I'm looking into learning how to program. I've been using HTML and CSS for over a decade now but I've never moved past that. My question is where should I begin? I'm currently reading up on PHP and MySQL but I'd like to do this right. Here's what I would like to accomplish.
Additionally I'd like to move beyond just websites and learn how to create applications and games. Whether they be for the web, or mobile devices like Android and iOS.
Where should I start? Is there a programming language I should learn first that will assist me in learning others? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
PHP is a good starting point, it will teach you most of the major concepts of programming and it has a fairly easy learning curve. If you want to do computer programs try Visual Basic if you use Windows. If you use mac your options become much more limited, C and C++ (very hard languages) become your best options.
I started with C++, but I have since found that doing this is an unusual route due to its steep learning curve.
I personally believe starting with PHP & MySQL may benefit you the most. I actually learned the basics of PHP & MySQL well before I even learned HTML/CSS. A bit backwards, and caused some bumps along the road. But I felt learning PHP & MySQL help me tremendously down the road. Picking up on other languages seems to be a bit easier with a small background in PHP & MySQL rather than strictly HTML/CSS.
Pick up some books from Sitepoint. Or grab a few ebooks. Start small, build your way up. It's more of an understanding rather than learning at first in my opinion. I tend to grab open source applications built with php, mysql and study them. Helps me out a ton!
Feel free to add me to MSN if you ever want to have a discussion, or need some help! I'm not a pro, but I do have an understanding.
If you have some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, you should start with PHP and MySQL.
You could grab some books/ebooks and start learning the basics. Once you know the basics of PHP/MySQL, you can allways apply to some advanced programming classes online (in my opinion, this is the best way to learn.. just like in school - with tests, grades and stuff).