Building website for math students, first-time programmer, need guidance.
I posted here
a month ago regarding learning programming after an MA in Math.
I finished Think Python in about a month and wrote code to solve virtually all the exercises (good exercises), but accidentally sudo rm'ed them from the Unix shell, so I lost all but three or four programs. I'm still disappointed about this, but I still have code where I programmed a game of N-player tag, and simulated (Monte Carlo) probabilities of various Poker hands, correct to .001.
Right now I'm halfway through a 600-page book on Java (Schildt's intro book; exercises are dull).
I finally have an idea of a real project for myself, as opposed to these toy exercises.
I'd like to build a website for my (college) math students with games and tests to incentivize and improve their performance. It'd be private (they'd have to log in with a password), they'd select their own avatar and name, their scores and performance will be recorded, and they'll compete against one another in various ways. It'll be entertaining and fun, with a nice GUI. I'd like to get a shell up before I start making the interface fancy, but I'm mildly ambitious about the end product. It'd also be a general "course webpage", with accessible private information such as grades, as well as public announcements such as course policies and announcements.
I think this could go somewhere, but I've never done this before. What should I know and study besides Java and Python with an eye towards this project? Is it too early in my development, am I moving too fast, etc.?