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Thread: advice for fledgling web programmer

  1. #1 advice for fledgling web programmer 
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    So I am in the final stretch of my AAS in IT web development/programming degree. and find myself in need of a new laptop. I need to be able to run the latest versions of Netbeans, Visual Studio, SQL Server Management Studio, SQL server, etc.... And probably loads of other stuff I don't know about just yet.

    My budget is limited and I need to know what I should get that will last me at least a couple of years and be conducive to me actually getting a job in the field this summer. I already use a few different flash drives as well as own a 2TB usb external hard drive to store and back up files.

    Can anyone suggest minimum specs on a laptop to get me goin?

    I intend to get Windows 8 though I dread it. But I am assuming to be competitive in the field I need to be familiar with the latest and greatest software packages.

    Plus I want to be able to play my skyrim and the new sim city and sims 3.

    Also, what luck will I have in getting a job if my hair is royal blue? Just trying to find out if I should invest in a conservative wig as well.


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  3. #2  
    Iuvenis ducis Darkhorse's Avatar
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    Most important thing, memory. I would recommend 8gigs, and try to buy a system that will support more in the future, not all motherboards do. When you are developing you will often be running the IDE (netbeans or VS) as well as the database software and web server (or application server). None of those apps are light on the Ram. The good thing is that RAM is cheap, just make sure you can upgrade it later.

    Processor is second, more cores are better, since they will help you multitask with the all software you need to run. Anything over 1 will do you, but try for 4 cores.

    More important than the OS you are running is the web browsers you run for web development. All of them perform differently and all have their little "features" that aid or take away from development. Minimum you will usually want to develop for (as in test that they work seamlessly) are IE, Firefox, and Safari (which means you have to by something from Apple, iPhone, iPod, iPad or Mac). Chrome and Opera are also coming on strong. If you lack a dedicated test machine you may want to also run a virtual machine to test previous versions of the browsers. Again more RAM will serve you well here.

    Blue hair bah, high tech is notoriously non-conformist. If you are going to be customer facing it may be an issue depending on your customers but most of the time you will probably be buried in a back room. :-)


    Last edited by Darkhorse; January 26th, 2013 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Format (missing line breaks damn ipad...) :-)
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  4. #3  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkhorse View Post
    Most important thing, memory. I would recommend 8gigs, and try to buy a system that will support more in the future, not all motherboards do. When you are developing you will often be running the IDE (netbeans or VS) as well as the database software and web server (or application server). None of those apps are light on the Ram. The good thing is that RAM is cheap, just make sure you can upgrade it later.

    Processor is second, more cores are better, since they will help you multitask with the all software you need to run. Anything over 1 will do you, but try for 4 cores.

    More important than the OS you are running is the web browsers you run for web development. All of them perform differently and all have their little "features" that aid or take away from development. Minimum you will usually want to develop for (as in test that they work seamlessly) are IE, Firefox, and Safari (which means you have to by something from Apple, iPhone, iPod, iPad or Mac). Chrome and Opera are also coming on strong. If you lack a dedicated test machine you may want to also run a virtual machine to test previous versions of the browsers. Again more RAM will serve you well here.

    Blue hair bah, high tech is notoriously non-conformist. If you are going to be customer facing it may be an issue depending on your customers but most of the time you will probably be buried in a back room. :-)
    I doubt anyone would put me in contact directly with a customer face to face. If I am waiting tables or some other minimum wage service industry, I am a freaking Customer service guru. But when it comes to art and technical stuff, I prefer to just be told what to produce and left alone. I don't do well with trying to help a customer figure out what they want. I'll leave that to the project managers.

    I'm glad I asked. The laptops I was considering probably wouldn't have been good enough. The one I have now has only 4GB of ram but it does have a dual core processor. But its pretty old. I bought it as a gaming laptop back when vista first came out. So it wasn't bad for the time but for what I need to do now, it has outlived it's usefulness. I can still play my games on it but that's about it. Will keep it as a back up though. Can never have enough back ups.
    Last edited by seagypsy; January 26th, 2013 at 06:41 AM.
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  5. #4  
    Iuvenis ducis Darkhorse's Avatar
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    Netbeans is a pig on ram and although I have not run VS in a long time I am sure it is the same. They make development a lot nicer but it at a cost. I was attempting to run Netbeans on dual core desktop with 2 gigs of ram under Windows 7, it was not usable at all with the other programs I was running. With 8 gigs I never have a slow down. The desktop can only handle 8 gigs of RAM total, but it will be good for now. This is by no means a high end system, it was $499 basic business system from tiger direct. Unfortunately I forget the processor and am not a work to check.Can you upgrade your RAM to 8gig?
    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. [Charles Darwin]
    Physical laws are kinda like Pringles. It is hard to break just one law. [Dr. Rocket]
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  6. #5  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    You have no idea how much easier your guidance made my laptop buying experience. There is nothing worse than laying down a load of cash not knowing if what you are buying is what you actually need. Imagine if I had gone with my first plan and gotten a 4gb ram dual core system and had it crash when I tried to put some actual workload onto it.

    So I went to tigerdirect and confidently walked up to the laptops found one with a quad core, a ten key number pad (just apersonal preference there), 4GB ram standard (upgraded to 8gb ram on the spot) and told the salesman, "I want this. Put it in a box for me now."

    I didn't get a high end one and I think I probably took a risk getting a aspire, but for the price I think I did ok. Got a 3 year warranty on it as well. So 8 GB ram, 500 GB hd, quad core A8 processor 2.8GHz, infected with Windows 8, and I am now typing on the most annoying machine I have ever used. Gotta go over to the windows 8 thread to find out how to make it not act like windows 8 now lol.

    I really do appreciate your help. oh and the advice on the hair was great too. I had been holding off on dying it for EVER so now it is a brilliant royal blue. And I am feeling girly for the first time in a long while.

    Last edited by seagypsy; January 27th, 2013 at 05:13 AM.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Junior TridentBlue's Avatar
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    Hey, If you're running Eclipse, yeah memory. As far as career advice: go to a city NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. All my friends who work in IT got it through inside connections. I have plenty of skills in the area but don't have a decent job in it, beacuse I'm such a hermit. Blue hair will not hold you back.

    And hey, great name!
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  8. #7  
    Iuvenis ducis Darkhorse's Avatar
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    Your welcome I am glad I could help. Nice color btw! TridentBlue is right on the money. Networking is the key to doing what YOU want. There are lots of places that are just like every other workplace, put your time in and plug away. It is much better when you really like, and believe in what you are doing.There are lots of groups that get together to bang out code and websites for non-profits and charities. You meet new people and get to see a lot of different technologies and approaches, and maybe you will hear of that job you are dreaming of. :-) Take a look in your area.
    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. [Charles Darwin]
    Physical laws are kinda like Pringles. It is hard to break just one law. [Dr. Rocket]
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  9. #8  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TridentBlue View Post
    Hey, If you're running Eclipse, yeah memory. As far as career advice: go to a city NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. All my friends who work in IT got it through inside connections. I have plenty of skills in the area but don't have a decent job in it, beacuse I'm such a hermit. Blue hair will not hold you back.

    And hey, great name!
    I am using Netbeans and Visual Studio 12, and sql server 2012. I tendt o prefer coding in notepad++ but to save time it seems learning to work in an ide is something I have to do. I am new to netbeans and sql. vaguely familiar with visual studio 2010 that i used last semester learning c++. I am having to try to learn c# on my own since none of my courses in my degree program led me on that path and now I find myself needing to know it for asp.net and ado.net

    I took a java course online and did terrible in it. apparently online is not a good method for learning IT. at least not for me. I need direct interaction with the teacher. So I am taking java again this semester in person this time.

    So if you have lots of friends in IT, why are they not hooking you up? You need to put them in check man, don't let them leave you out in the cold.
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  10. #9  
    Iuvenis ducis Darkhorse's Avatar
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    If you like notepad++ you may want to look at jEdit, it is a free cross platform editor (Windows, Linux, Mac). Really handy if you have to deal with Windows and Linux files, since it has seamless line end handling, and a bomber search and replace.
    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge. [Charles Darwin]
    Physical laws are kinda like Pringles. It is hard to break just one law. [Dr. Rocket]
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  11. #10  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    haven't used NetBeans for a while - used to use to compile and debug applets + can't really claim to have tsted it to its full ability
    if you're going to develop in .NET it would be silly not to use Visual Studio - i particularly like how from VS2010 onwards Ajax and charting is better incorporated in the core set-up
    when it comes to PHP and ASP, any text editor will do, although something like Notepad++ or UltraEdit which highlights things in colour does help over simple Notepad
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  12. #11  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    haven't used NetBeans for a while - used to use to compile and debug applets + can't really claim to have tsted it to its full ability
    if you're going to develop in .NET it would be silly not to use Visual Studio - i particularly like how from VS2010 onwards Ajax and charting is better incorporated in the core set-up
    when it comes to PHP and ASP, any text editor will do, although something like Notepad++ or UltraEdit which highlights things in colour does help over simple Notepad
    i love notepad++ it is my primary editor. the fancy ide's kinda distract me with all their buttons. as long as i have a strong understanding of the language notepad++ seems better for me. because I can always copy and paste the code into the ide once I have the basics down. of course creating pop up forms and such vs 2012 has proven invaluable for creating some long strings of code that I could and would likely end up with lots of spelling mistakes in and would take me forever to find the mistakes to correct.

    Does anyone here know anything about aptana studio? never heard it mentioned in any of my classes but I got a book to give me the details on html5 and css3 and the book highly recommends aptana. keep in mind i am already fluent in html and xhtml and css.. just wanted to get the latest updates.
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  13. #12  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i once took a book out of the library to see what all the fuss was about HTML5 and CSS3, and i must say i'm still puzzled
    in what way does breaking up your page in different types of content help ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  14. #13  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    i once took a book out of the library to see what all the fuss was about HTML5 and CSS3, and i must say i'm still puzzled
    in what way does breaking up your page in different types of content help ?
    I'm a bit ocd when it comes to organization. I have trouble creating a page without breaking things into divs and tables.... i get this weird idea that if I don't lock things down , objects are going to get loose and run all over hte screen. and often, they do, especially in IE. But it seems teh only difference is that section is easier tag name for new developers to remember over div and table. though i never had trouble learning div and table. oh well. I haven't really looked that deeply into hte html5 book yet. those are just the tag changes that have been mentioned in class so far.
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