Which way should I learn web development?
June 6, 2011 11:06 AM Subscribe
I'm trying to sort out the tangle of web development education options.
posted by COBRA! to Work & Money (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I've pretty much decided that, to get out of the weird niche that I've worked myself into, I need to pick up some further skills (or at least flesh out a lot of the stuff that I've kind of half-learned on an ad-hoc basis when needed). So, good for me. Time to learn some web development.
But I'm suffering from a little bit of decision paralysis. From where I sit, my options appear to be:
1. Totally self-guided learning through books and/or websites. I actually went and picked up an O'Reilly guide to learning PHP and MySQL, and have started working my way through it. I don't love the approach, and it's kind of a chore having to detour out for logistical stuff (like getting a MySQL server set up to play with). A friend suggested the tutorials on Lynda.com, and maybe that'd help with the not-liking-the-approach part.
2. Taking for-credit classes at a local community college. Lots of advantages there in terms of structure and guidance, and if I stuck it through, I'd have some documentation; but expensive and slow.
3. Taking Continuing Education (so, not-for-credit) classes at the same CC. Cheaper, and I think it'd offer a similar amount of structure with more flexibility.... but I don't know if the lack of credit/documentation matters, or if the classes would actually have as much info as the for-credit versions.
I'm town between the 3. I don't think #1's a winner, really, because of the lack of structure and the fact that it's too easy for self-directed study to fall into the cracks when life gets busy. But I'm not quite ready to totally abandon it.
I guess I'd love to hear any thoughts/suggestions/experiences anyone has. Particularly if you're someone who'd be on the other side of the hiring process- what would you look for? If an applicant had just taken some Continuing Ed classes, or learned from a book, what proof would you need to see to confirm they knew what they were talking about?