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What do i need to become a web designer/programmer

Last response: in Work & Education
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April 3, 2009 6:35:40 AM

as in.. what kind of qualifications do i need to get in GCSE, college and university?
apart from web design or programming, i'm also consider becoming an I.T engineer (or what ever you call someone who builds PC's)
i think i would enjoy the I.T technician job, but i'm worried that it won't pay as much as Web Design, but i'll probably enjoy engineering a lot more.
April 3, 2009 1:04:46 PM

Well - if your pre GCSE then I would worry just about that for the mo...

Make sure you get good grades in Maths, Science, ICT (if available) and English, and you will leave the option open for such a time as you have to decide.

Of these, at GCSE Maths and English are the most important, they are really the only two GCSE's people (employers) look at after you have gone on to A levels / degree - and good grades in them will help you out years down the line.
April 3, 2009 1:35:17 PM

As far as going into business building computers, experience is more important than qualifications. If there's a local business that builds computers, try getting a summer job there. That's how I started and now I own the place.
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April 3, 2009 2:28:23 PM

im interested in this do, building computers is a huge hobby of mine and iv been doing it all my life, although i have no qualifications in computers really

im at university now but nothing to do with computers

if i could add some questions:) 

how can one get into a job where you can build computers?
and would this pay well?
April 3, 2009 2:31:42 PM

Like I said, I got into it through a local business that does it and worked my way up the ladder. The pay really depends on the area you're in. If you're in a city, especially one where there's a lot of comp enthusiasts and overclockers, you'll make quite a bit of cash.

Really though, it's not a very high paying job, you make enough, but that's the sacrifice you make for doing a job you enjoy.
April 3, 2009 7:42:53 PM

oh i see..
thanks for the enlightenment
August 17, 2009 4:41:55 PM

Looks like I am late to the party here but I started messing with my own computers and then as mentioned before, found jobs locally to gain experience. Then I got bored of that and learned HTML, CSS, javascript, PHP and MySQL. Now I am working as a web engineer making far more than I ever did building/fixing computers and I feel it is more challenging (because writing code is often times subjective) and results in a more rewarding career. That is not to say building PC's cannot be also but that is up to you to decide. Just realize that there is a big world out there with lot's of niches and different technologies to pursue/learn. In addition, taking some English class (esp critical thinking) can help give you an edge over competition in almost any field you choose. I got a simple AA in English and it has helped me edge out people who sometimes were more qualified than I. Communication is a very important skill to have. You don't have to major/minor in it but perhaps just a couple or few for practice and to help give you a competitive edge when you graduate.
August 17, 2009 5:20:11 PM

For years I couldn't get a job building/fixing computers due to lake of experience, in the end the only way was to create my own job/business. But that's could partly be down to where I live.
September 2, 2009 8:47:57 AM

first off. stay in school. dont do drugs. nkay? alright.

then understand you dont need a degree in anything to become a web designer or a web programmer. you really just need to become familiar with the "parts" of a web site and learn to use the "tools" which manipulate those parts. you can start your own business by simply learning the parts and the tools and then doing some free work (for yourself or others) and then start charging for it when you have some examples of what youve done (more examples are better) to show prospective clients. in my experience, business to business relationships are all about solving a problem for someone else for X dollars and X cents and really not much about college degreees. all of the above is easy to say, hard to do. understood.

oh, and here are some one-size fits all answers to your question so take them for what theyre worth. if you want to be kick-ass computer technician then go get an Electrical Engineering degree. if you want to be a kick-ass web programmer, get a Computer Science degree with some emphasis in software development. if you want to be a web designer then get a degree in Fine Arts or Media Arts.

you should also understand that three things you mentioned, web designer, web programmer and computer technician are really three quite different things when you get down to doing them, or to applying for a job doing them. if you havent already, take a trip to your favorite career/resume website and see what employers are looking for with regard to each of the titles you mentioned and what tools and knowledge they expect you to have before applying. use those requirements as a template for what you need to learn to get a job with them, if that's what you want.

of course smarter is always better and in the family i grew up we were told to get a college degree in something, whatever you like, but get one and if your education doesnt directly match up with what you do for a living, dont sweat it.

let your interests help get you started, then set some short term goals for completion. the goals you complete are the ones youre really interested in ... the goals you dont meet, well ... arent and that by itself can help guide toward one of the three paths you mentioned.

hope this helps to encourage.

cheers.
September 2, 2009 9:04:20 AM

If your serious about this, just make sure you do well in school like alll the above posters allready pointed out.

Don't focus on history, gymnastics, french...Well, maybe french a bit. Focus more on mathematics, electronics,...

While doing that, learn, at your own pace and hopefully with pleasure, things like : html, javascript, java, c#, ...That list goes on and on and on, but while learning, you'll figure out what you need. A good(!) after school course also could help alot and good books....yes, books, don't only google...good books have a clearer path then tutorials from here to there and everywhere.

good luck
September 2, 2009 3:24:51 PM

A formal education is nice, but when it comes down to it your actual experience is much more important than where you got your degree from. Really any college with a semi decent CS program will do. Take a look at your prospective colleges degree plans and optional courses. If you want to be a web programmer then make sure the college offers courses in the basics of web design (even experience web designers can often ignore these), User Interface Design (should be part of the degree program but with some colleges it's not), Database Administration, and at least some optional courses in PHP, ASP, Python, or something along those lines.

You can learn alot simply by doing. Go online and follow some tutorials. It's easy to learn PHP and MySQL since many free web hosting services provide those and they are also easy to set up on a home Linux server. Just so you know, as a CS major you can get paid more in a traditional programming role than simply coding for websites, but if you would rather do websites and such then that's what you should do.
September 2, 2009 3:26:30 PM

By the way for learning PHP you can always head over to

http://www.php.net

For info on commands often along with snips of code you can review provided by community members who have nothing better to do. Kinda like the forums here :D 
September 2, 2009 4:23:40 PM

A degree isn't necessary, but it will open doors for you that would otherwise be closed. If you are going to expend the effort to learn how to do something, you might as well get the paper that says "you done did lernt it".

If you want to do well at your job, remember that your degree/certification is by far less important than your job skills, so keep them well-honed and don't rest on your laurels.

Any computer-related field is a continual learning process, so be ready to learn new things or reapply what you already know to something new.

Remember, the most important programming skill you can have is the ability to solve problems. Anything else is just gravy.

Don't restrict yourself to just one development language, environment or platform, but rather branch out. The more you diversify your base, the greater chance you will have a better solution to new problems as they are brought to you.

Keeping the above point in mind, don't be afraid to specialize if you are really good at one thing in particular.

Most importantly, remember that nothing is impossible, but some things are really, really hard to accomplish with the resources available.
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