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General Discussion

What do I need to learn?

I have been using the courses to teach myself the basics of static website development. I want to learn to build a web-application. From what I can tell, that will involve learning a whole bunch of things, including database design, SQL, PHP - not to mention the basic understanding of "What is a web server anyway?", and "how come I can't just build it on my own computer like I do with a web page?"

I know these are really basic questions.... but is there a course on the site that can walk someone through the basic components and logic in constructing a web application? Most of the courses that I have found seem to assume that you know what you need to learn...

4 Answers

This one might be good to start with: https://teamtreehouse.com/tracks/digital-literacy

Once you have a good understanding of how the web works, deciding what to learn depends on your goal. Start with the end goal and then work backwards. You say you want to learn to build a web application, but try to be more specific. There are so many ways to build a website. You can build a website with Wordpress or Squarespace if you're in a hurry.

I assume you want to be a developer though. What kind of developer do you want to be? Are you more interested in frontend or backend?

For backend, PHP is kind of passé. I suggest choosing another language, unless you want to work at some big corporation with legacy code. Once you decide the language, you can choose one of the tracks.

For example, if you choose Python, you can do the Basic Python track and then the Flask track which will include all the courses necessary to build a basic web app using the Flask framework.

Hi Ursaminor

thanks for taking the time to reply and the suggestion on the course.

I am actually an early stage non-tech founder of a tech startup. We have an idea with an MVP, which is done with HTML, CSS and JavaScript - just enough to test interest. I am looking at getting sufficient skill in backend to be able to MVP that bit... basically, I need to have my website interact with a backend database. I am language agnostic at this point. My only need is to be able to build something that will allow me to test the idea, without necessarily becoming the expert in coding. Once I have tested the idea, I will then get the experts in to build it.

At this stage, I am trying to figure out what the overall architecture looks like, what is the easiest thing to learn that will allow me to build a working prototype, and what 'networking' skills I need to plug everything together.

Grateful for any further suggestions.



That's cool. If you want to do it yourself and you want to build it fast, I think Ruby or Python would be a good choice. A lot of startups use Python and Ruby because you can write code pretty quickly -- and they're easier to learn than others. If you already know some JavaScript though, you can choose a JavaScript framework like Express. Then you don't have to learn another language. You will need to learn a little SQL to query the db but the tracks on Treehouse will include that.

However, I don't know where you are but I'm sure there are meetups in your area and I think going to some tech meetups and talking to people would be a good idea. Who knows, you might even find someone (a recent code school grad) who might do the work for cheap for experience! Or go to a hackathon and pitch your idea (or a similar idea) to build it with a team. Good luck!

Hi Ursaminor

Thanks for your advice. I appreciate your time.