going to college and taking some classes - trying to get a head start

umcpgrad

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I am trying to learn .net, vb10, dreamweaver and etc where should I start? any free online courses and any pointers will be appreciated thanks in advance
 

PTNL

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While it isn't free, PluralSight has a very good collection of online training videos. You can at least look at the stuff within their trial period, and then decide whether there is enough value for a temporary membership.

Edit: Any reason why you chose VB as the .NET language? Many people wind up using C# instead as the implementation language.

Edit #2: Also, what are you wanting to do? What is your goal? What do you consider as a good milestone to hit first?
 

Dogs

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Your best bet would probably be to look at whatever courses are on Coursera or Udacity. I would say you shouldn't worry about selecting classes that teach the languages you're looking to learn, since your first language is not exactly important.

If possible, I would advise that you learn C++ from one of the Coursera/Udacity courses, and then pick up .NET at a later date. You won't sufficiently appreciate .NET without taking a bottom-up approach to learning.

I'm not saying you should dedicate your programming career to C++. I certainly didn't. But you should at least take a semester or two of C++ so that you really understand what's going on in the code you write in higher level languages.
 
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cortexodus

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While it isn't free, PluralSight has a very good collection of online training videos. You can at least look at the stuff within their trial period, and then decide whether there is enough value for a temporary membership.

Edit: Any reason why you chose VB as the .NET language? Many people wind up using C# instead as the implementation language.

Edit #2: Also, what are you wanting to do? What is your goal? What do you consider as a good milestone to hit first?

Pluralsight is awesome.

I second that C# should be OP's focus. VB will be handy once in awhile for dealing with old dusty crap that you need to maintain, but you won't deal with VB for anything new if you're building projects for ASP.NET.

Dreamweaver is useful for hashing some things out but, make no mistake, it is a crutch and will only hurt you in the long run. I suggest you acquire a taste for reviewing/manipulating the DOM using advanced text editors like Sublime in conjunction with the dev modes in Chrome, Firefox, and IE

Sign up at dreamspark and you'll have access to all of Microsoft's stuff for free.

I'm not saying you should dedicate your programming career to C++. I certainly didn't. But you should at least take a semester or two of C++ so that you really understand what's going on in the code you write in higher level languages.

I would only argue against this for one reason. C++ at a low level can make you hate life. Writing 1400 lines of code to achieve something which can be done with 2 when you make use of libraries is Sisyphian. You may find that you have a greater appreciation for what's happening behind the scenes in higher level code (and I assuredly do after doing that garbage), but it may also just completely turn you off of the very idea that coding is something that can be fun and fulfilling. I've seen people get to dealing with Big O to the N reduction exercises, hit the ejection seat on the course, and never look back.

One my cohorts in development firmly believes that forcing low-level programming onto students before taking the higher-level abstract approach is just a recipe to make them bail out of the very idea that they can even be a programmer. Maybe that can seen as a good thing in some ways, but I think more people would program for fun and profit if they hadn't been beaten about the face and head with bit shift operators and hashes stored in chained dynamic link lists until they showed interest in the science behind the code.
 

Shyne151

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What do you want to do with your degree? You say VB.net and then you list Dreamweaver(which is pointless to "learn")... which are two complete different ends of development.
 

Dogs

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I would only argue against this for one reason. C++ at a low level can make you hate life. Writing 1400 lines of code to achieve something which can be done with 2 when you make use of libraries is Sisyphian. You may find that you have a greater appreciation for what's happening behind the scenes in higher level code (and I assuredly do after doing that garbage), but it may also just completely turn you off of the very idea that coding is something that can be fun and fulfilling. I've seen people get to dealing with Big O to the N reduction exercises, hit the ejection seat on the course, and never look back.

One my cohorts in development firmly believes that forcing low-level programming onto students before taking the higher-level abstract approach is just a recipe to make them bail out of the very idea that they can even be a programmer. Maybe that can seen as a good thing in some ways, but I think more people would program for fun and profit if they hadn't been beaten about the face and head with bit shift operators and hashes stored in chained dynamic link lists until they showed interest in the science behind the code.

You should notice, though, that I never said he should learn C++ before learning anything else. What I did say (and perhaps this wasn't perfectly concise) was that he should at least learn C++ at some point during his studies before settling into the work he intends to do for his career (.NET). I like the approach some of the nearby universities are taking with their computing programs. Students start with a semester of high level programming (Python at one school, MATLAB and Excel at another) to introduce problem solving and critical thinking before going straight into C++ for another major portion of the courses. Students eventually settle into their field of interest, but not before having done assembly and C++ enough to understand what they're really working with.

I've found myself working primarily in the Java world, and it's generally fairly easy to pick out the Java developers who did a rigorous study in lower levels of the machine and those who haven't, based on their own understanding of Java itself. The ones who have done assembly, C, C++, written compilers, aren't stumped (or worse, not stumped but rather just plain incorrect) when given simple questions like 'Is Java pass by value or pass by reference?'. I can't say the same about the developers who never dug their way deeper than Java. It would be nice if there weren't professional Java programmers out there who couldn't answer that correctly.
 
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cortexodus

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You should notice, though, that I never said he should learn C++ before learning anything else. What I did say (and perhaps this wasn't perfectly concise) was that he should at least learn C++ at some point during his studies before settling into the work he intends to do for his career (.NET). I like the approach some of the nearby universities are taking with their computing programs. Students start with a semester of high level programming (Python at one school, MATLAB and Excel at another) to introduce problem solving and critical thinking before going straight into C++ for another major portion of the courses. Students eventually settle into their field of interest, but not before having done assembly and C++ enough to understand what they're really working with.

I've found myself working primarily in the Java world, and it's generally fairly easy to pick out the Java developers who did a rigorous study in lower levels of the machine and those who haven't, based on their own understanding of Java itself. The ones who have done assembly, C, C++, written compilers, aren't stumped (or worse, not stumped but rather just plain incorrect) when given simple questions like 'Is Java pass by value or pass by reference?'. I can't say the same about the developers who never dug their way deeper than Java. It would be nice if there weren't professional Java programmers out there who couldn't answer that correctly.

Your qualification on the "when" is really important and I whole-heartedly agree with what you're saying in every regard :D

I truly wish that the course material I have gone through was presented in the manner you're describing at the schools I've been in and the school I go to now. Learning some serious low-level stuff is something I think everyone who programs should do, but having to do it all first, before being presented with higher-level abstraction made me really question why I was bothering with school at all.
 

Wiseguy2001

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I am trying to learn .net, vb10, dreamweaver and etc where should I start? any free online courses and any pointers will be appreciated thanks in advance
  • ++ Pluralsight.
  • ++ Replace VB for C#.
  • Don't know any dev's that use DW, you need to pick between going into design or developement.
  • CSS - and understand what the 'C' stands for!
  • JavaScript (and some of it's frameworks) should be on that list too.
 

wonderfield

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you need to pick between going into design or development
We're in agreement on Dreamweaver, but generally speaking, limiting one's knowledge and skill set doesn't usually behoove one. He should probably focus on one or the other, but not to the total exclusion of the other.
 

sharknice

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I agree with learning C#. Download the free version of Visual Studio Express and follow some tutorials.

It would be good to learn HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I recommend going through all the tutorials here http://www.w3schools.com/ then building your own personal website with all the things you have learned. After you get a basic site you can try out more advanced things like using bootstrap for your website.

I actually use Dreamweaver for my personal site but I only use the code view. I just use it for the templates. I recommend you use some other editor meant just for coding like sublime text.
 

Thuleman

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I'm not saying you should dedicate your programming career to C++. I certainly didn't. But you should at least take a semester or two of C++ so that you really understand what's going on in the code you write in higher level languages.

I did take CS I and CS II at a college, and it was a total waste of time and money. I could have (and should have) just bought the textbook for $80 and worked my way through that.

For anyone who's not a CS major I cannot recommend taking those C++ courses as it's simply not efficient to do so, imho anyway.

On the topic of Pluralsight; a lot of the content is starting to become dated being 2+ years old.
 

Dogs

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I did take CS I and CS II at a college, and it was a total waste of time and money. I could have (and should have) just bought the textbook for $80 and worked my way through that.

For anyone who's not a CS major I cannot recommend taking those C++ courses as it's simply not efficient to do so, imho anyway.

If you're the kind of person who can learn solely from a textbook, that's a great way to make learning more affordable. Some people don't do well from a textbook alone, and need the guidance and structure of a course to keep them on track.

On the topic of Pluralsight; a lot of the content is starting to become dated being 2+ years old.

...Which may not be a bad thing. The tech industry moves quickly, but it doesn't move that fast. Most of .NET is going to be the same now as it was 2 years ago. Things like MVC and IOC are also not going to have changed much (though in the .NET landscape, this might not be so, as .NET hasn't really payed into IOC as heavily), etc. If something has changed so drastically that something 2 years old is completely obsolete, then I might question whether or it is....a fad.
 

PTNL

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Things like MVC and IOC are also not going to have changed much (though in the .NET landscape, this might not be so, as .NET hasn't really payed into IOC as heavily), etc.
For .NET and IoC, I've been using Ninject and MEF+Prism for several years now, and there are plenty of others to choose from. So I'm a little confused by this statement -- could you elaborate on it?

If something has changed so drastically that something 2 years old is completely obsolete, then I might question whether or it is....a fad.
I generally agree with this, though it is more obvious on things built with a language than the language itself. (JavaScript frameworks, for example.)
 

Dogs

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For .NET and IoC, I've been using Ninject and MEF+Prism for several years now, and there are plenty of others to choose from. So I'm a little confused by this statement -- could you elaborate on it?

There's a library/framework for anything you could ever want to do in any language, but that doesn't mean there's widespread use of it. The .NET IOC containers aren't particularly well established, and the use of IOC in .NET shops is not all that common. IoC is a lot more commonly used in other ecosystems than it is in the .NET one. The same could also be said about aspect-oriented programming.

Don't get me wrong: I'd much rather use .NET over anything else for 90% of the things I do if I had the choice, so I'm not bashing .NET. But IoC isn't as common among .NET development as it is for other environments, and Pluralsight's offerings reflect this. Of course there are some forward thinking shops who have adopted IoC for their .NET software. But these places aren't the majority. Also make sure you're not confusing IoC and DI (there are a decent amount of shops which use some amount of dependency injection by itself), because while they're closely related, they aren't the same thing.
 

PTNL

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There's a library/framework for anything you could ever want to do in any language, but that doesn't mean there's widespread use of it. The .NET IOC containers aren't particularly well established, and the use of IOC in .NET shops is not all that common. IoC is a lot more commonly used in other ecosystems than it is in the .NET one. The same could also be said about aspect-oriented programming.

Don't get me wrong: I'd much rather use .NET over anything else for 90% of the things I do if I had the choice, so I'm not bashing .NET. But IoC isn't as common among .NET development as it is for other environments, and Pluralsight's offerings reflect this. Of course there are some forward thinking shops who have adopted IoC for their .NET software. But these places aren't the majority.
Thanks for elaborating. I've also seen the same thing at several different companies; often times, it's been from some home-grown or "organically grown" application whose architecture was never really revisited at useful points.

Also make sure you're not confusing IoC and DI (there are a decent amount of shops which use some amount of dependency injection by itself), because while they're closely related, they aren't the same thing.
I wasn't confusing those two concepts, but I can see how my previous comment alone could leave that in question.
 

shado

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What you want to study really depends on your own goals and personal preferences.

For a web-based career I would advise the following:
I would begin to learn PHP and .NET, (I wouldn't focus on learning VB.net aspect --- I would say learn C# instead. You should also look into graphic design basics (don't necessarily need a college course for that). Others may argue Ruby -- I like Ruby (Ruby on Rails) but I haven't seen the job market really start heavily using it yet (at least in my area). I find myself using it for personal projects right now.
Python might be a good choice for starting out too.

You may find coding or design is not what you want but you will need to at least know the ABC's of them if you plan a career in web development.

Further thinking:

How good is your HTML/CSS? HTML5 and CSS3 are really changing the game.
How about other stuff like Node.js and JQuery or just plain old Javascript?

If you have time/energy/resources I would also look into design practices, MVC architecture, and other languages like maybe Java, C++.
The languages on the job markets are almost like stocks
You gotta invest your time (money?) into them and hopefully they end up paying out but it depends on so much like geographical location, personal/commercial interests, industry, current trends, etc......

It really does depend on what you think you will be using the degree for --- and you may not know yet at this time.

There's other stuff too like databases, security, etc.... (this can obviously get bigger than just websites but for today's standards a novice should be able to create a simple website that has basic database/security for user accounts).

There's so much you may just have to try things out to see how much you like them....
Just take a look at all the IT-related career paths

Developers, System Administrators, Network Engineers, Support Engineers
The web field alone has database people, graphic designers, "front-end" developers, "back-end" developers, SOAP/REST developers, security experts, design experts, etc.....

Just get a good solid background and you should be able to do any of them.
Work (practical and professional) experience is JUST as important as taking the classes.



Wow -- what a long reply. Just read the bold stuff for the short answer.
 

Mr.Dospod

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http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Science-Overview-11th-Edition/dp/0132569035 might be a good place to start it's the book all computer science students must use for the introduction to problem solving (computer science) class.

Honestly you're not going to know what you want to do yet in the IT field so take it easy , take electives that interest you. I hated programming , but this summer I found out I loved making apps with eclipse in my mobile programming class.

And the big piece of advice is try early in your academic career to not procrastinate, honestly If I didn't procrastinate my gpa would be alot higher than it currently is.

Welcome to Higher education in the Computer Science field, it's hard, tedious at times, but totally worth it!
 

Cottonwood00

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Feb 19, 2008
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Looks like most of the people have given you a good start. Go to your classes, learn, absorb, and even get some online courses. Always expand your knowledge it will always help, but most of the best programmers enjoy what they do, think of something you could automate and try to build it and repeat. Like anything else learn by doing and use personal projects as a means to grow it will also help you find the little niche you might enjoy most.
 

robvas

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Jun 30, 2011
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Where are you going? Stanford? Full Sail?

Having a decent grasp of one or two programming languages (say Javascript or Python) would be a great start. Don't get in over your head trying to learn abstract CS topics or anything real specific just yet.
 
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