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I learned C++ in college (now we are moving to Java.) On the side I learned basic scheme, php and javascript. However my knowledge is basic enough that I wouldn't even know how to start building a website such as this.

The reason I ask is I want to further develop my web-development skills/knowledge by doing a project and I REALLY love the design of this website so I thought I could build a variant of it.

Can someone point me to guides or what I need to learn next to start moving in that direction?

Thanks!

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We talked about it just the other day... What are the major challenges in creating a platform such as StackOverflow? –  user8685 Jan 21 '11 at 23:13
    
oops didn't realize. Thanks! –  zhenka Jan 21 '11 at 23:16
    
I checked it out. It is more marketing then technically oriented. so it is not a duplicate (I think) –  zhenka Jan 21 '11 at 23:24
    

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

My Advice:

Start off small, and from the very beginning:

  • First open Notepad or any text editor, get a HTML reference book or google it.
  • Learn to write good clean valid HTML.
  • Then learn CSS
  • Then learn Javascript.
  • Stage 1 Create a static site, e.g perhaps a personal page, with contacts about etc.
  • Start learning a server side language -> php, jsp, asp.net etc
  • Stage 2 Create a site that has some forms that are submitted and returns basic results from the server end. e.g perhaps create a simple currency converter.
  • Learn about databases -> MySQL, MSSQL, Postgresql etc (stored procs, good db design, basic admin)
  • Stage 3 Create a new site that can display results of a database, can create new ones and edit existing ones. e.g perhaps a simple student record web application. For example, a user may search for students, add a new student or simply edit an existing one.
  • Learn about some web servers, eg Apache, IIS etc
  • Stage 4 Set up a web server, and learn to maintain a few live sites. E.g at first you may want to host from home, eventually you can buy a virtual server. Finally you can move onto using a dedicated server.
  • Learn about load balancing, website security (this should actually be from day one) etc
  • Stage N Never stop learning! after building some websites its very easy to start doing things in a particular way (usually what you first learnt). Always read other peoples code, ask questions. Read up on and learn new idea's and techniques. Keep refining your existing methods. If you reach this stage, your only limitation is your imagination, you will not need to ask "How can I create a website like X"
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Nice outline. Good track for anyone to follow learning web development. –  Robert Harvey Jan 22 '11 at 0:13
    
+1 For "Never stop learning". –  Mayank Jan 22 '11 at 2:48

I am also an student and from my own experience I've found that it is best way to proceed with a project is to put the general idea on paper.

The specific knowledge you need should come from what you are trying to do.

Worry about what you want to do first. Then worry about the specifics later and learn as you go.

Hope that helps.

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To answer my own question there are plenty of open source projects to learn from.

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2267/stack-overflow-clones

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