Hi and welcome to my blog. The Beginning – A Journey to Become a Web Developer. I thought I would start at the beginning. So let’s get you up to date with how it all started.
It started back in 2012 when I was planning on setting up as a mobile DJ and theatre technician. I wanted a website and I asked a friend to set one up for me. Well fast forward to 2015 and after numerous attempts to get hold of him, I still didn’t have a site. I decided that I would look into it myself. I started to do the research. It was at this time that I discovered WordPress.
I left school at 16 in the late ’90s (I will let you do the maths) with not much to show for it. I was told that I was not destined for an academic career, so always thought that something like web development was out of my reach. When I discovered WordPress it didn’t seem all that bad and I decided to go for it.
By this time in my life, I had become hungry to try new things. Not just try, but to learn as much as I could. With that in mind, I decided to buy a couple of books. I was due to go on holiday and wanted to take something with me to read. So I ordered ‘Building Websites for Dummies‘ and ‘WordPress Web Design for Dummies‘
When I got to a chapter about HTML, I found as I was reading that it didn’t seem so bad and in fact, it started to just click. This got me thinking ‘if it is this easy, I wonder how easy it would be to program games’. I have had an idea of a game in my head for about 10 years that I don’t think anyone has developed. So I Googled (little did I know how much I would use Google!!!) what programming language to use to program PC games. I found a lot of content pushing me to c++ but then I found a blog post talking about c#.
The author’s logic made a lot of sense. He described c++ as for the pros and it was similar to using the same driver as Tiger Woods when you don’t have the same skill. So I started down the road of c#. The problem was that I didn’t seem to have the motivation to keep at it. I found myself taking long breaks in my learning. I did however set up two WordPress sites: one for me and one for my local Bonsai Society.
By this time I was working in a secondary school as the Drama Technician. In February of 2019, the school advertised for a Network Technician. I decided that it could be a good move for me as I did not see any progression in my current role. So I applied and they offered me a hybrid of my current role and the Network Technician role, and I jumped at the chance.
Introduction to PHP
I started the new role around Easter 2019. Shortly before I started, I was told that the school would be implementing a new intranet to bring it into alignment with a fellow school in the same trust. The other intranet had been developed by their Network Manager in PHP. As a result of the partnership (multi-academy trust), the Network Manager was promoted to IT director of the trust and no longer had time to maintain the intranet. As I was the only one in my school’s IT team with an interest in coding, I was asked if I wanted the responsibility of implementing and maintaining the new intranet at my school. I could not believe my luck. I started to put all my spare time into learning PHP.
In September 2019, I received the source code and started implementing the first feature to be used in the school. Since then I have been working on the intranet tweaking and refactoring the code with a modular approach to implementation. Fast forward to Summer 2020, and I am now developing a new additional feature from scratch to be launched in September 2020 – and I am loving it. Becoming a web developer doesn’t seem so out of reach.
So there we are. The start of my journey to become a web developer. You are now up to date. I have completely fallen for PHP and web development and hope to further my career in this area.
What is next for the blog?
My plan is to post monthly updates – including new areas I have learned over the past month. If you would like to get more frequent updates, you can follow me on Twitter @mikepagedev where I will be trying to post every day. Until next time – keep coding!