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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:41 AM   #1
9OOYO
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Website Development with Dreamweaver CS3 - Beginner

Hello!
A friend of mine recently hired me to work part time as part of their design/creative team for a local company and gave me a license they purchased for Adobe Dreamweaver CS3.

I've been wanting to change careers to Website Development for some time so this seems like the perfect opportunity.

I was looking at Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 in 24 Hours as a starting point (as I have 0 experience in HTML, Dreamweaver or XHTML).

Is this a decent place to start?
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 10:29 AM   #2
Darth.Titan
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Learn HTML and CSS before trying to learn Dreamweaver. It will make your life easier in the long run.

Dreamweaver is most useful as a manual code editor. Their WYSIWYG functionality is just as bad as everyone else's.

W3 Schools
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 10:49 AM   #3
9OOYO
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Originally Posted by Darth.Titan View Post
Learn HTML and CSS before trying to learn Dreamweaver. It will make your life easier in the long run.

Dreamweaver is most useful as a manual code editor. Their WYSIWYG functionality is just as bad as everyone else's.

W3 Schools

I'm guessing W3 Schools is a recommended resource. I'll start using it tonight.

Some folks suggested starting in Dreamweaver and learning HTML by working in it. No bueno?
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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I suggest you use Dreamweaver in this way to learn: Put it in dual pane mode, where code is on top and wysiwyg is on the bottom. Use the code pane to learn coding and the wysiwyg just to check your work. Using wysiwyg only will not teach you good, clean coding techniques. Dreamweaver has good starting templates for static and fluid layouts to learn from but any kind of drag and drop wysiwyg layout techniques probably will not teach you good habits that work cross-browser. If you want a career in web development, you'll also want to learn some php and scripting as well but that can come later. You may want to check out the lessons on lynda.com. Some of them are free and you can see if you like how they are laid out:

http://www.lynda.com/home/DisplayCourse.aspx?lpk2=47603

If you really want a career in web development, you should look into taking some live classes at a junior college or something. There's so much to learn it's overwhelming without a class structure and assignments. Good luck!
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 01:38 PM   #5
9OOYO
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Originally Posted by laurim View Post
I suggest you use Dreamweaver in this way to learn: Put it in dual pane mode, where code is on top and wysiwyg is on the bottom. Use the code pane to learn coding and the wysiwyg just to check your work. Using wysiwyg only will not teach you good, clean coding techniques. Dreamweaver has good starting templates for static and fluid layouts to learn from but any kind of drag and drop wysiwyg layout techniques probably will not teach you good habits that work cross-browser. If you want a career in web development, you'll also want to learn some php and scripting as well but that can come later. You may want to check out the lessons on lynda.com. Some of them are free and you can see if you like how they are laid out:

http://www.lynda.com/home/DisplayCourse.aspx?lpk2=47603

If you really want a career in web development, you should look into taking some live classes at a junior college or something. There's so much to learn it's overwhelming without a class structure and assignments. Good luck!
Thanks for that Dreamweaver suggestion - it sounds like a great way to practice and learn. I picked up an HTML book during my lunch hour and will start by going through it. I'd like to be realistic and learn outside of my regular job, trying to get one-off clients or building my own site just to start. Hopefully within 5-10 years I will have shifted careers. I have a video production background but moved away from production about 5 years ago. Hopefully I can use the experience in video to eventually integrate production elements into web design.

Thank you all for your responses. Your time is greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 02:10 PM   #6
Xian Zhu Xuande
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Some of those Sam's books are quite good. I'll echo what has already been said, though. Before letting Dreamweaver do something for you, make sure you know how to do it by hand (and when this happens you will find that you're doing most everything by hand anyway, and using Dreamweaver to speed things up and help manage your projects).

Using Dreamweaver without knowing the code behind it is a big no-no.

(I've been designing web pages for about twelve years now, and still use Dreamweaver to manage many sites. I like the software. The advice is based on your statement that you want to become a web designer.)

P.S. It doesn't hurt to learn the syntax of XHTML, but focus on HTML5 for general coding. You don't have to use HTML5, but from a professional perspective you should design pages based on that standard.
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