A look back, a look forward and a congratulatory self five

I went into our final assignment, re-reading the documents from the beginning of the semester, knowing exactly what I was supposed to feel. I was supposed to surprise myself with how much more I understood from the documents. Like a child watching an adult movie and not understanding, only to re-watch it years later and finally get all the jokes. To some degree, I did feel these things, probably not as much as I had initially anticipated but if this class has taught me anything it is that learning web development cannot take three months. It is a time consuming process that never really ends.

I may not be an expert at code but I pulled together a pretty decent web site (if I do say so myself) and I did it all on my own. Three months ago I had my doubts about whether that would be possible. I have the basics under my belt so going forward I will continue to use tools like Codecademy to deepen my understanding of html, php, css java script and more. I would love to pick one at a time and really focus on it to get a more full understanding of how it works before moving on to the next. I learn better when I focus my energy and for self-learning I think that will be the best way to proceed.

The WordPress Philosophy call for designing websites for the majority.

Many end users of WordPress are non-technically minded. They don’t know what AJAX is, nor do they care about which version of PHP they are using. The average WordPress user simply wants to be able to write without problems or interruption. These are the users that we design the software for as they are ultimately the ones who are going to spend the most time using it for what it was built for.

Thanks to this class, I’m already way ahead of the majority. We’ve talked about it in class but I think re-reading the WordPress Philosophy really helped it sink in. I don’t need to be a developer to use the skills learnt in class. Some of the lessons learnt from coding can actually be implemented in many aspects of my life, including being able to better communicate with people who are full time web developers. In fact, many of the the points made in The Pragmatic Programmer Quick Reference Guide could have been drawn straight out of a self-help book: Care about your craft, don’t make lame excuses, remember the big picture, finish what you start, don’t think outside the book – find the box, exceed expectations. (I also think my running app may spout a few of these out to me on a weekly basis.)

And with that I leave you all. Self five for a great semester.

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