Some University students have asked myself that is good to take some extra courses to learn programming. That is good to take some courses. But that is more important to get your hands dirty. I suggested them to buy some books and look into their example codes. Then they can download some opensource projects and try to understand their codes. If they think they learn enough, they can start their own opensource project to build somethings.
Moreover, I keep to suggest them that they need to be keen for search work experience positions. The industry experience is very very valuable.
Programming is very important to practice.
During my career, I built some websites which are using a simple design and even with some simple functions. People have commented why I cannot make them better. Yes, I really can. If you can give me more funding, of course I can. In the real world, everything is about time and budget. We only got limited time and resource. If we spend more resources on layout, we have to make some functions away to bring it back on budget. In some situations, even the budget is ok to spend a bit more on website layout, but we still need to fit the deliverable schedule too. In these cases, we will delivery a simpler version first and still keep to develop. Maybe, we can have second deployment later.
Moreover, as a web developer, making the websites looks good is not our sole considerations. We want to make a lot of pretty websites. However, we have to take some factors in considerations. For example, we have to consider cross browsers comparability. Nowadays, we need to make websites can work with tablet and mobile phone. Well, I can use flash to make a very interactive and fancy website, but I am 100% sure this website can be read in any tablet and mobile phone. We really have to take the comparability factor into considerations.
Lastly, that is another important factor we need to consider. This is web hosting cost. Even we make a very complex website on time, on budget, this kind of website may need to bring workload into the web host or require higher specifications of web hosting. The web hosting is an on-going cost. The website may need to last few years before the next re-development. Thus, this can be a largest part of budget. In the past, I had to build a cut-off version of website, because of the web hosting requirement.
Building a website is not just about the layout. We need to consider the WHOLE picture!!!
I remember I started to work full time in Web Development Industry around 2003. That was 10 years ago. I treated this as my professional career. However, a friend asked myself why my clients need to hire us for building websites. She can do it in MS office. I think she is just one of many do not understand our industry.
We just ARE NOT JUST BUILDING WEBSITES. We are delivering a web technology solution to our clients. We have to understand our clients' requirements. And then we need to deliver the best solution for our clients. Moreover, we have to make the solution comply the clients' organisation requirements and legal requirements. Also, the most important part is to make sure the solution can be deliver on time and on budget. Our professional is not just to build a pretty website.
I am still using ADO.net and very simple applications. ADO.net is more flexible. I got more control to translate sql into objects for the presentation. Moreover, for simple applications, that is too much for using LINQ or other ORM. This is a bit over kill. I still recommend you to consider to use ADO.net, that is classic and useful!
Yesterday, I was talking with my staff during rebuilding a dev box. The hottest topic in that conversation is Chromecast. That is a small USB computer for JUST $35. It uses HDMI port to connect your TV and turn your TV into a smart TV. In a simple term, it can make your TV runs Chrome. It can read and load the content from internet into TV. The most feature is "Remote Cast" which is similar with AirPlay. You can drop the content from your iOS devices, Mac, Android Devices into Chromecast. Then you can continue to watch the content in your TV. But that is different from Airplay. The AirPlay can support Offline content, Chromecast has to online.
Well, this device is attractive and that is just $35! If I have not already Android USB TV stick. I will buy it. However, my Android USB TV stick already runs Chrome browser and it runs the app from Google Play, that sounds more powerful than Chromecast.