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It’s time to level up as a developer

I’ve been somehow involved in web development for almost a decade. Longer if you count the Tripod website I built in HTML in 1998 and the various sites I built using Dreamweaver for a college class in 2002. In a professional capacity and in my spare time, I’ve been doing front-end web development since 2008.

I’ve spent hours tinkering around, playing with things, breaking things, fixing them, etc.

Since 2012, the thing I have been tinkering around with is WordPress. I know it like the back of my hand, but I could still get to know it much better. I can build custom WordPress themes easily, but I could still do it better.

I’m a pretty darn good developer, but I could always be better.

I want to know WordPress better. I want to know PHP better. I want to know Javascript better.

I want to be able to come up with solutions to problems that I come across. In my first assignments as a freelancer, I mostly used plugins for the more complex problems. The simpler problems, including CSS and front end-related PHP and Javascript changes, I could do with no problem.

I got the job done. I made the clients happy. But now that I’ve worked as a professional developer, I know I could be better.

So today, I made an investment in myself and signed up for Know the Code. Its creator Tonya Mork is a respected and highly-regarded member of the WordPress community. I have no doubt that I’ll get a great education from this.

I’ve learned HTML, CSS, PHP, and Javascript several times over. I’ve read tutorials, taken free online classes, and run the whole gamut. What attracts me to Know the Code is that it talks about teaching the why and not just the what. I’ve done a lot of learning about the what and figuring out the why along the way.

I love solving problems. I love crafting solutions to problems. I want to be able to, as Know the Code says, “build anything out of code.”

I can build more than a basic website, but I still want to be able to do more.

I will report on my progress and share what I learn as I level up. Let’s do this!

2 Comments

  1. Tonya Mork on December 7, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Andy,

    Technology demands that we actively and continuously level ourselves up in languages, problem-solving, methodologies, techniques, and critical thinking. It all starts with a mastery of the fundamentals and principles of software. From there, layer-by-layer, you add new building blocks into your knowledge database and proficiencies.

    What is the key to successfully mastering each level? Active, hands-on, and adaptive learning that gives you the Why, What, When, and then the How. That’s what I teach at Know the Code.

    I applaud you for taking the step to invest in yourself and build your proficiencies. I can’t wait to hear all the “aha” moments when your past experiences come alive and you fill in those gaps. I’m excited to see what you do next! And I’m here to support you!

    Cheers,
    Tonya

    • Andy Stitt on December 7, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks Tonya! I appreciate that. I’m seriously looking forward to filling in the gaps and seeing what I can do once that happens.

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