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I have not done much coding since I graduated in 1996 (C++, Visual Basic, Delphi). I taught myself HTML, CSS, and some Javascript. What are your suggestions on where to start for a dinosaur like me to update his coding skills? I would like to learn to write database-driven web applications.

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marked as duplicate by MichaelT, Glenn Nelson, gnat, Martijn Pieters, ChrisF Mar 9 '13 at 12:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

What is stopping you from writing database-driven web applications right now? – JB King Mar 8 '13 at 19:55
Probably not knowing the full array of options ... I hear things like PHP, Python, Ruby, MySQL and I wonder "is that my set of options to choose from?" and, if so, what would be good languages/technologies to get me started? – Luis Mar 8 '13 at 20:21

Most database-driven web applications are built nowadays using a managed language like C# or Java, or perhaps Ruby.

Some basics you need to know, beyond what you've already mentioned:

  1. MVC
  2. REST
  3. ORM
  4. Some SQL
  5. A good Javascript framework such as jQuery couldn't hurt.

The best way to learn all this is to pick an MVC framework to study (such as Spring, Ruby on Rails or ASP.NET MVC), and embrace it.

See Also
What should every programmer know about web development?

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Perhaps Ruby? For someone just getting into things, the learning curve on a scripting language is likely to be better than C# or Java. Any of Ruby, Python, Perl, or JavaScript would work well. (PHP is more popular than any of them, but I can't recommend it.) It is true that there are a ton of C# and Java jobs out there. But that is more a reflection of the size of the shops that choose those technologies rather than the number of projects done in those technologies. – btilly Mar 8 '13 at 20:16
My first sentence doesn't speak to the suitability of those languages, but merely their common use. That said, I haven't seem Ruby on Rails used much in the corporate environment; I assume it's used mostly at small startups. I deliberately avoided mentioning PHP. – Robert Harvey Mar 8 '13 at 20:20
I have personally encountered Python, Ruby, Perl and PHP in use for web development within companies of size 400+ within the last 5 years. Also don't discount startups - sometimes like Facebook and Twitter, they blow up and still use whatever they did originally. And finally the question wasn't "how do I get a job doing this in a corporate environment" but rather "How do I learn web development." Once you have concepts, switching stacks is fairly easy. And there are decent job opportunities in all of these languages. – btilly Mar 8 '13 at 21:09
@btilly: I wouldn't worry about it; Ruby on Rails is still being mentioned prominently in my answer. – Robert Harvey Mar 8 '13 at 21:11

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