Ryan’s Wacky Coding Adventure

Posted on Posted in My Story

For native English speakers, learning a coding language in high school would be way more valuable than Spanish, French, German, Latin or any other foreign language. And this is coming from a guy who has devoted countless hours to learning foreign languages. Learning foreign [spoken] languages can be immensely valuable, but from a practical standpoint, and given that time is our most precious and scarce resource, I think the time would be better spent learning a coding language which could spark an interest that real, tangible, fulfilling, and valuable careers can be built around.

With that in mind, my January Personal Development Project (PDP) for Praxis is to further my learning of the HTML/CSS language (with a tad bit of Javascript thrown in there). A PDP is essentially a 30-day self-improvement and professional advancement project. It is a skill or activity that you want to improve upon, master, or simply just do 30 days of, that brings yourself and others (like your employer for example) value in some way. You have concrete deliverables along the way and should have something to show for it at the end of the month. This is a favorite of the Praxian community.

PDPs are a pretty simple idea and are based on results–the Praxis axiom of “show, don’t tell”. So, to get more of a working knowledge and ability of HTML/CSS I am starting the HTML/CSS Path on codeschool.com. My goal is to complete a course a week, and complete four courses by the end of the month.

My deliverable for each week is to finish all the challenges for each course and post the course completion badge on my Linkedin profile. By the end of the month I am going to create at least two pages of a website that I want to create on my own, not using WordPress. Last week I completed the Front End Foundations course on Code School and this week am working on the Front End Formations course.

My motivation for doing this is to free myself from the dark. Before about ten months ago I knew next to nothing about the digital world. I had had a .wordpress.com blog for about six months before that, but knew nothing about how anything worked. Now I have created multiple websites and mined YouTube and Google enough to be comfortable using and manipulating WordPress. But I want more.

I want to be able to create webpages on my own, independent of platforms like WordPress, and I want to have much more control over how my WordPress websites look and feel. I want to know why things on WordPress look the way they do, and I want much more power to manipulate and customize. I know HTML and CSS are just scratching the surface, but I am hoping this month vastly increases my front-end web development abilities.

I don’t just hope it will. I know it will.

Taking responsibility for your own learning. For your own skills. For your own life. That is the vast power of a simple PDP.




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