Part 3: Debugging Tools for becoming a web programmer

BUGS! They need special care and attention. They need special tools too. This post is dedicated to squashing bugs. (This tutorial is a part of the series – “How to become a web programmer in 4 easy steps”. Read previous post here. )

Nailing bugs can be done with assistance from browsers. We will discuss tools that are available with the three major browsers in the market – IE 8, Firefox 3.5 and Google Chrome 3.0.

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Part 2: Editing tools and Lookup materials for becoming a web programmer

Among the many things that play a crucial role in maintaining the flow of development, the choice of an editor and reference document are undoubtedly the most important. Today we will discuss them.

(This tutorial is a part of the series – “How to become a web programmer in 4 easy steps” . Read previous post here.)

Choice of an Editor

My stints with text editors always ended in disaster until I used Notepad++; and I fell in love with it.

notepad++

Notepad++ is the best text editing software in its category. It boasts of a lot of features including support for a whopping 48 scripting languages and portability.

Reference Material

A reference always comes handy – especially if it is available offline. Free offline materials are hard to find. Given below is a collection of offline and online reference material for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP.
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Part 1: Essential Development Tools for becoming a web programmer

We will start our discussion by setting up a development environment. (This tutorial is a part of the series – “How to become a web programmer in 4 easy steps”)

For every budding web developer, it is extremely important to get himself/herself familiarised with the basic setup required for client-server architecture. On the client-side only a browser is needed. Since all operating systems come with at least a browser, we can concentrate on setting up the server part of the story.

Here’s what you will need:

  1. A server – most popular being Apache
  2. A programming language – PHP being the most popular among the many available
  3. A database manager – MySQL being the most popular

Besides their popularity, all of them are free to use.
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How to become a web programmer in 4 easy steps

right-tool-selection

Gather the tools and know them

In a nutshell, yes, that’s it – the recipe for starting out to be a web programmer.

It took me a while to figure out, gather and put the ingredients in their right place. A break-up of the tools is given below.

  1. Development
  2. Debugging
  3. Validation and
  4. Optimisation Tools

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Technology: How do tinyurls work?

Ssh! I know the secret. Now you are about to know the secret. Read on; if you can you keep a secret.

tinyurl

Operation tinyurl.com

Once I got the opportunity to look behind the closed doors of tinyurl.com. It was highly dangerous. A split second’s mistake, I am done for. Anyway, I took the chance. And do you know what I saw? A goat!

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Design — Online Survey

How good is good?
“Necessity is the mother of Invention” — although Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) may not share the enthusiasm. We wanted to conduct a survey about online advertisements and we were looking for a ‘good’ tool. The word ‘good’ was difficult to achieve. Google search produced a ton of online survey websites, but they didn’t cater to our specific requirements. Even after an hour of googling we didn’t manage to hit the right keywords.

limesurvey_logo

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Design: Poster — 365 days at work

First year of professional life is a milestone in any fresher’s life. It’s the point where he/she gets to shed their “fresher” title. Last month was the transition period for eleven of us. We wanted to have a quiet celebration.

What is more appropriate than a poster?

I was all set except for an idea. Since I wanted to cook something simple, I rejected all the obvious ideas that flooded my mind — a cake with a lighted candle, a one rupee note with our names on it, etc. With every passing idea not working, I became disheartened.

Chaos to Clarity

A flashback of the last one year puzzled me more and clouded my thoughts. What was I doing all these time? What did I leave behind? People were not amazed about me; but nonetheless they were impressed. After all, I am leaving my mark in the corporate space. Suddenly everything fell into place. I knew what I had to do; what I had to write; the confusion simply vaporized. So, the flashback did do me good.

Layout

Since we have been imprinting our impressions on each and everyone we come across, the punch line could be nothing but

“We have been leaving our prints all over company for the last one year now”

With a thumb-impression and snapshots of my fellow ex-freshers, the poster was complete.

Afterword

Seeing the poster, one of my seniors exclaimed, “So you people were responsible for the pile of printouts around the printer!”

Image Credit

Image: Fingerprint
Author: Davide Guglielmo , Italy

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3
Design date: 03-Sep-2008