Most Websites Look Old And Bad

One of the cool things that you will realize when you get into coding is that most websites don’t really look that good.  If you look at an average dentist or law firm website, they look terrible.  This presents an opportunity.  Eventually most people who run such websites will realize that they are losing site visitors because their design is in such poor shape.  What should they do?  Well, currently there are not enough web designers to go around.  This alone is why I think it’s super worth it to learn to code.  You can enter a space that is highly valued and in high demand with not a lot of supply to match.  You can do project work on the side and earn a ton of money with not a ton of time commitment doing web design work for people.

You can even just set up basic WordPress websites for people.  You can grab a theme that someone has already made.  You can customize it a little bit, and then after a few hours of work, you are pretty much done with your site and you just made a couple thousand dollars.  So, even if you don’t want to be a full-time web designer, you can really start to make your way in coding and set off towards financial independence if you learn good web design.

I found this article (http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/learning-from-bad-web-design/) that talks a little bit more about bad web design.  You can quickly learn what is good and what is bad and then try not to make the same easy mistakes that other web designers in the past have made.  You should also figure out how to make a nice responsive web design, which means that your website will look good on a desktop , tablet, and/or a smartphone.  Web design is really cool, it’s in demand, and it’s highly valued, so what are you waiting for?

Where Should You Get Started?

If you are a true beginner, I would first want to congratulate you.  Becoming interested in the topic and being motivated to start is half the battle.  You should first figure out what everything, like what is HTML and CSS?  Then you should figure out what your goals are.  If you don’t have concrete goals, you aren’t going to be half as effective as you could be.  You should figure out exactly what you want to learn.  And first, you should read my last post here.  Do you want to be a web designer?  Maybe you want to make cool iPhone apps.  Maybe you want to be able to run an e-Commerce site some day.  I’m not really here to tell you what you should aim to do.  You can make a really awesome hobby or career doing any number of things.  You could just be a simple web designer on the side and make an extra $2,000 a month.  Or you could be a badass web programmer who makes the next Facebook.  You need to figure out what your goals are and then set a plan.

Setting a plan is equally important to knowing what your goals are.  If you don’t have a concrete plan and timeline laid out, you may easily lose motivation and never really get to where you would like to be.  To avoid that, always think of your plan and try your best to stick with it.

starting line

No matter what you are trying to do, you should learn HTML and CSS first.  Even if you just want to make iPhone apps, you will have to understand how web design works.  It’s absolutely critical.  These two markup languages are really easy to pick up, although they do require a good deal of practice.  You just can’t really avoid getting to know these two languages.  They will provide a good basis for how to move on after.  You can’t really learn Javascript without knowing HTML first, for example.  So to get started, you should learn these two languages.  But how should you learn them?  Check out W3schools or Skill Voyage or even Codecademy to get a game plan for how to learn them.

What The Heck Is Coding Anyways?

This is a really good question, and honestly I didn’t really know what it was for most of my life either.  If you had asked me what HTML was, I truly would have had no clue.  I’m a little embarrassed now about that, but I have gotten over it.  Ultimately, it’s really simple.  I found a good resource here (http://www.brevedy.com/2014/03/17/what-is-coding-for-non-coders/).  Let’s take a look at something simple like HTML, which technically is a markup language and not a coding language.  You can use HTML to tell the browser how you want a webpage to be structured.  You can say, hey browser, I want to have about an inch of space here after this paragraph.  There is a syntax in HTML that allows you to do this.  You basically write the code in a certain way to tell the browser what to do.  If you want to make a link, you just need to know the special code for any link.  Then once you have that down, you’ll be doing HTML in no time.

CSS is similar.  You basically tell the browser how to style a webpage.  It’s a little more complicated than that, but overall it’s not really complicated.  If you want to make a picture look like a circle, you just need to know the code in CSS of how to do so.  It’s really that simple.

Actual programming is a little more complicated.  You give commands or inputs, and then the program gives you an output.  You could ask the user his age, and then tell the program to give a certain message back to them based on their answer.  That’s what coding and programming allows you to do.  You give the program a situation and then tell it what to do in various situations.

Hopefully that gives you a decent idea of what coding is.  If not, you’ll just need to dig into it a little bit and maybe do some practicing.  You can certainly jump onto youtube and see a whole bunch of videos on the subject.

Welcome To My Site!

I wanted to start off by welcoming you to my site.  My name is John Skvorecky and I’m your average, middle-aged man, as much as I hate to say it.  I’ve seen a big transition in the past few years, and I now understand that the ability to code is going to be in very high demand from now into the future.  Up until recently, I really had no idea what coding was or if I would have any interest in it.  I just thought it was some foreign concept that only nerdy people were into.

However, I started looking into things, as I wasn’t exactly too happy with my career to that point.  I thought I could slowly teach myself this new skill and then maybe just be self-employed or get a job at a new company.  I live in Nebraska, but I am open to moving somewhere.  I wanted to start this blog to document my journey and also to help anyone else who feels like they need a change.  Learning to code is both liberating and exciting.  The fact that I can teach myself this information and then practice it a bunch on my own to get good at it is really awesome.  I’m looking forward to seeing where these new abilities can take me.  I’m focused on web design work right now, but eventually I want to get into more programming, so I can make really cool apps.  I think I now understand what something like Ruby On Rails actually is and a little bit of how it works.

Anyways, I’m glad and super excited that you’ve come to my site and I hope you enjoy it!