Lesson Path, where to start?

I am Darron, I’m 51 years old and I have aspergers (ADHD) high functioning.
I am a self taught PC technician, I had to be, there was no one around to teach this stuff in the early 90’s, I even worked professionally for 10 years as a bench technician doing diagnosis, repairs and full builds. I still do this at home on my own hardware, and friends and family PC’s, but now it’s a hobby.

I was even offered a job with the West Yorkshire police to work in their brand new computer forensics department. But to be honest, I REALLY didn’t want to look for pictures of, well, things you cannot un-see.

I am currently caring for my elderly mentally handicapped uncle, while I don’t get a huge amount of respite from this, I would like to at least prepare for my eventual return to work, hopefully a long time in the future.

I’m am considering Linux as one option, a good friend told me nearly 30 years ago that Linux was going to revolutionise the world, so learn it now! I didn’t :frowning:
I wish I had.

But I’d also like to consider web development. I have a couple of friends that I don’t like bothering with problems and questions, but they both have multiple servers that they use to host small sites and commercial sites. But both of them turn down work because the customer is far too new and they really don’t know what they want, and they want these guys to do the software setup, configuration and maintenance. Which my friends don’t or won’t get paid enough to do. I don’t want load’sa money, just enough to pay for itself and a couple of beers.

So I don’t mind being the one that will host, setup, configure and maintain, (at home, I have several spare and FAST PC’s that I could use as servers, and a good 5MB upload).
I don’t mind being the one who makes the least amount of money, life isn’t about who’s the wealthiest at the end, though Jeff Bezos still hasn’t learned that lesson. It’s who’s the happiest. Though I think I could be happy if I had JB’s money.

No, I’m happiest helping people and if I can, teaching people. I also teach DJ-ing for free on a one to one basis.
So I’d like to learn Linux to make use of my own home servers, and web-dev to create custom sites for people instead of tweaking OOTB PHPbb3 or Wordpress. Sure this is probably more of what I’d do any way, but if I could create custom code, I could make a much more personalised site.

So that’s me. Getting on a bit and finding new things a bit more of a challenge than I used too, but more than willing to give it a damn good go. If I have to return to work, I’d like to be IT support within an office and do my other stuff on the side.

BTW I absolutely love the ethos of Free Code Camp. Those who can, teach! But for free, thank you. Money shouldn’t be a barrier to learning.

Sorry for the life story.
So my question is this :slight_smile: :laughing:
Where should I begin, I want to learn the essentials of hosting and security, then move on to web-development. But that’s just my thoughts.

Thank you,

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So there are a few things I’d like to bring up to help you make your own decision on which route you’d like to go on.

Linux is still around. It didn’t directly revolutionize the world, but it does run most of the worlds internet infrastructure.
Linux is the basis of most servers you connect to online, most devices on Earth actually run a form of Linux, which is Android.

If you want to get into infrastructure or system operations, learning Linux is probably going to be a must-have. Luckily its very easy to get started, as Linux is free and open source. All it takes is picking a distro, and installing it on a computer (or dual booting) and working with it.

The other key thing about the modern web is the cloud. Multiple companies big and small, are migrating to it. Which, for them means not hosting their own dedicated hardware, instead they pay someone to manage the hardware for them. This means a small company can flexibly pay for what they want in regards to systems and infrastructure and get better stability and features than if they did it themselves.

Furthermore, the web is slowly transitioning toward not only a cloud based architecture, but also a “service” one as well. In the same vein as paying someone for their hardware, you could pay a company to host/serve/manage your software as well. If your aware of Wordpress, then your aware of the business model.

Because of this, if your focused on IT, its hard to get away from these service based systems, cloud or otherwise, to the point you have more opportunities knowing your way around one of these clouds rather than trying to “fight it” with your own infrastructure internally.

I’m not much for buzzwords, but its very hard to get away from the advantages of a setup where a single person can get a 1TB bandwidth, 32gb RAM, 64core machine in seconds run complex algorithms, and then disable it. Then go pay 5$ a month for a cheap infrastructure you don’t have to manage yourself. The cloud is the future.

There are still needs for on prem solutions, but these are getting fewer and farther between. The only people building data-centers are the big cloud providers who are all fighting to be bigger/better/faster and closer to consumers.

This doesn’t mean you can’t find an IT job. There is always a need for on-prem IT managing their internal hardware, but its less servers and more person + machine hardware, such as laptops and phones. If you have pre-existing experience with this, then moving into this realm shouldn’t be a problem.

Moving onto web-development is another beast however. The modern web moves fast, changes a lot, and requires a lot of knowledge and experience to break into. Not only does all of it more or less not lean on your pre-existing experience, it leverages more “cutting edge” tech. That cloud I spoke of can be used to not only host, but build your app. Hardware considerations don’t matter as much, and your multiple layers away from the underlying machine. As such your welcome to look into web development, but I’d put that on the side of “look into it as a hobby” rather than a career path, unless you really like it and don’t mind more or less “starting from scratch”, as your pre-existing infrastructure/ops experience wont carry over much, if at all.

Regardless of what path you take, or decisions you make,
Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:


Thank you Bradtaniguchi for a lot of information.

I will almost certainly learn linux, I am, I always have been and I always will be a tinkerer, so it really speaks to me. I forgot to mention that I use Raspberry Pi’s for that too, so while I can just about do what I need to do, I feel that I could really do with a course in Linux fundamentals to catch up on missing info.

As for the cloud, I’m not in that world so I guess that’s why I didn’t mention it, that’s why I didn’t think of it, though I have heard of Amazon and Azure. Of course when you say cloud, I think Nextcloud or Owncloud.

I was hoping for a couple of links, so if anyone can point me to this lesson or course for Linux, web-development and thanks to bradtaniguchi, cloud computing.
Also would anyone recommend and CompTia courses/books or should I avoid them?
Yes, also links to books that anyone can recommend too please.

Many thanks,

I’m not in IT anymore, but I did spend some time doing stuff like that and talked with a number of experienced IT professionals. I also still dabble a bit myself (I also have a raspberry pi I go on and mess around with from time to time ;D)

CompTia is well respected still. This is the book my former boss told me to study if I wanted to get certified:

However, I never did look into it as I was focused more on software development.

  • Linux: here’s freeCodeCamp’s aggregate post about Linux tutorials in general:
    The Best Linux Tutorials

  • Web Development: FreeCodeCamp’s curriculum is primarily focused on the MERN stack web development, which can be started here:
    or for more general context about web development, see the news feed:
    (you can search for more specific topics. All without ads, or payment, because this is freeCodeCamp)

Other general resources that are useful are:

There are a lot of different kinds of topics covered in freeCodeCamp’s youtube, and news feeds. Great to at least get a high level idea of whatever you can think of.

You can also read all about the cloud from their direct docs, here are the “big three”:

(listed in order of popularity)

hope these links help, and are what your looking for :smiley:


Thank you again Bradtaniguchi, that’s a fair amount of stuff to go through.
I’ve just ordered the book and some PC parts so I can start playing and learning:

65w CPU Ryzen 5 1600
40w GPU (literally just for a POP! OS desktop)
Mobo 30w
2x 500GB SSD - negligible
2x 4TB mechanicals. To be honest, I have no idea how much power mechanical drives actually use, but I don’t think it’s much, maybe 15w each?
500GB NVMe - Negligible
So it should be nice and cool, especially the CPU as I’m using my spare Ryzen 7 2700X wraith cooler. It cooled my desktop that could run at well over 150w. So 65w should be no problem.

Nobody ever said you must use rack servers, especially at home. The noise is incredible from these things.
That said, I have a rack-mount 24 port gigabit switch minus 2x 4cm fans :laughing:

Raijintek Metis Plus ITX Gaming Case - in Green
Aero Cool Integrator 400W 80+ PSU
ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac AMD Motherboard
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 Zen+ CPU

Spare parts:
16GB DDR4 3200mhz (YES I know spare 16GB of RAM!)
drives mentioned above
Spare GPU
Spare Apple Keyboard, spare wireless mouse, spare 48" 4k TV.

This kept the build price down, but the 4TB drives are quite old and probably not to far way from failure. But I have backups on my main desktop, so I’ll RAID 0 them and sod the risks.
The SSD’s are also well used, but well within their writes and are error free.

Total spend last week was £300
I can’t wait for it all to arrive and start playing.

There’s a world wide shortage of hardware? I hadn’t noticed :slight_smile: :rofl:

In regards to web development, especially with freeCodeCamp, you don’t need much hardware to get started. One aspect of the web is its reach into a multitude of platforms. As such, performance isn’t required on the machine running the web browser in most cases.

As such, you could use any machine to learn web development, with any operating system. The only requirement is a stable internet connection and a modern web browser.

I personally use a Chromebooks as my daily drive due to their stability, simplicity and portability.

The above hardware is for messing with linux, and it’s not a patch on my daily driver, which will be used for coding once I’m confident with linux.

Looks like a good place to start.

Managing a server is one job and building / maintaining websites is another. If you’d like to build sites, I’d suggest renting a small server (like LiquidWeb’s VPS option) and working through the HTML, CSS and Javascript tutorials. Then, you’ll need to consider your backend language. A huge portion of the web runs on PHP, so there’s a strong reason to go that route. This site offers node.js tutorials. I haven’t tried it, but that might also be a good route.

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