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I have been [hobby] programming for years now and know several languages including Objective-C, Java, C#, Python, C, and C++ well. I understand many programming patterns and have used several different frameworks. However, I know almost nothing about web development. I'm looking for a resource that, instead of diving right into code, kind of gives me a bird's eye view of how all the technologies work together. Oftentimes, I'll see several things studied in depth like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ActionScript, AJAX, etc., but no explanation of where they all fit in the big picture. I'd also like to avoid all-encompassing IDE's starting out, as that tends to make it harder to actually understand whats going in the learning phase.

Any links, resources, preferably free and online, advice, etc. much appreciated.

Thanks!

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1 Answer

I found myself in the same situation back when Java was the talk of the web: JSP, Structs, JSF, Swing, etc. My head was spinning and I didn't know where to even start.

I took a couple of steps back and decided to focus on the core: HTML. Once I had an understanding of it, I tackled web servers to "try things out." Apache seems like the right answer at the time. Invevitably, CSS came into the picture as I learned more about HTML. That gave me a clear foundation of the "web," I suppose.

Shortly after, "dynamic content" moved up the list, and that's when things got interesting/complicated: ASP, ASP.NET, CGI, PHP, JSP, ColdFusion... which one? I found that PHP gave me the easiest path, and I took it. It was easy, C++-like, and very popular. Having the foundation (HTML), server-side (PHP), it was time to move to the client: Javascript. It was a natural road right to AJAX from there.

Having Java & C# knowledge, JSP and ASP.NET were easy to grasp (although J2EE is still of a challenge). I later looked into more sophisticated client-side tools like Flash and Silverlight. Of course, a lot of these technologies will take years to master, but my goal was to simply become proficient so I may find the best tool for future problem. While my quest continues, I'm currently enjoying ASP.NET MVC & Silverlight. I might stay here for a while, until it's time to dive into mobile development.

I hope my road to web development serves you a little. It was very rewarding once I saw how all the pieces fit.

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