I started working with FileMaker over 15 years ago and started with the VHS tapes from Video Professor, IIRC.
Going through the various templates FileMaker and others offer is also a good way to learn now.
One of the big things in any computer programing is understanding Boolean logic. All testing for do you, do this or do that is based on it. OR, AND, NOR, NAND, NOT, TRUE, FALSE, etc.
Got a BS. in Computer Science
Learned how to use Appleworks on Apple II series computers...
Took a class in Hypercard
Then discovered FileMaker 2.5 more years ago than I care to remember.
Since then it's been learning by doing and learning from others here in the forum, but note that I had a major leg up in the knowledge and skills that I acquired before I even knew about this thing called FileMaker Pro by a company named "Claris" (back then) even existed.
Every night I would spend half hour reading manual. After four times I began to know an answer.
plus I would try and fail as there was no one to ask
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A lot time reading the help file.
You are doing the one thing right that a person can do on his/her own: Taking courses, watching videos and reading the available materials, first of all the two FTS' (Basic/Advanced).
But you can probably not get over a certain point on you own. And not with only your probably few own solutions.
- You need dialog and discussion to evolve
- You need to se your own solutions in the context of other solutions.
Consider somehow building a team or connect to a team of database developers. There are many ways, also some of them where you do not need to "employ" or be "employed" by someone else, if that is important.
Set up a "high level" developer group, physical or online. Look at your solutions together, discus options and methods.
One thing though: If you want a real kick ... attend the FileMaker Devcon (July in Phoenix) or one of the European Developer conferences taking place in October.
Oh .... and adding: COR003 - Preparing for FileMaker Certification - Cristoffer Ippolite
And do download this file.
+ if you are on your own: Use the test ... FileMaker Certified Developer to measure your progress.
FileMaker is very different from most environments.
After reading a couple FMP books and doing some test projects, I spent a lot of time here on the forum and that's really where It all started to make sense. The experts here are knowledgeable and friendly. This is probably the best forum on the internet.
Knowing what I do now, I would realistically give myself a couple years to begin to become comfortable with FMP. There is a lot in there.
Look at the questions and answers here. A lot of these are nice bite-size problems to consider and check your answers against your own.
It's how I hone my blade every day.
Also: find an experienced FM dev in your area and do some code review with him, go over the design decisions and the different ways to solve issues. That will make it very specific and those lessons will probably stick a little better than any abstract learning.
And join a FMP user's group. That's an excellent way to learn topics presented by various folks.
Remember: "All programmers are 'self-taught'" (Learn by doing).
I learned on the job, mostly.
Had at least one really, really experienced coworker.
Where I was able to look at stuff he did.
But mostly self-taught. A lot of time searching, spending time in the FileMaker Forums, and just testing things out.
This all took a long, long time.
But interacting with other developer's was probably the most beneficial.
The generosity of the forums (many), conferences & user groups, FM books (we need a modern Scriptology), all the FM literature & experimenting (playing) with a sample everytime someone asked a question and I had to test the answer because I wanted to know!
There is Google now-a-days and much easier to get answers. But there's nothing quite like getting in there and experimenting (not on live databases!)
It really helps to outline the problem and step through the manual process before ever starting a script or custom function. How would you do the same with a paper filing cabinet? Now store that info in a way that's easy to find & sort. Rearrange how the information is entered and reported on layouts. What steps repeat frequently enough to be "automated" In a script? If you get stuck, send your outline on to the forum. But your forethought is helpful (not a pun, but the oldsters might giggle). And just asking has been known to trigger (also not a pun) your own answer!
As said Beverly, forums are full of good ideas and very friendly.
Don't be afraid from asking and further copying or adapt examples given by members of this file.
Work a lot reading, trying and building solutions.
I'm a 10 years self-made Filemaker user (63 years old).
I mostly learned from mistakes, mine or other people's. >> read a lot
I also learned that there are often from 1 up to 5 ways to achieve the same thing in Filemaker; I tried them all, both on small and big sets of data. I've drawn my conclusions. >> always experiment.
I always tried to build something I'd like to use on a daily basis, from interface to choice to speed to navigation; being very exigent helped me to smile when I touch things I did years or decades ago >> have principles.
FileMaker is just an instrument to reach a goal, it's not the goal.