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When I was a pre-teen, I had the best Myspace profile.

I used code to hide my list of friends and overlay the ugly default profile with a custom one. I’d download some recent album off of LimeWire and feeling inspired would change the code to suit my mood. I wish I could show you my Picasso-level outcome.

I was able to do this because I’ve taught myself how to code. HTML and CSS opened my mind’s eye to the possibilities of digital design. From Myspace to GeoCities (remember those?) to my own domain, I dabbled in front-end coding for many years. Little did I know this hobby would into a full-fledged career.

It’s important to note I still use the skills I’ve picked up back in the early 2000s. For example, this WordPress-powered website is using a theme I’ve customized. Whenever I run into “design bugs” I troubleshoot them myself. Sometimes I add extra elements by rolling up my sleeves and narrowing in on the code.

Add and check, adjust and check, fix and check, so on for hours…

There are rare occasions I curse at my browser for not producing exactly what I want. That’s the time I force myself to step back and take a walk away from my screen.

I’ve been lucky to work closely with developers throughout my career. Understanding programming allows for better communication.

My self-taught front-end skills are limited and dusty, so I recently took a refresher course at General Assembly.

Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch.

Sir Tim Berners-LeeInventor of the World Wide Web
Sir Tim Berners-Lee

A quick history of internet

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the modern internet, is a British engineer and computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web and constructed how the world uses the internet today.

In March 1989, Tim laid out his vision for what would become the web in a document called “Information Management: A Proposal”. Believe it or not, this was his boss’ response to Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision for the web:

“Vague but exciting.”

In 1990, he wrote fundamental technologies of the web:

  • HTML: HyperText Markup Language. The markup (formatting) language for the web
  • URI: Uniform Resource Identifier. A kind of “address” which is unique and used to identify each resource on the web. Within a URI is an URL which is Uniform Resource Locator
  • HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Allows for the retrieval of linked resources from across the web

Development time

The process is not dissimilar to the design process:

Front-End

  • Graphics and images
  • UI/UX development
  • Security
  • UI layouts

Back-End

  • Feature development (programming)
  • Security
  • Architecture and design
  • CI pipeline development
  • Database administration

Coding is an iterative process – just like the design process. Heyo!

  • Are the requirements stable?
  • Are there caveats?
  • Are goals well defined?
  • What is the testing plan (unit & end to end)?
  • What is the team size? More is not better nor faster, it’s not ideal to have too many cooks in the kitchen.