built using Dreamweaver and migrated to sites with CMS once I saw the value of separating the content from the site structure. I had no php or mysql knowledge when I started my first site with CMS.
Later on you can learn some php and mysql which will allow you to customise the website functionality.