Re: Starting real development
Jump in already. I’m not a programmer and the water is fine. Although BP’s Codex is a work in progress, things work the same as in wordpress which has a detailed (if disorganized) Codex. Learning Loops, hooks and php functions is enough to get started. Pick up Ajax/Jquery later.
I bought some books to help me, but you may not need them. There’s a BP book coming soon, which should help. You could probably develop something quickly, but it’ll take some time to understand how it actually works.