Hello, Salute and Hola! Let’s talk about languages, specifically programming languages…
I often get a lot of emails and messages (Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal…lol.), and one of the main questions is what is the best programming language for me to start out with, or what would the perfect programming language be?
Short Answer: There’s no such thing. Pick a language and let’s rock n’ roll. If you’ve seen any of my videos, I’ve broached this subject before and I think, “there’s really no number one language. This is a fantasy, an illusion (WILL saves – BOOM; old school DnD reference.) that beginners would be interested in because at the end of the day, the language that’s going to be number one depends on the type of work you’re going to do, depends on where you live, depends on the type of programming you want to do…”.
“First rule of programming: You don’t lose if you learn a language…All the modern languages share a lot of the same fundamentals, qualities and characteristics…”. Think of it like this: you’re 10 yrs. old in your parents basement playing super mario bros. on your nintendo ( please don’t sue, nintendo.). Then your older brother or sister enters and pops in super mario 2! At first, you’re a little trepidatious – different levels, different enemies – but after 3o seconds you’re back in saddle as you realize it’s still the same game – jump, jump, beat the boss, / next level: jump, jump, warpzone, / jump, jump, beat the final boss, finish the game, grab a pizza pocket and a soda, go to your room and air guitar to the RUSH album you stole from your brother’s room <the 80’s were a simpler time, yung’unns>.
Of course we’re going to go into more depth in the video <plus another RUBY zing :)>. But know that’s there’s really no one perfect programming language. Get out there, learn your craft, and you’ll always have the tools you need!
PHP is probably the best web app development language out there today for a bunch of reason technical, and market oriented. But it’s not the only language out there and it doesn’t have a monopoly of good programming.
Comparing Programming Languages
An important lessons that my 20+ years of programming experience has taught me, is that one of the best ways to learn one programming language, is to learn another! By learning different programming languages, you will start to gain deeper insights about your first programming language.
Every so often people ask about building a CMS (content management system) and so, I decided to included a snippet from an email I recently sent. One point I want to make clear; you can build a CMS using any server side programming language (PHP, Ruby, Java etc …) I just recommend PHP because I think that for most people out there, PHP makes sense.
From the email:
Before you can Build a CMS, you need to understand PHP basics … I would recommend either you get some of the basic PHP courses or you get our Complete Programmer package:
I am happy to announce yet another screencast tutorial for all you nerds out there: Build A Content Management System.
OK, not the most exciting title, but still an exciting course for those PHP nerds who want to go from PHP basics and get into building a full-fledged PHP application from scratch.
Learn how to build a content management system that provides a website all the tools needed to allow basic web users to manage the website content with ease. Over 6.5 hours of tutorials over 41 videos!
Here are some details about the video tutorial:
This course is aimed at intermediate level web developers, demonstrating how to build a basic PHP based content management system that uses object oriented programming techniques and implements the MVC pattern.
I occasional use emails I get as the basis for a post … here we go again:
I have been a member of the Killersites University for a while now and a very satisfied student who is learning web design well. However, I am at a fork in the road.
I have learned from Killersites about HTML and CSS and now there is HTML 5 and CSS 3. I haven’t covered any of the other videos yet. I don’t know where to go next in relation to the newest videos you have posted. Maybe I should go to PHP next, or Java Script, or Flash, or HTML 5… i dont know.
So would you please layout a course outline, in that, tell me in which order I should learn your courses. Assume that I am going to go through all of them eventually and please include the placement of HTML 5 and CSS 3. Also, just so you know why I am learning, I am a videographer wanting supplement my programs with killer websites that display video and interacts with the user. I am using Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 currently.
Thanks for all you do.
My short answer:
HTML 5 and CSS3 come later because they are still niche/mobile technologies.
When choosing what technologies and skills you want to develop, you have to really consider your own goals and where the Web is at. So for instance, I see Flash is loosing a lot of its’ steam, and I think that it might be wise to not invest in Flash and related technologies:
– Flash Remoting
Unless of course, you are in a niche market that uses Flash a lot.
I suggested PHP next (for this student) simply because:
– PHP it is used everywhere.
– PHP is very useful in day-to-day web work.
– Unlike Flash, I don’t see PHP’s popularity dropping any time soon.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere on the moon, you know that iPhone and now the iPad have a lot of users and are effectively a market that web developers and designers have to pay attention to – you might be asked to build or design something for these popular devices some day.
To help get you going, I got my nerd brother Richard to put together an article that introduces iPad and iPhone programming – this is a view from 10 000 feet …. so even web designers might learn something as well.
A quick quote from the article to entice you:
The introduction of the iPhone by Apple a few years back caused a lot of excitement among both consumers and developers. The iPhone was arguably the first mobile device that made both mobile computing and web surfing practical. The iPad (which runs on iPhone OS) has been met with skepticism in some quarters. But so far it appears to be selling well and attracting a lot of interest from content creators.
Apple originally intended that the main source of third-party applications for the iPhone would be web applications, and there are of course many of these. But something funny happened when Apple released the iPhone SDK and an App Store to go with it â€“ people came. Developers developed and consumers consumed.
In our ongoing effort to provide top quality screencasts authored by working web designers and web programmers (that means practical training) … we just released a new set of videos on PHP CRUD.
The official summary:
This is a six part series that covers how to create a basic application that creates, reads, updates and deletes records (often called CRUD) from a MySQL database using MySQLi. MySQLi helps prevent SQL injection, a common security issue. Understanding how to use a MySQL database and work with database records is an essential skill for beginning web developers.
Once and a while I use an email question as the basis of a blog post. This time, someone wanted to know about Dreamweaver and PHP:
I am looking to get some videos on using Dreamweaver cs4 creating dynamic sites with PHP and MYSQL, do you have any videos on this using the drag and drop features etc with some code writing also?
The short answer:
Dreamweaver‘s drag and drop features are very brittle. I was a beta
tester for DW CS4 and the programmers themselves told me that they would
be looking to trash it for the next version of Dreamweaver – they knew
it was a mess.
… It can be used for simple things (and prototyping), but the code is so messy and
convoluted, that any changes that you will probably have to make to
your project could be a nightmare. You are much better off learning PHP
and using Dreamweaver as a PHP code editor … and it’s pretty good at that.
In my basic course on PHP, I use Dreamweaver as the code editor and I
touch on in as far as how Dreamweaver can be used to write PHP code. You
can see a bunch of sample videos here: http://www.killerphp.com/videos/
This is just going to be a quick blog post, because I am still busy getting killersites.com up and running properly after an emergency server move I had to make.
The short story …
I had been using the same hosting company for many years and generally with not too many issues. But in the last year, things started to go downhill fast. The server was very slow (overloaded) and it went down way too often.
The last straw that broke my weak nerd-back, was a complete shutdown of my account by some pencil-necked twit who decided that killersites.com had too much traffic … so this no-nothing nerd suspended the account!
… You have to understand, I had been with these guys for 5-6 years, I’ve spoken to the founder/owner on several occasions and they used killersites.com as a feather in their cap:
‘… we proudly host killersites.com.’
So this unannounced shut down of the entire site was shall we say, vexing.
When it get’s that bad, it’s time to leave fast!
A quick threat of legal action got the site back up quickly, but I was warned killersites.com had too much traffic and I had to move it. So, I moved it to our own dedicated servers right away … within hours.
So why did I not change over to our own dedicated server years ago?
Killersites.com has been around for about 13 years now and it has a lot of old legacy stuff floating around. Specifically, we are talking about old Perl scripts and a couple of Java based web applications.
… Once you get these sort of things working, you’d best leave them alone. That hassle combined with my general laziness caused me to keep killersites.com sitting on the old server, even when some early evidence of trouble started to brew. You can’t underestimate laziness!
Continued trouble …
So as I write, I have still to get the old Java forum up and running again and the Perl based directory is not fully operational. The nice thing though, is that all the PHP based applications:
– WordPress blogs
– Newsletter script
– PHP based forum (to replace the Java created forum)
… migrated easily and are working fine. Once again, no hassles with PHP and I highly recommend you learn PHP as a web designer.