Tricked by Code Academy

A few months ago, I was naive.  I thought I could learn web design/development in a few months and be off to the races.  The Code Academy tutorials were a bit misleading.  Learning HTML/CSS is relatively easy.  The good thing is that it gave me the confidence to pursue this line of learning.

The main problem with only using HTML/CSS is your website won’t look too cool and probably won’t be able to do much of anything.  It will feel like a website circa 1999.  I’m using Adobe’s Dreamweaver as the “environment” to develop my websites.

Dreamweaver CC

My goal is to build two websites both involving a database, login, membership, and payment options.  One is a store and the other is a pure Internet application.  In order to do all of that, I quickly realized I would need to learn something called PHP and MySQL.  Both of those quasi-languages involve a bit of programming.

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system that allows you to create and manage a database.  I’m sure many popular sites use MySQL to manage their information.  You need PHP so your computer/browser can talk to the database which is located on a server. Currently, I’m working my way through PHP for the Web by Larry Ullman.

PHP for the Web

I should be done with it by Tuesday.  After that, I will dive deeper and figure out how this MySQL thing really works with Ullman’s PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites.


There’s a bit of overlap with his first book in the series but lately my brain is getting cramped with functions, syntax, and alignment.

Furthermore, in order to make the actual website attractive, I realized I would also have to learn something called JavaScript and JQuery.  I’m not quite there yet.  Also, don’t even talk to me about designing for mobile phones.  I can’t even begin to look at that stuff yet.

JavaScriptI recognize that learning this stuff is different from actually doing it.  Thus, I’m sure I need to commit some months to just playing around with this stuff.

I also have to say, “Thank goodness for Amazon and it’s Kindle Books.”  It would be pretty difficult to try to learn all this stuff without these books.  There are only a handful of books in Accra and I know they don’t stock these types of books.


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