Need advice - on a roadblock (Web Dev path)

Hey there,

It’s my first post here talking about myself. (Man this really became too long of a post. Whoever, reads it, I am buying a beer). I will talk about my experience in doing the Web Development Path. I think it could potentially open up to other people who are also struggling.

Let me say something about my background.

I am a seasoned IT pro. Doing pretty good on the server side, i.e Windows Server, IIS intermediate, Azure Cloud and so on. I’ve always had some fascination for the web technologies and over the years I’ve plunged myself into html, some css and different CMSes, just as a hobby, entertainment. Creating like video games fansites (purely informational, no logic). So as a new year’s resolution I decided to pair my strong IT skills with actual coding skills.

What’s the dream?

Not to work or get a job as a developer but get good enough to … do fun stuff in my spare time. I am a gamer (as much as I can considering family + job). I am a big Diablo fan. Season World of Warcraft player. So the dream is - to create my own browser MMO game. Heavily inspired by Gladiatus, which is an old and dying MMO browser game, which is turn based and is really good.

So 2020 new year’s resolution kicked in and I signed up for Codecademy Pro. When i looked at the Web Development path - Oh boy. Exactly what I wanted. Started with html and CSS. It was really fun because I had some previous experience with html and css so the courses were tremendous fun. Refreshing old knowledge + gaining a ton of new knowledge. I even started rebuilding my old Diablo 2 fansite which I built with WYSISWYG editor back in 2009. Started rebuilding it from scratch with modern knowledge and modern semantics I learn from the course.

Just look at the difference -

2009 -
2019/2020 -

It was really really great to put all that I am learning in Codecademy and to practice it in something that I love. Knowledge really sticks that way.

So the real programming started with the Javascript modules. Judging by how I was progressing, I think I am not a total dummy for programming languages. However, I had one huge problem with Javascript. I could no longer test it on my diablo website. Everything is printed into the console and no real world application yet. So even though i got an idea of what variables, functions, array and objects are - the knowledge doesn’t stick when i can’t use it. Quickly the new tasks became overwhelming and morale started to go down quickly. I checked the syllabus and I saw that there are lessons for DOM + Javascript soon so that kept me going. I got there eventually and i thought that the sky will open with hope. Unfortunately, it isn’t. The Robot Chore Game was the last draw. Doing it side by side with the YouTube video made me realize that I am so so far away from ever making something like that on my own. I think the Javascript course is really rushed and overwhelms you. I just don’t know well enough what to use and when. Things got a little worse, when I realiased that Javascript is good for manipulating the website and make it interactive but not being a backend language, meant that it has grand issues saving the data that the users manipulate. I basically can’t think of anything cool to build which resets back to normal after a page refresh.

I though about making a character talent tree calculator for Diablo only on Javascript for people to come and test some character builds and leave but that’s light years away from my current knowledge. I’ve seen some example of such calculators. They use a screenshot of the talent tree from the game and somehow manipualte and create objects on this simple screenshot that are clickable and interactive. If I continue my Web Development path, I might get the knowledge I want but I feel super bad about not being ready even if I get there.

I quickly realised that PHP bundled with Javascript might be the answer for my dream goal - the browser game or at least the interactive Diablo fansite. Creating objects - monsters, that are slain by some sort of a combat system and that they drop items and I want these items to be randomly generated upon drop. I want them to have good tooltips (i think i’ve found the answer to a good tooltip - Bootstrap tooltips).

So now that I am in a Javascript pause to gather myself, I started the Introduction to PHP course. I really dig into the variables and functions and arrays really easy now that I’ve seen the Javascript. It also feels … easier in PHP? … At least for now.

#Question 1 - What do you guys think I should do? Should I focus on PHP or continue my Web Dev path. Can you give me some ideas on how to strengthen my JS knowledge before I continue on the Web Dev path? I found myself using the “give me the solution” button way too often in the end. The whole reason to stop and re-think all this.

#Question 2 - Is there a way to manipulate elements with Javascript and then take those changes and save them (to a MySQL base perhaps) using PHP? That’s ultimately my goal. I think the answer is yes but can you guide me on how? I really wish to learn this to get my spirits up.

1 Like
  1. You need both PHP and JS, although PHP could be substituted by any of the other dozen languages for back-end. You can perfectly learn both at the same time, you might even see similarities and difference which will help you to become a better developer.

  2. That is certainly possible, there is fetch and axios allowing us to make async request to the back-end of your website, but you also need a database (like mysql)

having a goal in mind can help focus, so its certainly a good thing, but also be realistic, what you want could easily take months, if not more. There will be difficult moments, but those can help you forward.

You just need to keep pushing forward :slight_smile: good luck

to get started with php and mysql, there is xampp to help you on your way :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks. Well i will just push forward.

I am using IIS and MySQL on my PC. Already installed, I just don’t know how to use PHP + MySQL yet. Can you recommend me a course that will cover this? I looked at the Syllabus of my current PHP course and it ends on submitting forms.

xampp bundles it all nicely. Contains database, server and everything. Surely xampp has documentation. I am personally using linux when programming, so not really familiar with the windows environment.