Firstly being new to Adobe products this past week I hope I'm placing this question for advice in the correct space. I am fortunate enough to have parted with my full time job recently and have decided to retrain myself as a web developer, initially building a site for a college and then hopefully for some other local businesses etc. The type of sites that I will be looking to build will include flash etc to make the sites modern and compelling for people to view as well as being easy to operate. (by trade I'm a senior IT programme manager)
Having chosen CSS5 Web Premium I decided to start training with the Adobe Classroom in a book series as I felt this would suit my style of learning. The initial course that I'm currently undertaking is for Dreamweaver and I hope to have completed the course and started to build a demo project in the next week or so.
My question is given the types of sites I want to build and the fact that I have 3 to 4 months of training time availabe to me which CSS5 products should I invest time in learning next, Flash Catalyst, Fireworks, Photoshop, Flash Pro? I'm keen to ensure that initialy I learn the products that wil allow me to build sites of interest and incorporate as much functionality as possible.
Look forward to responses
You stated you wanted to be a web developer. Typically, that terms is somewhat distinguished from web designer. Web developer implies more programming oriented (think ecommerce, login systems, databases, etc.) while web designer indicates more of a focus on graphic design. If you are interested in web design, which it seems based on your suggestion, I'd suggest Fireworks as the next product to learn after Dreamweaver. You can also use Photoshop, which is more well rounded for other types of design projects such as print and video. Fireworks is more optimized for web design though.
If you are actually interested in web development, you should probably learn PHP.
Many thanks for your reply and as you righlty pointed out I cleary wasn't specific with my needs, sorry about that. I am intending on both designing and building web sites for people so I guess that means I woud be required to train as both?
I thought it would help if I gave you a couple of examples of the kinds of sites that I would be hoping to design and build over the next six months as these would give an example of the type of skills required.
1) A re design of a web site for a local sports shop that also rents out winter sports equipment and has a capability to choose and then book the equipment via an online store.
2) A club web site that has a requirement for people to post in a forum and also log in so content is not available to all.
It seems like I will need a combonation of the skills and I'm preuming that I can both design and develop the above utilsing the tools that I have with CSS5? I'm not a coding expert by any stretch of the imagination and intend not to work in this way where possible although I am taking plenty of notice of the split view throughout my Dreamweaver training to ensure I understand what is happening under the covers.
You can design and develop using CS5 for sure, but not everything you want is easily done out of the box.
Back to the original question, I'd suggest Fireworks after Dreamweaver.
Check out the workflow process diagram at: http://www.utexas.edu/learn/designprocess/
While that's for large, multi-disciplined teams, it will give you some idea of the order of the web design and development process, and should help you select which product it makes sense to train on first.
Thanks for your comprehenisce information. I've taken a look at the sites and I think all will play a role somewhere down the line. On the Fireworks front I'll take your advice and tackle that next in the next few weeks, many thanks for helping me to answer that.
I have one more question if you don't mind and it's in relation to templates. Would you normally build a Dreamweaver template up from scratch once all requirements are understood, or would it be more normal practice to work with one of the many templates available? I'm guessing the former for the most part but am interested to know where the differing types of approach are best used.
Again thankyou for your help & support. I have to say that if this is the level of help provided via professionals in this fiedl via these forums I'm very much looking forward to the next few months whilst I'm learning the products.
Thanks again for answering all of my questions in a prompt and professional way.