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Old 15-06-2013, 11:01
bluewomble88
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I'm 32 and decided to face my fear of breaking out from my comfortable daily routine and actually go learn something that interests me. I want to learn web design and development. I want to be earning much more money doing something that I really like and can develop a passion for. I have a creative streak that needs to be massaged.

So, web design and development. I have NO clue what that is, I'm a total novice. I know how to use Windows PCs, I've grown up using them. But besides using the Internet (a lot) I haven't got any idea how to make a website. I want to learn though.

Having looked at classroom courses they are all quite expensive but there's so many to choose from. I like the look of this one: http://www.dotpeak.com/training-courses/web-design but I know nothing about that company. Would that course and later the design and HTML5 course give me enough to get employed and earning decent money? What else do I need to do to become senior and more qualified? How difficult is it?
I liked the sound of this course because its goal-based and very hands on rather than theory based reading off a page which I struggle with when I'm learning something.

Does anyone have any advice?
Thanks.
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Old 15-06-2013, 11:18
tealady
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You might want to try out http://www.w3schools.com/ first before spending any money.
Are you also interested in the server side of a webpage - database/sql ?
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Old 15-06-2013, 11:22
bluewomble88
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You might want to try out http://www.w3schools.com/ first before spending any money.
Are you also interested in the server side of a webpage - database/sql ?
I'm not sure, I hadn't thought about it. Not sure what it is.
I like the idea of being creative and developing sites rather than the technology behind it. I really enjoy making something from nothing and concentrating on fine details to make it stand out.
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Old 15-06-2013, 11:32
mred2000
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Sounds more like you're interested in the graphic design of sites, how they look on the surface, than the under the bonnet stuff.

Coding is useful and without it you're pretty much limited to hand sketches and maybe mock-ups in Photoshop.

Don't expect to run before you can walk. And don't expect to make money from it for a long time.

(ETA by graphic design I mean the core skills of this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_design - some folk think it just means computer graphics like animated gifs... Layout and typesetting in particular)
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Old 15-06-2013, 11:35
jonner101
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I'm 32 and decided to face my fear of breaking out from my comfortable daily routine and actually go learn something that interests me. I want to learn web design and development. I want to be earning much more money doing something that I really like and can develop a passion for. I have a creative streak that needs to be massaged.

So, web design and development. I have NO clue what that is, I'm a total novice. I know how to use Windows PCs, I've grown up using them. But besides using the Internet (a lot) I haven't got any idea how to make a website. I want to learn though.

Having looked at classroom courses they are all quite expensive but there's so many to choose from. I like the look of this one: http://www.dotpeak.com/training-courses/web-design but I know nothing about that company. Would that course and later the design and HTML5 course give me enough to get employed and earning decent money? What else do I need to do to become senior and more qualified? How difficult is it?
I liked the sound of this course because its goal-based and very hands on rather than theory based reading off a page which I struggle with when I'm learning something.

Does anyone have any advice?
Thanks.
There are quite a few online tutorials on youtube all for free. I would try some of the basic ones, lets say html and php and see if you can get your head around them. The best thing to do is ( assuming you have windows ) is firstly to learn how to set up a web site on iis so you can play around with it on your local machine. If you want to learn database programming, which you will if you want you're sites to be interactive then MySQL is free and works with PHP.

I would think if you didn't have any experience at 32 it will be quite tough to break in to professional development.

If you do a few online courses and feel you have a talent for it and interest then I would suggest something like an open university course. Then after try going in for a junior position. for example our company are looking for a junior web developer and we would be looking for someone probably fresh out of college.

Once you're in a company and doing it professionally then it will be down to you and you're talent to see how far you can go.
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Old 15-06-2013, 12:08
John259
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This Wikipedia article on Content Management Systems might be worth a read if you're not already familiar with the concept:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system

It might be a good idea to purchase some web hosting, install a CMS such as Joomla onto it, and get stuck in.
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Old 15-06-2013, 14:08
tealady
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You posted elsewhere that you are a driving examiner, so I suggest using freely available websites that will help you learn, knock up your own website around driving schools/highway code. That will give you an idea of whether you have the aptitude for web coding.
If you link your site on here, you'll need a thick skin!
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Old 15-06-2013, 18:30
DotNetWill
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For the love of God do not use the w3schools site, very wrong in places and zero best practices.
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Old 15-06-2013, 19:23
bluewomble88
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I'm really confused.
I'm at a crossroads I suppose. I really think I'm just about young enough to get educated in something to do with I.T and I'm willing to get it done. I am very open to suggestions here - what should someone like me be considering? I feel I can learn anything over time as long as I don't have to take it all out of books as I prefer just doing it and being interactive with tutors whilst learning from mistakes. Should I look into HTML, SQL, databases, web design, etc?
Bear in mind that I'm currently earning over 25k a year and I want to get trained so I can earn a lot more in the future.
Thanks.
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Old 15-06-2013, 19:42
John259
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Should I look into HTML, SQL, databases, web design, etc?
You certainly need to know what all those are and how they fit into the bigger picture. Initially have a play around with all them, then you'll naturally tend to gravitate to some more than others.

Have a look at threads on here which recommend web hosting packages. Choose a budget hosting plan but one that gives you a good range of installed goodies, or which allows you to install server software yourself. Then explore and experiment.
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Old 15-06-2013, 19:59
DotNetWill
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I'm really confused.
I'm at a crossroads I suppose. I really think I'm just about young enough to get educated in something to do with I.T and I'm willing to get it done. I am very open to suggestions here - what should someone like me be considering? I feel I can learn anything over time as long as I don't have to take it all out of books as I prefer just doing it and being interactive with tutors whilst learning from mistakes. Should I look into HTML, SQL, databases, web design, etc?
Bear in mind that I'm currently earning over 25k a year and I want to get trained so I can earn a lot more in the future.
Thanks.
Here is my honest advice, I'm a software developer 10 years in at a relatively decent company with earnings into the 40% tax bracket.

Unless you're willing to go to uni and do a degree you're not going to do that well in the open job market. So you're going to take a hit for quite while when you do it.

All this computeach, A1 IT or whatever they are called, sell you bullshit. If you want to be a network engineer or support desk monkey on <20k then go for it. But you will not end up with a top technical job through them, amateur gone pro web designers, self taught programmers, IT equivalents of "handy men" are a penny a dozen and, ime, do not have the skills to cut.

I'd the invest the time or keep it as a hobby.

Alternatively, you could do a startup, learn enough of eveyrthing to get it started, concentrate on the business then employ people to fix it all for you once you're running.
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Old 15-06-2013, 21:02
mred2000
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Bear in mind that I'm currently earning over 25k a year and I want to get trained so I can earn a lot more in the future.
Thanks.
We're talking possibly 3-4 years of full time education to be comparable to other people in the job market and then a web design junior starting wage of 13k-18k depending on location. It will be a while before your current earnings are matched...
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Old 15-06-2013, 21:17
whoever,hey
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DotNetWill, i'm in the same boat as you and totally agree with you.
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Old 15-06-2013, 23:09
jonner101
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I'm really confused.
I'm at a crossroads I suppose. I really think I'm just about young enough to get educated in something to do with I.T and I'm willing to get it done. I am very open to suggestions here - what should someone like me be considering? I feel I can learn anything over time as long as I don't have to take it all out of books as I prefer just doing it and being interactive with tutors whilst learning from mistakes. Should I look into HTML, SQL, databases, web design, etc?
Bear in mind that I'm currently earning over 25k a year and I want to get trained so I can earn a lot more in the future.
Thanks.
I have to totally agree with dotnetwii. Likewise I'm a software developer not London based in with a basic salary just in the 40% tax bracket + bonus. I suppose if I contracted up in London I could be looking at a lot more.

When I was looking for a new job about 3 years ago most of the interviews were pretty brutal with tough logic tests, very in depth technical interviews and so on. I had 15 years experience, really good references and a good education so I was able to handle them. But actually in the end I got a job via a network recommendation. In fact most dev jobs are probably filled in this way. The reality is at the moment when we need a new developer we generally need someone who can hit the ground running and already has all the skills in place.

It's worth checking out jobserve or monster to see the sort of salaries you might expect. But as you have no experience you can only be looking at very junior roles to start off with

I want to also re-iterate that to get even a chance of getting your foot on the ladder I think you need to be looking at some hard core training like an open university degree or similar. Even than you will also need to have the aptitude and you'll probably need to suck up starting on a much lower salary than 25k to begin with.

Another option would to be try and learn mobile development and get some work published. I've been earning money on the side with some iOS games and apps that I did in my spare time. If you can get into that

I did notice that the contract rates for iOS and android devs are on an upward trend.

EDIT

It's not impossible, we hired a .net developer as a contractor who was just a car mechanic until he was about 35. This guy does have the ability to read up and learn just about every new technology that Micro soft come up with and just has that development aptitude that you need. Keeping up with all the latest tech is extra important if you wanted to contract

Microsoft do a series of 'professional exams' btw but I'm not sure how seriously these are taken by most companies. But may be work looking into as they are quite cheap to sit if you do you're own training
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Old 15-06-2013, 23:31
whoever,hey
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I did notice that the contract rates for iOS and android devs are on an upward trend.
But they are for experienced devs.
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Old 15-06-2013, 23:39
mred2000
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In the OPs second post they focus on creativity rather than coding/under the bonnet tech. but they admit to not knowing which direction to take.

Creating the overall look and feel of a website is different to coding the thing. Though I know many who can do both very well, in some design agencies the design is done by a designer and then passed to a web coder to make it work. OP needs to work out which way they want to go...
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Old 15-06-2013, 23:45
whoever,hey
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In the OPs second post they focus on creativity rather than coding/under the bonnet tech. but they admit to not knowing which direction to take.

Creating the overall look and feel of a website is different to coding the thing. Though I know many who can do both very well, in some design agencies the design is done by a designer and then passed to a web coder to make it work. OP needs to work out which way they want to go...
We use professional website companies for our game web portals, because even though we could code the sites, and draw the art, there is so much more to making a decent website than you think unless you are a decent website designer.
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Old 16-06-2013, 14:51
tealady
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I want to also re-iterate that to get even a chance of getting your foot on the ladder I think you need to be looking at some hard core training like an open university degree or similar.
It's around 15k for an OU degree and the most similar module id (and only a surface scratching 30 points) is TT284, so I think the OP would be better off with free websites to decide if it's for them before spending some dosh.
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Old 17-06-2013, 13:40
jonner101
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It's around 15k for an OU degree and the most similar module id (and only a surface scratching 30 points) is TT284, so I think the OP would be better off with free websites to decide if it's for them before spending some dosh.
Well I suppose structured education doesn't come cheap. It sounds like a lot of money but thats only the cost of a new car if you look at it that way.

One other option is doing the microsoft certifications, which you can either self study for OR you could do one of those boot camps in India which will run you about 5k.

the issue with any of these methods is that empoyers want to take on experienced developers.

Also most interviews you go for would probably invove quite a few technical tests
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