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  1. #1
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    strange question...

    I've done some html and some basic CSS in the past and took an intro to computer programming course in high school, but other than that I'm pretty ignorant of the whole coding world.

    I have an idea for a website that I want to make in the next few years and I need to start learning how to program so that I can make it. However, I'm not even sure which language or whatever that I need to start taking courses in!

    To give the basic concept of the site's workings (without giving too much away, obviously) is that each new user to the site will fill out a questionnaire. The site will have a database of a bunch of experts who filled out the same questionnaire. Every time the users log in they will see a display of the top 10 "experts" whose profile most closely matches their own (i.e. had the most similar answers to the questionnaire) and what opinions they each gave on whatever new thing they are seeking an opinion on.

    For example, say a user wants to find out whether he'd like the latest macbook. When the user goes to that page, he'll see a display of the opinions given by the 10 tech reviewers whose opinions most closely match his own (based on the questionnaire every user and tech reviewer takes when setting up their account).

    Do I need to learn a programming language like C++ or something to do this? Or do I just need to learn javascript? Do I need to learn about a server language? I'm a big newbie at this, and I'm willing to take the time to learn, but I want to make sure I'm learning the right thing. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Regular Coder Linux_Sage's Avatar
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    This sounds like a web server & database setup.

    So yes, a server side language and a database of some sort will be needed as well as a web server. There are a variety of ways to go about this but the first question you need to ask yourself is what platform you wish to develop on.

    Windows?
    Perhaps ASP.NET with C# or VB.NET as the server side and SQL Server as the database with IIS as the web server.

    Linux?
    Perhaps a LAMP setup (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP).

    There many, many other choices out there however I've only listed those I'm most familiar with. I suggest you do some research on them and determine which route you would like to take. Basic knowledge of HTML/CSS/Javascript won't be enough however. You have a lot of learning to do such as how to code in said server-side language, and how to utilize your database and query it, etc. It's a broad topic.

    I suggest you find a book or resource that touches on web and server-side development as a whole so that you could learn the infrastructure of it all.

  • #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linux_Sage View Post
    This sounds like a web server & database setup.

    So yes, a server side language and a database of some sort will be needed as well as a web server. There are a variety of ways to go about this but the first question you need to ask yourself is what platform you wish to develop on.

    Windows?
    Perhaps ASP.NET with C# or VB.NET as the server side and SQL Server as the database with IIS as the web server.

    Linux?
    Perhaps a LAMP setup (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP).

    There many, many other choices out there however I've only listed those I'm most familiar with. I suggest you do some research on them and determine which route you would like to take. Basic knowledge of HTML/CSS/Javascript won't be enough however. You have a lot of learning to do such as how to code in said server-side language, and how to utilize your database and query it, etc. It's a broad topic.

    I suggest you find a book or resource that touches on web and server-side development as a whole so that you could learn the infrastructure of it all.
    Thanks for the response. I'll be using windows primarily if that helps. What about PHP? Will learning that not be enough? I found a highly reviewed book on PHP for beginners that's over 800 pages! yikes!

    Obviously I'm interested in whatever language(s) are easiest to learn. I'm very intimidated by it all! lol I literally don't even know where to start!

  • #4
    Regular Coder Linux_Sage's Avatar
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    How hard it is depends on you. I suggest you tackle the basics first. Learn how the server side language, the server itself and the database work together to serve up requests and then maybe tackle the heart of the language itself. Then you can get into database work once you feel you've understood the language a little better and want to have your site handle real data. Again which one is the "easiest" language can be a bit difficult to answer. Most of what you will hear will be opinion so you'll just have to try them for yourself.

    This might be a good resource for you to start with if you want to go the PHP route: Beginning PHP 6, Apache, MySQL 6 Web Development: Timothy Boronczyk, Elizabeth Naramore, Jason Gerner, Yann Le Scouarnec, Jeremy Stolz: 9780470391143: Amazon.com: Books

    If you want to try ASP.NET then here's a list of resources on that: Books : The Official Microsoft ASP.NET Site

    Best of luck

  • #5
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    Taking your advice I'm reading the internet articles from howstuffworks.com to get the basics of how the structure works and it is tremendously helpful for that. I'm assuming that I won't have to have my own server, I can just have a hosting company like hostgator host it on their server?

  • #6
    Regular Coder Linux_Sage's Avatar
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    Yes, hosting is what people typically do. I found this neat little article that gives a nice overview of what you might want to know when choosing providers, or what to expect.

    Web Hosting 101


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