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Qualifications for becoming a professional webmaster?
I am a newbie
webustaad

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 10:23 am on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dear members/moderators/administrators!

I am new to this web designing world. I am learning the basics of HTML in my free time. I want to become a professional webmaster but I am not sure where to learn advanced HTML, Java, Java script, CGI, PHP, XML, flash and the graphic softwares Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Front page.

Do I have to take any web designing course or can I learn by myself through books and free online tutorials? How did you all learn web designing. What qualifications do I need to become a professional webmaster.

I will be very thankful if someone guides me on this path.

Take care and keep smiling.

 

Marketing Guy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 10:31 am on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Webustaad and welcome to Webmaster World! :)

There is nothing that says you need to have xxx qualifications to become a web designer.

You can very easily learn by yourself - there's a tonne of resources available for free on the web.

I would mess around with Frontpage and Dreamweaver and decide which you feel better about using - and then go ahead and set up a website.

A lot of people put their CV/Resume online as their first website - it gives you something to focus on.

After this (or while you are doing this), you can work on learning programming languages, graphic design and web marketing as you see fit.

It seems a lot to take in to begin with, but as soon as you get started, it gets much easier. But more stressful! :)

Good luck

Scott

Mike_Mackin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 10:34 am on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Read all of this [searchengineworld.com] There will be a test ;)

And welcome to WebmasterWorld

Crazy_Fool

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 11:15 am on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

from a potential client's point of view, the top 3 qualifications are:
1 - experience (demonstrated in portfolio)
2 - recommendations from existing clients
3 - common sense

a formal qualification like BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) often carries a lot of weight with potential clients. any "webmaster" type qualifications will be almost meaningless to all potential clients.

just taken on a young lady as a trainee - she's taken loads of courses in dreamweaver, flash, etc etc etc. told her to junk them all. it's all very well knowing how to use dreamweaver, but that doesn't mean you can design or build websites that work and you still need to know your way around html anyway. she's starting fresh with pure html coding and getting on well.

from an employers point of view, i want staff with good english skills. it doesn't matter if they know html or not - we can teach that, but we can't teach good english. in terms of qualifications, i think qualifications in journalism / media might be best - at least they might be able to string a bloody sentence together (much like newspaper content etc), which is more than most people can do these days.

webustaad

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 3:03 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Marketing guy Thanks a lot for your reply. Which software do you like the most, dreamweaver or front page?

webustaad

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 3:05 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mike_Mackin Thanks for the link. I will save this in my favourite menu.

Marketing Guy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 3:15 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was pretty much used to MS products when I started out in web design, so I began with Frontpage and have stayed with it.

I tried out Dreamweaver briefly but went back to FP.

Both can be really buggy and I guess the best one is the one you are used to and know how to use well.

If you are good with MS Word (tables / forms / formatting / etc) then you should be able to pick up FP easily.

Dreamweaver is similar, but i believe has more features and functions.

If you want to publish a site using FP, then your host needs to have Frontpage Server extensions installed (some don't). Although I got a budget package (3.95 a month) for my sites, so it isn't too much of an issue.

Good luck! :)

Scott

webustaad

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 3:16 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Crazy_fool Thanks for your reply. I would like to ask you that why you prefer good English on good web designing skills. I think the web designer's job is to develop a site and he has nothing to do with the content. Do you think that the web designer should also be the content writer? Actually I am originally from Pakistan whose official language is English but national language is urdu. Its hard for us to master both languages (English and urdu). I will wait for your reply.

JamesR

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 8:10 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The only requirement to being a pro is how much money you make for yourself or for others. Everything else is secondary.

rfontaine

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 9:48 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

First of all I would deep six the WYSIWYG editors and for this reason: until you really know the ins and outs of coding by hand you will never have a complete grasp of the whole concept.

Let me put it another way: would you buy a work of art done by some guy with a paint by numbers kit? Then don't fool yourself into pointing and clicking yourself into business.

Once you learn how to hand code HTML and CSS I would then move on to server side scripting such as PHP or ASP. Then learn how to combine these with a database such as MySQL. Once you do that, you can make one PHP/ASP template page by hand, a CSS style sheet, tie it to a database and PRESTO! as many pages of database generated content as you want.

And that is the beauty of it. No need for WYSIWYG editors because all you have to do is spend the time perfecting just one page and then tie it into the database. AND, if you later choose to change the layout and look of your website all you have to do is edit one file and all the other billions of pages (or maybe only 3-pages) you serve to your website visitors will look the same too.

Crazy_Fool

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 10:16 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I think the web designer's job is to develop a site and he has
>>nothing to do with the content.

if all you do is graphics work based on specifications that are given to you (ie, you work as part of a team), then fair enough. but these days, SEO is becoming so important that everyone involved in design / build needs some knowledge of SEO and requires good language skills.

as a designer with SEO knowledge, you can start the design process by looking at the intended content. reorganising the content could mean extra pages, extra categories, extra buttons etc. if you can't include them in the first design, at least you can take them into account so the site can be modified more easily later on.

>>Do you think that the web designer should also be the content
>>writer?

here in the UK, the "designer" is often a jack-of-all-trades - they do everything themselves.

>>Actually I am originally from Pakistan whose official language is
>>English but national language is urdu. Its hard for us to master
>>both languages (English and urdu). I will wait for your reply.

your written english is considerably better than that of most of the english people i've interviewed in the last two weeks.

4serendipity

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 2:30 am on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)


all I would deep six the WYSIWYG editors

I agree. I've never even thought about hiring anyone who has only used visual editors.

I'd also recommend that you start off with a good HTML book, a good CSS book, and a good information architecture/information design book, because. You can also find many excellent online resources as well.

A good way to judge both print and online resources is if they mention the W3C and web standards often.

I'd stay away from most web design classes and/or certificate programs. You'll probably learn quickly and better by picking up a good book or two and starting to mess around on your own.

dhdweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 2:22 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd stay away from most web design classes and/or certificate programs. You'll probably learn quickly and better by picking up a good book or two and starting to mess around on your own.

I will second that!

I invested in a CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) class, and believe me when I say that I already knew more than the instructor did! And to think that I started out with HTML for Dummies. :)

I will admit that I did learn a little about the Networking end of things, but could have taught myself with out spending $$$$$$ on a certification!

dhdweb

tbear

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 3:26 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Certified Internet Webmaster

Hey, I guess that's what my ex-wife meant when she said I should be certified ;)

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 3:41 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Patience! - and when it happens -- don't believe it was something you just did within the past two weeks. :)

4serendipity

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 6:22 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)


I invested in a CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) class, and believe me when I say that I already knew more than the instructor did! And to think that I started out with HTML for Dummies. :)

Yes, I've heard that this is too often the case with the CIW classes.

A couple years ago I looked into becoming an instructor for a couple CIW classes. I was surprised at how little knowledge was required to qualify.

Alternative Future

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 6:39 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have been designing websites for some years now, I hard-code in html, JavaScript, JSP and Java. My grammar well its a case of less said the better (as you can probably note from this post, and I am from the UK) I hope any of my future employers don't use that as an entry point into their company or am gassed hehe

Just my two pence worth ;-)

-gs

Skylo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 1:40 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am a year fresh from school and have been studying a course in dreamweaver, fireworks, flash. I have been studying while I am working my first job and must say without the course I would be stuffed.

You guys must admit that at the end of the day people do look at your credentials or am I just young and ignorant;)
No on a more serious note I have learnt so much from this forum and am indebted to the members. I would advise anyone starting out to come visit the forum straight away:)

Cheers

dhdweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 2:05 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have learnt so much from this forum and am indebted to the members. I would advise anyone starting out to come visit the forum straight away:)

You will learn more here than in any class!

Trust me, I have!

davemarks

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 2:30 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll second that dhdweb!

Skylo I'm 20 and at Uni, and I can tell you I respect two out of my 6/7 lectures....

Why, becuase only two have properly worked in the relevebt industries, only two know what they are talking about (in any depth) and only two are human ;)

One of my lectures made simple mistakes like saying <p> wasn't a pair tag and that you put a <p> at the end of any line you wanted to make into a paragrapgh.

I have learnt what I know through self teaching, reading books, online tutorials and FAQ's and also through Forums like this.

I've found you learn most from experience, some of the things I know, I know simply because I have had to implement them, and so have had to research etc. Most of the things you are taught go straight over your head and if you don't actual implement them in any context its a wastew of time, you don't learn any of the pitfalls, quirks of browsers, operating systems etc etc

I know for a fact I have passed several pieces of coursework and exams simply by fluke.

As far as WYSIWYG i support what others have said here in that you really (in fact definatly) need to know raw html. There are a great number of reasons why, and seeing how long this post already is, i'll not enter into that now :)

limbo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 2:32 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I third that!

you have all the training you would ever need right here :)

I would also say that learning a good graphics package is benificial. You will not be able to optimise and create good looking graphics using straight coding.

I am a Fireworks enthusiast but this is a time consuming application to get to grips with if you have no experience. Photoshop is probably the most recognised and industry standard but also has a steep learning curve. But given the time, learning either, will provide you with marketable skills and will be a rewarding experience.

If you are constrained financially there are trimmed down versions like Photoshop Elements which provides most of the design functionality at a fraction of the cost.

<added> Oh, and enjoy yourself :) </added>

davemarks

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 2:43 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yep Adobe Photoshop is probably the best bet

I also have Paint Shop Pro, but I only ever use that for icons.

I agree that photoshop is a steep learning curve. I probably use about 5% of its features if that. But it uses much better algo's so produces better results :)

Skylo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 7:05 am on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

For anyone wanting to operate with graphics I would say that fireworks is my best. I made my first website with it and would advise anyone to use it. Dave and Limbo at least I know people have gone/going through the same thing. Happy webbing to all:)

orissia

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 8:54 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi!

In all the web interviews I've been to, I've never once been asked what web design/development qualifications I have (I have none). Employers are far more interested in actual experience: urls you've designed, companies/clients you've worked for. My educational/professional experience had been in teaching and the social sciences. I learned ASP, HTML, JavaScript, PHP etc through books and actual practice in my spare time. I took a few courses but found them useless and out of date. I've also volunteered in a web department - this has given me more practical experience, knowledge and understanding of web design/development (and in a business setting) than any of my book learning (and it got me a paid job, eventually).

All the best,
O.

u4eas

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 408 posted 9:21 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I myself have never attended a class on HTML. I am not certified, but I want to be just for the star in my lapel... even if its just for me.

I am by far not the best designer, but I am happy with what I have learned over the years. Plus, I really enjoy the fact that I am what I am because of what I have done on my own to get here =)

markusf



 
Msg#: 408 posted 3:20 am on Apr 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just make some sample sites... that will speak volumes about your abilities.

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