|Preparing for a webdesign job...|
I'm a student at university, and I'm looking at webdesign/development as a part time job. I already know pretty good HTML from making my own personal websites, although I've never really used a WYSIWYG type editor. I also know some CSS, how to use Photoshop, and some aspects of design. (Blinky neon text=BAD!)
Dreamweaver seems to be the popular choice but I code everything by hand and do just fine with that.
I would learn usability concepts, the study of how users interact with websites. Jakob Nielsen has a couple books on that that are worth reading.
I personally wouldn't worry about spending time with java. Learning some Internet Marketing will greatly enhance your web design skills, IMO.
I'd recommend developing your skills as PHP. It's a highly-growing scripting field with lots of support.
Gotta agree with JamesR about learning Internet Marketing. Creating the site is only half the equation -- marketing and promoting it can't be forgotten. If you can assist successfully with both aspects, you should have very happy clients.
As far as server-side languages are concerned, you may want to learn both ASP and PHP. Personally, I don't care for ASP, but MANY potential employers do.
You should probably get a basic understanding of PHP and ASP, just to have your bases covered(albeit, only two bases).
The first thing you need to realize is that design and devlopment are very outlooks, dispite the fact that there is often a lot of overlap. Design starts with the look and feel of a sight and then works towards the HTML/CSS, and finally the server. Unfortunatly, most designers seem to get stuck on the look and end up doing a losy job on the rest.
As a developer you need to start with what the site is suppose to do and then deside how best to impliment it. In theory, a developer is mostly a project manager: deside what need to be done and who to do it. In practise, deside what needs to be done, do what parts of the job forwhich your skills are suited, and if necessary, farm out the rest.
In my experiance, programing tends to lend itself better to development than does design, but there are plenty of designers who are able to also see the big picture. The saying "Don't judge a book by its cover," applies to Websites even more so, but it can be hard to remember when you're the one who desinged the jacket.
yes i use psp7 but if you wanna make insanely good images and animations 3ds max but you pretty much need a degree just to use that.
Thanks a lot, everyone. It looks like I'll be diving headfirst into PHP and MySQL first chance I get.