Scripting languages, need advice.

I've started a job doing web design for a company. It's gone well thus far, and my major forte is graphic design and layout.

It would be in my best interest to tackle some scripting languages. I.e. JavaScript, ASP..Maybe some database stuff, SQL etc.

Does anyone have some useful specialized forums or web links that I could use for reference and further learning? Everything is on the web side of things so I won't be for instance, writing a software program. We also use sharepoint as our CMS. I'm also up for educational book suggestions.

My knowledge concerning the above mentioned technologies I would define as basic. I would like to get to a more intermediate level. I feel comfortable with HTML/XHTML, CSS, XML etc, but would not mind additional links there as well to keep me up to date and continually learning. I'd consider my knowledge of these intermediate, and would love to take it to a more advanced level.

I've dabbled with php some. If I'm working mostly in an ASP environment, do I really need to tackle php further? Or should i just put that on the back burner.

Any advice, suggestions, or help is appreciated. Be gentle, I know I've got a lot of work ahead of me, and am excited to learn more.
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  1. I would focus on PHP and JavaScript because they are platform neutral. Most hosting is done with Apache on Linux, so do not limit yourself to ASP. PHP works great on Windows web servers, just like on Linux/Solaris/MacOS/etc.
  2. If your job uses ASP then stick with that. It doesn't mean you should learn only that though. PHP is very useful as well. However, mastery over what you use at work will see you greater gains financially and professionally. You can introduce other languages as opportunity exists and as long as they actually solve a problem better than alternatives.

    I'll echo PHP for it's ubiquity with the caveat to also learn about best practices for software in general. Most scripting languages are notorious for being considered low quality as they're so quick to write and often have few constraints so it's very easy to not be tidy. I'd have a hard time imagining the majority of online how-to's to be acceptable for Facebook's own site, for example.
  3. Do you have any book suggestions Majestic? I guess to be a bit more clear, I'm not exactly looking for simple how to solutions specifically online (although I love online resources), but more so a decent starting/jumping off point. I also like the idea of professional community interaction via forum, but am not sure of any superb ones specifically for web developers.

    PHP is definitely on my to do list. It just seems to keep getting pushed further back on my list though due to situation. ASP will be an essential for me going forward at the place I work at. They're all Microsoft at the moment and I do not see that changing. I just hope I don't miss out by going with ASP first. I'll still keep a big star next to PHP on my to do list though lol.

    Concerning SQL...if I have a good understanding of Standard it difficult or tiresome to pick up additional procedural programming language functionality? For instance, MySQL or Microsoft's variation? Am I understanding that correctly?

    Sorry if any of the questions seem a bit silly or simple. Thanks for all the help thus far guys.
  4. I got my start with ASP in 21 Days.

    For standards I would recommend the following (and yes, most programmers have their own libraries as the years go by)

    And since you work on the web:

    Something you should know about programming theory books: each has its own take on things. Some things will appear contradictory but they exist for their own reason and are usually very good for their intended purpose. Almost EVERYTHING in software depends on the context of the requirements at that particular business. So learn to be aware what is important for your particular project and that should help you discern what to do versus what not to do.

    A quick critique: Transact SQL is not a procedural language. It's a set-based language designed solely to interact with data sets as a whole. That's an important distinction. T-SQL is the base SQL language for the vast majority of RDBMS (relational database manage systems) though each does have its own twists on things. You'll notice differences between MySQL, MSSQL and Oracle.
  5. Just to clarify: Do you actually mean ASP, or ASP.NET? They are two entirely different things.
  6. I mean ASP I believe, likely in correspondence with JavaScript. Should I also pick up VB? It's been some years since I last used that, but I remember not finding it incredibly difficult.

    ASP.NET is object oriented correct? I'm under the impression right now that I don't exactly need to learn both. Someone correct me if I'm misinformed please.

    I'll take a look at the books suggested later tonight. Again, any info is great guys, and really appreciated. Can't wait til the weekend so I can really get some things started.
  7. You don't *need* to learn both. Though, knowledge of a widely used technology is never bad. That said, OOP is an architectural paradigm and not a feature. While .Net has all the structures to let you do it, you can ignore them, albeit often at your peril. :)

    I used ASP with VBScript. It can work with JavaScript as well but the vast majority of ASP articles and resources are shown with VBScript. VB is a nice language but I prefer c-style languages. It's a matter of preference.
  8. Maybe I'll start ASP in correspondence with VBScript and see how I like it. If that's what a lot of resources are utilizing, might not be a bad start for me then.

    I just got done in a meeting with some of the people I work with, and it looks like I'll get designated time within the position to improve my areas of knowledge if it correlates with the position. That's very very exciting for me. Most research I've done in the past has been on my time and finances.
  9. is a great ASP resource. It was a quintessential go-to for me back in the day.

    Best of luck.
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