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A Journey to Become a Web Developer - The Beginning

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‘

Finding HTML
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!

Top comments (2)

hxii profile image
Paul (hxii) Glushak

Here's an idea - set yourself up an environment where you will dump and categorize all of your projects, ideas and pieces of code by date.
This way, as time goes, you can see your progress and maybe even re-visit older projects to improve them (and thus learn even more).

mikepagedev profile image

That is a good idea. Wish I had thought of that when I started.