Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: Modern Scholarship - Web Development

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    772

    Modern Scholarship - Web Development

    Dear Family,

    I'm opening this thread for those of us that would like to learn how to build a website from scratch, which means writing all the necessary code from the ground up. There are several reasons why it's a good idea to learn this skill:

    1) Being able to write some computer code is starting to become (or maybe already is) part of modern standard literacy.
    2) Web development is one of the most in-demand professions.
    3) If you have a website of your own that you made through something like WordPress, Wix or GoDaddy, you can a) stop paying for that service and b) have more flexibility in your web design.

    So, why not join the learning? The two main languages for web development (HTML and CSS) are actually not too complicated and there are great online resources for learning them. Plus we have family members on the forum that are very skilled in computer science that can help us out.

    I started learning this stuff in January by taking a free course at codecademy.com. I liked it since it was very hands-on and didn't require reading pages and pages of information about code; rather it focused on guiding you through exercises to learn the material. After that I started the course at freecodecamp.com to learn more about Javascript, and I'm still working through that course (it's quite long).

    If there are at least a couple other people interested in learning this stuff or expanding their current knowledge, let's use this space to help each other in this undertaking. Just to reiterate, "programming" may sound daunting, but HTML and CSS and pretty straightforward and together can be used to make a great webpage. The main thing is practicing building a page. If you want to take the next leap and learn Javascript to make your page more interactive, it's a great idea since Javascript is so widely used, but it does take some time to learn.

    Just do it.

    Andrew
    Love, and do what you will.

    - St. Augustine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    1,120
    Hey Andrew,

    My basic response is "great idea"!

    In more detail, I would go into the "why" and "how", and apologise in advance because there is so much to say on this topic, it's something I struggle to achieve any sort of zen focus with! So I will try to organise these thoughts by headings to hopefully make it more readable.

    Why
    You've made a compelling case already why it is good to learn these things, I would add one more thing which is that I watched a tv show called "Girls can code" which was showing girls, who traditionally don't take up as many places in IT courses or jobs as boys, that coding needn't be boring, it can be fun in and of itself and provide career opportunities, but also if you are interested in other things be it fashion or photography, accounting and finance or whatever, you can combine knowledge of that with coding knowledge to build cool websites and apps.

    How
    This is where I struggle and would be glad to receive help from Andrew and others. Even though I am a coder by trade myself, this is mostly in old fashioned technologies, not the sort that make nice websites, screens, graphics, let alone apps. I feel as clueless as the next man when it comes to HTML, CSS and Javascript, as well as many other modern web technologies.

    One of the problems is there are so many online resources, books etc it is hard to pick which one to proceed with. The other is, for me personally, it is hard to find the discipline to stick at it in that format, especially with the pressure of work as well.

    I ended up doing distance learning degree modules from a proper university to try to get round the discipline problem. With them setting assignments, deadlines and so on it helped me discipline myself to do the studying. But with the pressure of working evenings and weekends in my day job, even that had to be abandoned, at least for now.

    Some of the online courses I tried were just as time consuming, and not as compelling without the disciplined schedule.

    However finally some of the MOOC providers seem to be offering shorter courses, which are much more manageable. I did an enjoyable course in Arduino plus C which was only a 4 week course for example. Leading me on to the next heading:

    What
    So which courses should we be thinking of? I have not used codeacademy or freecodecamp but would like to hear more. I have used udacity, EdX and Coursera. For me, and to get buyin from many others, I think the most important thing is to pick the ones that take up the least time. So I liked the idea of not much reading and plenty of hands on material from codeacademy. My recent great experience with arduino and C was with coursera, and they seem to offer some quick web programming coursew which might be good.

    Study Group
    Andrew is your idea to have a kind of study group? In which we might help and also motivate each other? With modern technologies like skype we could screenshare, chat, and really help each other through this stuff I think.
    Last edited by drunken boxer; 20th July 2017 at 10:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    1,120
    Two more thoughts on learning:

    Stacks
    Two things to say about "stacks". The term "stack" has come into usage with systems development, meaning you often have to use a "stack" or group of several technologies sitting on top of each other to build complete systems and websites. This usually means a database technology, a web server technology, a programming language, and web technology (ie HTML, CSS, javascript). An example is the "LAMP" stack. I could do with help on the web parts, but I could help with the db and programming. I think it is not too daunting to learn a bit of a language like php and to use it to do basic operations to transfer data from your website screens/forms to databases and vice versa, that might be good to add for people as well?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solution_stack
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAMP_(software_bundle)

    The other usage I have heard for stack comes from the guy who writes the Dilbert cartoons - he believes that people make themselves more marketable if they have a talent/skills "stack" rather than just one main talent or skill. For example if you are an accountant who speaks German and French, that might present more opportunities than if you are just an accountant, or just a languages expert. And if you have another skill plus IT, be it finance, photography or whatever as mentioned earlier, that might present more opportunities than if you just know one or the other,

    Purpose
    I spoke to the smartest person I have ever met recently, to pick his brains on what to learn and how to learn it. One of the main pieces of advice he gave me, which would help with the discipline, focus and "stickability" is to try to learn something with a purpose. The purpose may be to build your own website, or to get a job, or to understand the accounting software better at work, but one thing that I have found gives me a purpose outside of work to learn and practise this stuff, is to teach some of it to kids, ie nieces and nephews etc. There are some resources to make learning quite fun for them. Maybe I am going off topic now, but there are all kinds of projects with lego and robotics, and there are technologies like scratch and appinventor where they can code fun things on phones and tablets. I wonder is there any such help to teach kids or younger learners about websites and web technology - it may be the appropriate level for me!

    Ok think that's enough for now, thanks for starting the thread Andrew.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    772
    coding needn't be boring, it can be fun in and of itself and provide career opportunities, but also if you are interested in other things be it fashion or photography, accounting and finance or whatever, you can combine knowledge of that with coding knowledge to build cool websites and apps.
    Yes!

    One of the problems is there are so many online resources, books etc it is hard to pick which one to proceed with. The other is, for me personally, it is hard to find the discipline to stick at it in that format, especially with the pressure of work as well.
    Agreed. As it is with the internet, you can find fantastic resources and also fantastically bad resources. I asked a friend who works as a software engineer where to begin, and he is the one that turned me on to codecademy. There won't be one resource that teaches everything you need to know, but I think a MOOC like codecademy is a great place to start.

    Since you mentioned Coursera, I did sign up for their Intro to Web Programming course, and spent very little time with it. It was basically the opposite of codecademy and FreeCodeCamp: long lecture videos of someone talking about coding. Not for me.

    In terms of time and discipline, in the beginning I just did my best to get at least 20 minutes of studying/practice done a day, though as my inner geek enjoyed it, it easily was longer than that.

    Andrew is your idea to have a kind of study group? In which we might help and also motivate each other? With modern technologies like skype we could screenshare, chat, and really help each other through this stuff I think.
    My original thought was to set a time limit, say six months, for those participating to complete an online course and build a website from scratch, meeting certain parameters. It would not take nearly six months to learn CSS and HTML, but it would give some cushion as people are busy with other responsibilities, and also time to learn some Javascript for those that are keen.

    I think it would be fun for the websites to be Shaolin themed. If a person has a goal to be a Protector of a certain art, perhaps building a website dedicated to that specific art would help them work towards that goal.

    Regarding guiding each other, video chat is a great option, this forum is also great since time zones don't always allow video conferences, and the forums on MOOC sites are also great. Also, what you quickly learn about coding is that one of the main skills is Googling how to do something.

    SO. Let's see if we get some more feedback/interest before laying down the guidelines of this web programming project.

    Just to reiterate: HTML and CSS are not complex! As with anything, it just requires the decision to start and finish the learning, and put that learning into practice.

    Andrew
    Love, and do what you will.

    - St. Augustine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    772

    What Learning Web Coding Could Look Like, Shaolin Style

    If you're unclear about what the learning would require, it could be something like this:

    Step 1: Complete online HTML and CSS course. FreeCodeCamp says this part of their course takes five hours. If you do 22 minutes per day, you can be done in two weeks.

    Step 2: Build your first test website. Putting all the new knowledge together takes some practice and learning the "beginner mistakes." You could build a basic page that uses text, headings, images, links and videos in fifteen hours (lots of cushion time is given here), using what you learned in the online course and with some Googling. (Fifteen hours is much longer than what it takes once you're comfortable with the new languages.) If you do 30 minutes per day, you'll be done in one month.

    Step 3: If you feel ready, you could build your Shaolin site, or, review what you learned in the first course by taking a similar course on a different site. Allow one month for building the second site.

    What does a great website look like? Like this one about shaving!
    Love, and do what you will.

    - St. Augustine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    1,120
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post
    Since you mentioned Coursera, I did sign up for their Intro to Web Programming course, and spent very little time with it. It was basically the opposite of codecademy and FreeCodeCamp: long lecture videos of someone talking about coding. Not for me.
    Really useful information thank you. I had a good experience with really short, practical videos (2-5 mins) in the Arduino and C course with Coursera. But you reminded me that in the earlier days, while the likes of udacity had broken their videos into 1 or 2 minute pieces, and their site kept your place where you left off, Coursera courses had videos that could be 30 mins long, aarrgghh who needs that in 2017!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post
    In terms of time and discipline, in the beginning I just did my best to get at least 20 minutes of studying/practice done a day, though as my inner geek enjoyed it, it easily was longer than that.
    Great plan if you can stick to it. I tried to set a time each day where I would spend 15 mins (if busy) or up to 30 mins if I had time on learning web technology from a good site I found. I started well but then I got gazumped with having too much actual work, I was too anxious to take even 15 mins out for this.

    Another problem I have is that sometimes in a course or a class I have learned how to do something, practised it a bit, revised it, remembered it and aced it in the exam (this doesn't always happen, but sometimes) and then when a chance to use the same thing comes up a few months later in work I can't remember it. So as well as time and discipline, I also need to learn how to make things 'stick'. I guess getting practical experience building a website would help with that.

  7. #7
    Andrea's Avatar
    Andrea is offline Sifu Andrea Zilio - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    1,766
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post
    I started learning this stuff in January by taking a free course at codecademy.com. I liked it since it was very hands-on and didn't require reading pages and pages of information about code; rather it focused on guiding you through exercises to learn the material. After that I started the course at freecodecamp.com to learn more about Javascript, and I'm still working through that course (it's quite long).
    Dear Brother

    Great idea. I would also say that website creation is a modern warrior art... but then I might be biased.
    As you say - the main thing is to start... try a web page and search for solutions when you get stuck. There are fantastic communities out there which offer help ( https://stackoverflow.com )

    codecademy.com and freecodecamp.com are great sites for getting started. If you are looking for a next step you might want to check

    • Coursera. Check out this specialization from the University of Hong Kong (more interesting than the one you tried I think, but still lots of videos and exercises; All Coursera courses are created by universities, which might explain the longer videos : Full Stack Web and Multiplatform Mobile App Development Specialization
    • Udemy has some interesting courses
    • Udacity - has both free and paid courses for beginners and advanced
    • get a book (o'reilly or the series from Jon Duckett - ) and work through the examples...


    Modern responsive* websites will require more than HTML and CSS. I would say JavaScript and sometimes also PHP (for Wordpress) is a must - but frameworks are a great help if you want to avoid it for now (check out: Bootstrap)

    Best regards
    Andrea



    (* a responsive website is a site that adapts to various device sizes automatically)
    Last edited by Andrea; 21st July 2017 at 01:24 AM.
    Join our Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong Classes in Zürich and other Swiss locations

    Website: www.taichichuan-wahnam.ch
    Facebook:
    www.facebook.com/Taichichuan.Wahnam.ch
    Google+ :
    https://plus.google.com/+TaiChiChuanQigongWahnamZürich/






  8. #8
    Andrea's Avatar
    Andrea is offline Sifu Andrea Zilio - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    1,766
    Quote Originally Posted by drunken boxer View Post
    Another problem I have is that sometimes in a course or a class I have learned how to do something, practised it a bit, revised it, remembered it and aced it in the exam (this doesn't always happen, but sometimes) and then when a chance to use the same thing comes up a few months later in work I can't remember it. So as well as time and discipline, I also need to learn how to make things 'stick'. I guess getting practical experience building a website would help with that.
    I copy interesting code bits, solutions I might use again, explanations etc to Evernote notes... and use tags, as well as a notebook index to find them again. I find this helps...

    Andrea
    Join our Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong Classes in Zürich and other Swiss locations

    Website: www.taichichuan-wahnam.ch
    Facebook:
    www.facebook.com/Taichichuan.Wahnam.ch
    Google+ :
    https://plus.google.com/+TaiChiChuanQigongWahnamZürich/






  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    1,120
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea View Post
    I copy interesting code bits, solutions I might use again, explanations etc to Evernote notes... and use tags, as well as a notebook index to find them again. I find this helps...
    Hi Andrea, oooh, very interesting! I take notes alright, but I have no good system for finding things in them later on! Evernote, tags, indexes sound interesting.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    772
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea
    Check out this specialization from the University of Hong Kong
    Dear Sister,

    Thanks for joining in. That course looks good as well. It says good knowledge of Javascript is required, so I'll have to come back to it.

    Modern responsive* websites will require more than HTML and CSS. I would say JavaScript and sometimes also PHP (for Wordpress) is a must - but frameworks are a great help if you want to avoid it for now (check out: Bootstrap)
    Good to point this out. For reference for others, there are "frameworks" available now that provide pre-written code that you can use, rather than writing all new code yourself. Bootstrap is one of those frameworks. If someone totally new to coding decides to join us in learning web development, and wants to include some more complex features, Bootstrap or another framework could be a good option for the purpose of this project.

    BUT, while I have little experience in this field, I think at least the HTML and CSS should be written from scratch. JQuery, Bootstrap and others can be used to complement.
    Love, and do what you will.

    - St. Augustine

Similar Threads

  1. Modern Science and Qigong?
    By Antonius in forum Articles and Popular Topics
    Replies: 114
    Last Post: 11th January 2010, 08:49 AM
  2. Modern science and Taijiquan
    By yeniseri in forum Tai Chi Chuan
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 19th July 2006, 11:18 AM
  3. modern day awakening
    By alexstedman in forum Buddhism
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 21st November 2004, 09:45 PM
  4. Modern Monk
    By Antidote in forum Shaolin Kungfu
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 1st May 2004, 01:45 AM
  5. scholarship?
    By Dr.Tran in forum Miscellaneous Discussions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22nd October 2003, 09:21 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •