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This probably isn't the best place for this sort of thread, but it's the most popular board on the web development forums and I suppose it's semi-related to PHP so...

I've made a few small scale desktop apps with C# and Java (including a few games through XNA) but now want to try web development since web developers seem to be in the highest demand these days. First, what exactly is web development? Is it making webpages? Browser based apps? A bit of both? Second, what languages are most often used? What is essential to any well rounded web developer? Third, can anyone refer me to good resources on the internet or books for learning to be a web developer?

Edited by Xeros606: n/a

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Last Post by chrishea
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Just like desktop development, it could be anything, including web sites. PHP and ASP are the most popular languages. PHP is popular because it is relatively easy to use and it is open source. It has a large user community with lots of open source systems to choose from. w3schools is the best source for tutorials and reference info. In addition to PHP, you will want to know some sql and learn about MySQL; you will need to know HTML and some CSS and you'll probably want to know something about Javascript. The JQuery library and its plug-ins make this pretty easy.

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Just like desktop development, it could be anything, including web sites. PHP and ASP are the most popular languages. PHP is popular because it is relatively easy to use and it is open source. It has a large user community with lots of open source systems to choose from. w3schools is the best source for tutorials and reference info. In addition to PHP, you will want to know some sql and learn about MySQL; you will need to know HTML and some CSS and you'll probably want to know something about Javascript. The JQuery library and its plug-ins make this pretty easy.

Thanks for the reply, but I have a few more more questions. Aside from broad programming concepts and ideas, is knowledge of C# or Java useful in web development? Also, you said that HTML would be necessary; how much should I study into that? I know a little bit of it (by a little bit, I mean that I know what tags are, how to use them, and a few of the most common tags). How familiar should I be with the others things you mentioned (CSS, SQL, JavaScript)?

Edited by Xeros606: n/a

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PHP does a few key things:
1. It interacts with databases and files on the server.

2. It uses data and logic constructs to make decisions

3. It sends HTML and Javascript to the server.

It can do other things as well but the important point is the last one. Unlike a Windows program that writes to one or more windows, the output "device" for the server program is the browser. The browser understands HTML and Javascript and CSS. HTML provides basic formatting commands which are complemented by CSS (which is now the preferred method for defining much of the formatting) and javascript which is a scripting language that the browser understands. Javascript can be used to implement a variety of friendly user-interface "web 2" features. Thus, if the user interface is important to what you are developing, then effective use of HTML, CSS and Javascript is critical. PHP is great for the logic and the database interface but on its own, it can't interact with the user sitting in front of the screen.

If you already have programming experience, then that reduces the number of things you need to learn. You may find this post interesting in terms of contrasting C# and PHP.

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