This website, built with Jekyll, marks another milestone in my web development endeavor. I learned something on the web and did my research to figure things out, a skill that is essential to a web developer.
I have been a professional web developer for about a year and half now. I currently work at a small financial technology company in Radnor, PA. However, how I arrived at my current position is not a typical straight path.
It all began in high school. Around 2001 to 2002, I took a class in web design. The reason I took it because it was one year long, rather than the two year long computer science course. This was a mistake that I have regretted for a good portion of my life. I found the web design course to be easy since all I learned was HTML, some CSS, and how to use Dreamweaver.
It wasn’t until college I applied to a web design job with my chemistry professor on the recommendation of a friend. The professor was building a website about organic chemistry. It was 2004 and I used what I had learned in high school to maintain her web pages. I didn’t use an external CSS style sheet because I didn’t learn that technique yet. It was very tedious to maintain a website that had many web pages. It’s also worth to mention that I met many smart people in college who impressed me with their knowledge of things that I wanted to become better at not only web design but also graphic design.
My interest in web design grew as I was working on more personal projects. For example, I started learning Processing, a computer language based on Java but designed for digital artists and beginning programmers. I decided to go back to school and learn more about computer science and web design, something that I wanted to do since my mistake of not taking that computer science class in high school.
As the market for web development grew, and programming in general, I began to learn on websites such as codecademy.com and freeCodeCamp.org. In 2016, after getting an account at Lynda.com, I spent a couple of intense months learning everything I can about web development. Soon after, I landed my first web development position.
The best advice I can give to any person who is starting out in the web development field is to start somewhere. The web is your friend and Google is the best place to ask questions. Even though it had taken me 15 years since I first learned web design to getting hired, I feel learning is a life long skill and there’s no time to practice that skill than now.