As you get older you begin to realize that everyone carries burdens and has faced difficult situations in their life. I’ve heard it said and come to realize that it’s not about what happens ‘to’ you in your lifetime – it’s about how you handle those obstacles and whether or not you use them as a learning experience, rather than a definition of who you are. What a waste our mistakes would be, if we learned nothing from them.
Learning the ins and outs of coding a website is a journey of trials and triumphs. Not everything will come as easy to some, as it will to others, but it’s about learning new things and finding your place – you’re niche. There’s room out there for everyone, and everybody who enters this field, brings with them a unique set of skills, talents and experiences that help mold them into the designer or developer they will become. It’s such a blessing to be able to earn a living doing something that fascinates and inspires you. Being able to ‘create’ something is a gratifying thing and having an outlet to express your creativity (in both design and development) is an opportunity many people in other fields never have.
We live in an age where the sky is the limit and the infinite possibilities that exist with the internet are both overwhelming and empowering. If you’re new to this field, try not to get discouraged. You will make mistakes, you will ‘break’ sites, you will come across some bugs you just can’t fix, but just remember.. nobody was born with the ability to create great websites. We all started in the same place.. diving into code and learning tricks and techniques a little at a time. So have a positive attitude about your own journey and know that one day you will look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
- What are your web design goals? To become a professional web designer? To make personal web sites only?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I jokingly refer to our entrepreneurial spirit as our ‘sickness!’ Most business owners will tell you that owning a business means you work twice as many hours, for half as much pay. So imagine my excitement, when I started reading about web designers and bloggers who have created highly successful businesses out of their own homes and now work only a fraction of the hours normally worked in a typical work week! I would love being able to spend more time with my family (who wouldn’t!?), but back to reality… As it stands, I don’t know a lot (okay, very little) about web design and development, BUT I have the drive and determination to master these skills and use them professionally – whether it be for a large corporation, local .com company or … yes, that’s right – my own business!
- Which aspects of web design interest you the most?
I know a large number of people coming into this field, just want to learn how to make ‘pretty web-sites,’ so to speak. I also know that there are many web authoring programs that simplify the process for the “I-can-do-it-myself” website creator in all of us. I had that same ambition when I decided I needed a website to display my photography years ago. What most people will discover (as I did), is just about anyone can create a fairly basic and decent looking website, but those websites are normally based on a standardized format or lack the ‘pizzazz’ and functionality that a truly successful website must have – not to mention the compatibility with all the various mediums utilized by the average internet user in today’s world.
Because I’ve always been a creative soul, I of course, can’t wait to learn all the fun design techniques associated with web design and the technical side of design has proven to be a bit of a challenge for my (apparently non-technical) mind – but I take pride in everything I do. If I plan to learn web design, I want to learn EVERYTHING I can about EVERY aspect of it. I don’t like to put my name on anything that I didn’t put 100% into. Even though the technical side is a bit more challenging, I also find it very interesting. Once you’ve learned and adapted your perspective to the behind-the-scenes knowledge of web design and development, it’s a lot like viewing the world through the metaphorical ‘adaptive-lens’ I’ve developed from being a photographer. Your view of the internet world and every website you view from then on, will be from a brand new perspective!
- What current skills do you have that will be useful in creating web pages?
I was thinking about what skills I already possess that will be useful in creating web pages. Each student who comes to the WDD program, brings with them, a unique combination of talents, skills and life experiences that will contribute to the type of web designer they become and will influence what path they decide to take after completing the program. For me, my experience with photography/photo-editing and my marketing material creation and production experience will help with visual design. My experience with office management and bookkeeping will assist with the organizational aspect of website creation and my public and competitive speaking experience should help give me an edge in a world of tech savvy people who might not have the experience with interpersonal skills that would be needed to work with a broader clientele or in the marketing side of WDD.
- Which skills will you need to brush up on?
Time management skills related to project completion will be something I hope to improve over time. I believe the more experience and knowledge I gain, the less of a challenge this will be for me.
- Which hardware and software tools do you already have for web design?
Right now I am using the necessary hardware and software provided by the campus. I currently have a desktop computer and laptop with Windows XP operating systems, 320 GB external hard drive, Windows Movie Maker, Photoshop 7.0 and a digital camera with lighting equipment. Once I’m a little further along in the course I will look into investing in additional equipment and software.
- Which tools do you need to buy? Which tools would you like to buy eventually?
While I have access to everything I currently need for WDD, I would eventually like to purchase a Mac, a newer version of Photoshop, dual-monitor setup and additional relevant software. This of course, doesn’t take into account the multitude of gadgets, hardware and software options I am certain to discover in the near future and beyond!