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Old Feb 1, 2005, 10:29 PM   #1
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Taking Computer Classes

I am a junior in high school (17 years old). I know a fair amount about computers and I am very familiar with the Apple computers. I want to start programming, building nice web layouts, templates and pages, and just learning more about computers in general. I plan on having my profession revolve around computers when I'm out of college. Anyone know where I can start learning? I was thinking of taking tech classes at my local community college or university? Maybe a virtual online course? Or maybe just getting a simple easy to read book at Barnes and Noble? Any ideas?
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 10:40 PM   #2
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W3 Schools

Start at W3 Schools and then just look at other sites you like, viewing the source and see how it all works.

Reverse engineering is a wonderful way to learn.

However it isn't clear whether you want to do web design or web developing, I'm primarily a developer but my girlfriend is constantly amazed that I can actually make some good design decisions as well so apparently it is possible to do both. If you're more interested in the development side of things start looking into Open Source Projects on SourceForge that sound interesting to you and look into the source.

I've found books to be best only as reference material but you might have different experiences so there is no harm in picking up a book here and there, just not any of the "... for dummy" books.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 06:16 AM   #3
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Going to a school that's a "design school" would help greatly if you wanted to be a webmaster... although you can certainly pick it up naturally. However, you'll find that a "design school" will make you more or a design expert which IMO is more important that learning to build the pages because that's easy.

Also, if your school offers a computer science class I would take it. Many high schools also offer to pay for college classes if it's not included in their curriculum. Other than that, tech classes at a community college may be a good start also. However, if it's basics you will find yourself bored... a lot.

As for starting now, I would recommened trying to learn html/xhtml/css/maybe fiddle with graphics. I would take at least 1 or 2 computer science class before reading computer science books. Mostly because it's the practice problems and the help you get that you need, not the material.

So, as for your college career, make sure you view the curriculum because that is important. As for starting right now, it truely really only depends on you to learn.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 06:33 AM   #4
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My suggestion is : "Don't do it". Let me elaborate on that :

I am an IT professional for the last 14 years and since I work in this industry, Your friends and familly will become customer. they will no longer call you to have a beer or lunch without a idea behing their mind. Exemple : let's invite Joe for lunch, he can maybe look at our computer later. Excelling in computers is a curse.

If you go in webdesign, you friend and familly will ask you to build website for them for free of course. They will try to start on their own but soon you will be their major source of information. they won't use google or forum but your phone.

In a brighter note, there is solution. I setup a basic price for my familly and friends. If they call me for any technical assistance, they know i will charge them a minimal price, no matter what it is. It's to make sure they only call me because they really need help. I'm glad to assist them when they call because I know they will call serious issues and not simple "how-to" questions.

Working in computer could be a very fullfill job, Just remember this, One day you will the hero, the next you could be a zero. If you can learn to live with that reality, then this type of works is for you.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 12:40 PM   #5
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Good for you!

I actually teach a introduction to web design at my local college here in town. Thing is myself, I've never taken any design classes and have taught myself everything I do today and teach through first hand experiance and getting in there and doing. I think taking a class will give you a lot of the basics for you to build upon, or at least thats what I teach in my class. I literallly give students all the tools they need to become a professional web designers, its just up to them to provide the talent.

On the other hand, programming is much different then design. I actually started out as a computer science major when I began college and it just wasn't for me. I couldn't stand sitting there for 8 hours a day trying to make a tic-tac-toe game work. But thats just me.

They are two totally different sides of the spectrum, design and programming, and if you can do both (which is rare - most people are one or the other) then you will be in good shape.

Anyways, thats my 2 cents
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 09:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ChicoWeb

They are two totally different sides of the spectrum, design and programming, and if you can do both (which is rare - most people are one or the other) then you will be in good shape.

Anyways, thats my 2 cents
it's true programmers make crap webpages. also for design, you gotta be able to draw. even if you want to be a computer graphics designer, if you don't have a knack for drawing (or modeling or illustrating) then stop. sure you can make a site with photography and other simple shape graphics and text, but for a designer you just can't get by with that (note: you don't have to draw well). i have a friend that does a lot of photoshop tutorials to make cool stuff, but in the end he is only relicating a toolset. for a designer you need to be able to replicate what's in your mind.

anyway, go to the Library!!! since you are in school you can request your library to request other books from other libraries for free pretty much and then based on that you can make a suggestion. i recommended browsing on amazon for general books then asking your library. i also want to recommened textbooks because they are made for learning. for this I recommened going to a college bookstore and browsing the books the professors pick for their classes.

oh, one last thing. you really want to have a portfolio going out of college. this means

oh and for programming learn java
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