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Hello everyone and thank you for your time :)

So I'm a 17 portuguese boy and I'm thinking about starting a website, but because I don't have much money I decided I'd need to learn how to do it myself.

So I got several books on the main languages ([X]HTML, AJAX, JS, PHP, MySQL, CSS) but I'm not sure what to do with them.

I started studying them in January and, for I thought this was hard, I decided to basically copy the books into several notebookes, and then, once I got the general picture of how these languages operate, I'd restart and starting apply the knowledge.

However, this is taking too long. I've been studying this for over 6 months now, wasted over $20 in notebookes, and still there are several books that remain untouched.

I'm thinking: maybe it would be a better approach to simply study the books and directly apply the knowledge and keep doing that, step by step, instead of overkilling like this. Meaning: instead of taking notes as you'd do in a normal school class, simply ignore that and dive right into the action and learn from experience.

Thoughts? :) Thanks again.

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closed as off-topic by GrandmasterB, Dynamic, MichaelT, GlenH7, gnat Jul 20 '13 at 0:37

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking career or education advice are off topic on Programmers. They are only meaningful to the asker and do not generate lasting value for the broader programming community. Furthermore, in most cases, any answer is going to be a subjective opinion that may not take into account all the nuances of a (your) particular circumstance." – GrandmasterB, MichaelT, GlenH7
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Write a very simple program. Then write another one that is more complex. Then another one. You really cant understand programming without doing. –  GrandmasterB Jul 19 '13 at 19:50
"You’re trying to learn something about as complicated as a language. You’ve learned one language so far, the one we’re speaking in. But you didn’t wait until you’d memorized all the rules of grammar and a twenty-thousand-word vocabulary before you opened your gob, did you? No, you learned to talk by saying 'goo-goo' and 'da-da'... You made mistakes, you backtracked, went down blind alleys. You mispronounced words and got the grammar wrong... and in little and big pieces you became an expert talker, fluent in English as she is spoke the world round." --Pirate Cinema, Cory Doctrow –  apsillers Jul 19 '13 at 19:58
jump over to codecademy and work through some of the tutorials there. –  thorsten müller Jul 19 '13 at 20:02
Max, I'd guess people are downvoting because career/educational path advice is generally off-topic for the site and/or because people think this question is too narrowly focused on your specific case and will not help others in the future (which is the main reason career advice is off-topic in the first place). Don't take it personally -- it's primarily a signal that this question is better for a free-form forum, rather than Stack Exchange's Q&A format. –  apsillers Jul 19 '13 at 20:28
@MaxColin no, the question as such is not that bad and if you really wasted that much time with this bad approach to learning you should have looked for advice much earlier :) But the StackExchange sites have a bit narrower approach and this is off topic. Once you have 20 rep you can join the chat room where people would give you any amount of advice about learning you want. –  thorsten müller Jul 19 '13 at 20:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here is what I would do:

  1. Find something semi-basic that you would like to create. It doesn't have to be an original idea or anything, just something to get you started.
  2. Start coding it. When you run into something you don't know how to do, use the books you have to learn it or find another resource.
  3. Repeat.
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+1 My firsh programming job was in high-school. My boss wanted me to keep track of hours, so I wrote a simple PHP page to keep track of them. I slowly iterated on it while working there, and by the time I left for college I could edit past logs, archive old months, and even generate reports. It doesn't have to be fancy, just enough to keep you interested. –  tjameson Jul 20 '13 at 5:23

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