Early Days


I was thinking of topics for blog posts as right now I am in the middle of a couple of things. One I hope to be debuting on here very soon. But I realised I wasn't living up to the promise I left off on in my first post. Turns out blog writing doesn't just happen.

So in a kind of internet-y / seeking inspiration mood, I was watching the film ‘The Social Network’, in the very first scene the year, ‘2003’ captions at the bottom and it got me thinking - as I have done many times - about the early days of the internet and what I was doing in 2003. Mainly why I was so blasé about the web and how I got to this point.

In 2003 for something that was so revolutionary - and was trumpeted as being so - the web was a sort of functional curiosity for me and not much more. I had been on the internet since 1999 but AOLs homepage, Email, MSN Messenger and Google was the extent of my knowledge. The web certainly wasn't something I had played with. Maybe the time based nature of AOL's billing and the fact it tied up the phone line, didn't chime with a sense of carefree exploration.

But then I got it

I got into web design in 2006 when I finished university and was looking to start a career. I wanted a portfolio to show off my product design degree work, I had Photoshop and a good eye for layout in hand, but I realised I hadn't the faintest idea how anything online actually got there. I'm sure I had probably seen the basics explained on Tomorrows World or the news reports about the dot com boom but that was it.

I started out on Notepad with W3Schools (i know right) with the very basics and built up from there. My web presence began with a Mr Site page, a custom header image and tweaking a template. When I started my first job I was still building pages in Dreamweaver using tables for layout! It wasn't until 2007 that I began learning CSS, uploaded my own site and here this is the forth major overhaul from then.

I've created several side projects that I approached initially as experiments: ‘Print Theme’, for the Tumblr blog platform to see if I could template. Blackandwhitesquares was initially an investment in a domain centred around a new technology, which I later used as an opportunity to try blogging and SEO to a wider audience. My CodePen demos are just me exploring what can be done with CSS unbound by the constraints of a project, some have been quite popular. Lastly, ‘Pi Prompts’ came from a need I had and thought it could be of help to others.

The opportunities today

It got me wondering what kids today raised from an early age with the concept of coding, will go on to create. So many more platforms to stand on the shoulders of and get your idea implemented faster and out in front of users. More opportunity to find someone to share opinion with or collaborate.

Learning is a huge part of it but trial, error and experience of actioning things is more important. The web can inspire along with entrepreneurial spirit that often goes along with it.

I just wish much earlier on that I had lost that fear that computers break and you can tell them what to do, and that yes it can go wrong, and you can fix them or start again pretty easily.

On that note, I shall go back to coding my next experiment and get it in front of you fine folks.

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