Don't be afraid to learn!

Discussion in 'Web Design and Hosting' started by Dr_Boo, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Dr_Boo

    Dr_Boo New Member

    Hi All,
    I just wanted to share some advice. When it comes to web design, don't be afraid of learning! (Actually, that's good life advice too![​IMG])

    If you've read pretty much any of my previous posts you'd know I'm in the process of putting a website together. I had an idea of how I wanted it to work, but really had no clue how to actually accomplish that. I do have a small amount of experience hand coding web pages from way back in the day (like 1990's html 1.0 sort of stuff) but A) that knowledge is majorly out of date and B) I don't remember half the stuff anyway.

    So what to do? I fell back on what I do best: research. I hit Google with full force and started to get a sense for what it would take to realize my concept. I came across terms like "css" "php" and "mysql".

    At first I was very intimidated by these things. I was afraid of them like a caveman would be afraid of an airplane. I tried to think up easier alternatives that would work similarly but keep me in my "comfort zone". I saw a post here the other day that someone mentioned how professional web designers can hand write all sorts of complicated code, but the poster stated that they "could never do that". Well I'm here to tell you that if you put your mind to it there is almost nothing you really "can't do"!

    I got over my intimidation and started learning. I used Google searches, tutorial websites, and good ol' trial and error. Slowly, piece by piece, it's starting to come together. I created the framework for my site and just had the code officially validated by W3C as Xhtml 1.1 Strict and CSS level 2.1, which a few weeks ago I didn't even know existed. I have written php code and successfully incorporated a MySQL database into the site.

    I'm not here to brag, just to encourage anyone who also finds themselves intimidated by new technology and unable to fully realize their visions due to fear of learning that YES, YOU CAN DO THIS! Of course not everyone needs to know these skills. There are loads of programs out there that can build sites without you ever seeing one line of code. But if there is something you really want to do that goes beyond the WYSIWYG world, don't let fear stop you! Put some faith in yourself and you may be surprised what you can accomplish. I certainly was.

    Have a great day! [​IMG]
     
  2. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    Web design can be a challenge, and you will experience many frustrating moments with it, but I agree that once you start learning how to do it, you will get much better at it with time.
     
  3. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    Dr_Boo: At first I was very intimidated by these things. I was afraid of them like a caveman would be afraid of an airplane.
    Good Humor :)

    Hi Dr_Boo,

    Congrats! You're right, that is how you approach life (and even coding).

    That's how engineers do it - they read and then tinker.

    The main focus is upon HTML and CSS.

    After that it's probably PHP - especially if you intend to tweak around with blog code. SQL is a good one if you will be doing something extra with databases and/or will be hooking up to a database with a traditional site.

    What next? After you reach a comfort zone, you may benefit from learning JAVA Script and standard JAVA.

    Nothing beats the feeling of tinkering and getting it to work, right?!

    What you did was very brave. Well done :)

    ~Newbie Shield~
     
  4. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    Hi Dr_Boo,

    Your posts is an encouraging beacon to those Nervous Nellies who are standing on the sidelines unsure about whether or not to take the plunge. Fear is an interesting emotion. It can paralyze or propel. But if one can muster the courage to step through the fear with faith and optimism, the results are often pleasantly surprising.

    And, as Newbie Shield so wisely observed, that is how you approach life.

    Great post!

    Hermas
     
  5. Singapoor

    Singapoor New Member

    Dr_Boo,

    Great post!!!! I soooo know about what you say (literally - I had a geocities site up in the 90s - with handcoding and a background I'd put together myself back in the day, impressive tasks at the time). Also, when it came time to update my understanding, I remember the feeling of how it all had progressed so far that I'd never be able to execute the vision I had for my site. I've come a long way since thinking that thought and there's still far to go.

    I'm still scared of the learning curve, and I'm still feeling like a newbie. But, this Nervous Nelly (good one A8ch) has decided to "feel the fear and do it anyway." You'd be surprised how far you can go when you just take a step, then another, then another... even if each one is kinda scary or if it all feels kinda overwhelming. [​IMG]
     
  6. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    Singapoor: "feel the fear and do it anyway."
    Hi Singapoor,

    You're right - fear is a toughie but it has to be managed in the way you describe.

    Singapoor: You'd be surprised how far you can go when you just take a step, then another, then another
    Isn't that how Rudolph and the gang taught The Abominable Snowman to walk?...

    "Put one foot in front of the other...and soon you'll be walkin' cross the floor. Put one foot in front of the other...and soon you'll be walkin' out the door"

    http://ericboggs.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/bumble1.jpg

    ~Newbie Shield~
     
  7. karennewman

    karennewman New Member

    Great advice.

    The satisfaction and sense of accomplishment by "doing it yourself" is so worthwhile...despite the odd gray hair popping up here or there!

    Karen
     
  8. Dr_Boo

    Dr_Boo New Member

    Singapoor: I soooo know about what you say (literally - I had a geocities site up in the 90s - with handcoding and a background I'd put together myself back in the day, impressive tasks at the time).
    That's exactly where I started too. I miss my crappy geocities page! Was so proud of it then, but my god it was ugly. [​IMG] Progress is a wonderful thing.
     
  9. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    I've had a couple of Geocities sites in the past. I've also had other early free sites. Did you know that many of them have closed? Now they charge - no more free sites!

    I even had some free sites up for classes in college. Those are now history.

    They don't give it to you for free for ever. In fact, nothing is ever truly free.

    ~Newbie Shield~
     
  10. Singapoor

    Singapoor New Member

    Newbie Shield: "Put one foot in front of the other...and soon you'll be walkin' cross the floor. Put one foot in front of the other...and soon you'll be walkin' out the door"
    lol I think you're right. So it works for all species it seems *chuckle* Okay, bad joke. Anyhoo, on to Geocities - yeah, there was Geocities and one more site with a similar setup (in that pages were categorized kinda like a village/location or something like that) and those places were super cool... before we knew what cool was (like Boo said).

    Hell, I remember back when it was impressive to end up on a page that had graphics. Since it was of the era for that to be cool, my personal page had all sorts of random graphics on there (and sound too). It opened to a wav file of Dr. Evil's "Hello and welcome to my underground lair. I have assembled before me that world's deadliest assassins" and I had put up a picture of a scanned image of the ticket to a concert I had attended in 1996 and some pet pics, etc. I'm sure the site sucked for a lot of people because these were the days when a lot of people were still on the modems they'd bought in 1994 or whatever because they didn't feel a speed upgrade warranted the cost of a new modem.... Oh, and animated gifs too (to make it even more tacky by today's standards). BUT, no frames.

    Anyway, that was my walk down memory lane (felt a bit nostalgic this morning). And to come back to the topic, yeah, it's scary to step into the *ahem* new millennium or to learn a new language... or to make almost any drastic change really. Human beings are creatures of habit because it feels more cozy to just follow habits and stick to familiar patterns but, with this growth (Hermas has said it before someplace else)... you'd be surprised at how rewarding it feels, in itself, to accomplish something. And learning a new skillset is most definitely an accomplishment.
     
  11. Jean LA

    Jean LA New Member

    Web design at first always messes up things for me but as the days go on with practice, you can make the perfect one.
     

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