Monday, July 6, 2015

Learn Web Development

Starting with a list of essentials, here is a guide to starting out with web development:


HTTP verbs
HTML
Client-Server model
CSS
JavaScript
JQuery
OWASP Top 10
1 or more Server Side languages/platforms (PHP, Ruby, nodejs, Go, etc)
RESTful services, how to build and interact with
SOLID, OOP (Java tutorial, GoF design patterns)
TDD
SQL
at least 1 noSQL
some html templating language (mustache, handlebars, underscorejs, etc)
mvc/mvvm patterns and some SPA implementation of this (Angularjs, Emberjs, Knockoutjs)


I would suggest reading this entire article then diving into the links getting an overview of each topic, then diving in a bit deeper. If you get to a point where you feel like you are blocked from understanding a topic, take a step back and dive deeper into a previous link. I tried my best to list them in order of dependencies - HTML, CSS, and JavaScript being first and security deep dive requires an understanding of so many topics that it appears later.






A good place to start is http://www.w3schools.com/
that site has tutorials with an option to try each concept as you go. It's not a fully interactive tutorial, which is great because it also serves as a good point of reference.


Of course, the real heart of the web that we all know is based on HTTP. Here's a great way to understand the model. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2001773/understanding-rest-verbs-error-codes-and-authentication
I once read a fantastic article about HTTP, but can't seem to locate it. That post on stack overflow has some good info. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Client%E2%80%93server_model is sufficient for now to intro client-server.


StackOverflow is one of the best community-driven resources on the web. I'll say no more.




Everyone should know about the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) http://www.w3.org/, they set and publish standards such as the html spec, JavaScript spec, CSS spec ao if you really want to learn the standards that's where to go.


There are some great tools available for editing html and other types of code. I've found that Notepad++ works well for several languages. It's lightweight, and works for a variety of languages including semantic markups. https://notepad-plus-plus.org/

it is free and "easy to use".


All of the most popular web browsers have debuggers built in for debugging JavaScript. Usually pressing f12 gets you there. Debugging is a sort of dark art that takes time to do well. It takes practice. All of that being said, anyone can start debugging on almost any full blown browser. Look for a future post on debugging tips and tricks.


Client-side debugging is one thing, but when you own the server-side code, you will need to be able to debug that too. In that case you will need an editor capable of debugging. Without going too much detail, this is basically where the editor is hooked into the server-side hosting (typically on your local machine, not a remote host) and any breakpoint you set in code will result in halted execution. You will be able to control the progress of execution in a number of ways - continue, step-through, step-into. While debugging, you can examine flow of control and variables that are in scope. A common free tool for Java is Eclipse https://eclipse.org/ide/. This IDE(Integrated Development Environment) also functions for C/C++ and PHP. Definitely put this on your dev box and learn this tool. Also, while you are at it, learn Object Oriented Programming - perhaps by way of Java. PHP has an object model, so does C++, JavaScript, and most other common languages.


What's Object Oriented Programming all about? Check it out on this Java tutorial https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/concepts/object.html
I cut to the chase, feel free to navigate back to the root and read the intro. Vest in Java or don't, but learn what they have to teach.


OWASP is a community focused on web security. They publish a wealth of information about how to protect your applications from being hacked - mitigate risk rather. You can find the top 10 threats and a wealth of other info listed on their site https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Main_Page


PluralSight is a hugely influential training site that has videos covering a range of IT related topics. They have some free videos, but a monthly membership gets you open access to all. This is a great way for more experienced developers to grow their knowledge base.

21 comments:

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