Introductions and newness


As a new developer I’d like to introduce myself and tell a little of my web dev story up to now. Also document some tools I use and people I like and admire in the web dev world.

So how did I get where I am today? Well first where am I today? I’m sat at my desk in the spare room at home typing on my MacBook Air[1]. Well that is physically where I am but that is trivial and boring. Where I am in all other senses is starting a journey along the springboard of web development. I call it a springboard because the further long you go the more ups and downs there are until you dive in to where you really want to go (the pool for those not following this tortuous allegory). I’m at the point where I’ve realised I need to stop starting and start finishing.

Previously in my life I have been a financial analyst (boring corporate wage slave) and decided to become a teacher (my wife said you could do that after I helped our son with his homework). Well that was fine until I realised that long hours, stress and my lack of behaviour management skills were making me ill. Since the time of 2400 baud modems I have been interested in computers and technology. View Source was to blame for getting me interested in the web and the structure of the information on there. The web started taking off and in 2000 I took evening classes in Web Design at Southampton University. I bumped along tinkering around, eventually built a couple of websites for friends. I joined Twitter in 2009 and then the web dev world started opening up.

Currently I’m doing supply teaching which appears to be drying up as schools are employing more unqualified cover supervisors to cover unhappy, stressed out teachers. So I decided to learn more about web dev and you know possibly get some work using those skills. I even went to a conference in the summer.

This is a summary of where I think my skills are today, on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is newbie and 5 is professionally able.

  • HTML5 : 2
  • CSS : 2
  • Javascript : 2
  • jQuery : 1
  • PHP/MySQL : 2
  • Ruby : 1
  • Sculpin : 1
  • Git (CLI/GitHub) : 2

I believe in simplicity and learning the fundamentals first. HTML/CSS before everything, Javascript before jQuery, PHP before WordPress, Ruby before Rails. That’s what I am doing now and am expecting to be fulfilled.

For people I like and admire see who I follow on Twitter.

I feel like I’m creeping slowing along the spring board getting closer to the dive.

[1] My lovely wife bought this for me for a ‘big’ birthday and is the best present I have ever had. I am never going back to Windows.

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