Personal Development

print 'Hello world'

So lately I’ve been learning a lot of different things about web development.

There’s still a lot to learn, but one thing I’ve realized is that this is something I really want to do as a profession. I want to be a web developer. Specifically, I want to be a full-stack web developer with an emphasis on back-end. To me that means rich, database-friendly, server-side applications with the necessary HTML, CSS, Javascript etc. to send data back to the client end. I still want to do IT, but I have so much more fun when I’m programming, problem solving, thinking critically. Ideally I’d like to find a way to merge both fields into a great consulting job, either freelance or working for a development/design firm.

So now that I’ve got the goal, I need to get the plan. To do that, I think an important step is to list what I know now and what I’ll need to learn going forward. If you’re a non-geek reading this, nothing below this line will be interesting to you (and it will be very long), so feel free to stop reading here.


Aside from some basic HTML/CSS/JS/PHP for working on my website, C# is the first programming language I started playing around in. I picked it up (along with Project Euler) as a challenge suggested by one of my college instructors. I learned quite a lot from C# about Object Oriented programming — classes, functions, methods, loops, conditionals, iterators, types, variables, arrays, hashtables. It was a great introduction to the core concepts of programming, and I’m glad I started here first before moving onto other languages.


I don’t remember what brought me to Ruby — I guess just that it was so different from C#. I’ve been able to successfully write scripts to do various things– solving Project Euler problems, scraping data from an external website (Diablo 3 items), building and updating a SQLite database, and compiling standalone apps for use at work (a CSV re-formatter).


I think the MVC is my next learning hurdle. I’ve approached a couple different tutorials for getting started with Rails, but I haven’t fully figured out the folder structure, bundle install, rake, gemfiles, all that. I’m sure I’ll absorb it soon, and I’m going to have to as a lot of the project ideas I’ve been putting together need things like API calls (can’t be client-side thanks to SOP) and databases. Luckily I learned SQL at school, so that side of it should be pretty easy to work with.

PHP, Python, Java, ASP, Node

I’ve played with all of these already, and from my research, they will all be useful for some purpose or another in the future, so I’ll be diving deeper into them as needed.

That’s it for the languages. I still have a lot to learn, both from the above and about the field in general. It’s going to take serious time and dedication, but I feel pretty confident in my ability (and the massive amount of knowledge I can port over from the IT side) to hit the ground running and start making moves to put me on the path to where I want to be professionally. I’ve got some other very exciting long term goals in mind, but for now let’s stick to the basics.

Next steps:
  1. Set up my Github and Heroku accounts to start organizing my projects.
  2. Set up a development server on a spare computer at home — running Rails, AMPPS stack or both in VMs.
  3. Learn Rails — Build a few simple apps as a proof of concept.
  4. ???
  5. Profit

Here’s to new adventures.