Learning about how websites are developed and launched from the back end has been — like most things I’ve learned in this class — simultaneously empowering and disappointing. On one hand, I am excited to try setting up my website and developing it on my local server so I can “break” it without affecting what the public sees. On the other hand, the internet seems so much less magical now! Maybe it’s because I haven’t tried navigating the GitHub-MAMP-Cyberduck trifecta yet, but it seems a lot messier and more complicated than I thought it would be. I’ve managed a handful of websites on different CMS platforms and I currently edit another WordPress blog, but I’ve never used a local server before so it’s all been a simple online system. This new local server thing seems more appropriate for a site that I’ll be experimenting on and building independently, so I hope the complexity is worth it.
As far as Codecademy goes, I was pleased to find that PHP was very similar to jQuery and it wasn’t starting all over from scratch with a new language. I still haven’t looked behind the WordPress curtain, so I’m not sure what I’ll find and if I’ll feel comfortable working on it. My goal for the next phase of this course is to try new things and not be afraid to mess up the code. The few moments of true learning and clarity I’ve had with Codecademy have come when the code failed and I’ve had to go back and figure out what I’d messed up.