I love the Internet and technology in general, but when it comes to the core technical knowledge, I’m definitely a n00b. This is in stark contrast to my roommate, who I mostly chose to live with based on his deep knowledge of web development. jk! (sorta). I didn’t study computer science in college or anything formal like that, but I’m doing my best to learn as much about web architecture as I can, because a) it’s cool and b) I’m never going anywhere in this industry without doing so.
Despite not understanding most of it, I take a great amount of pleasure in reading articles about programming topics. Besides being plain interesting, doing so has helped me absorb (if only the surface) of these topics, and I’ve slowly begun to assimilate them into my vocabulary and way of thinking.
There’s been examples of this type of learning too numerous to list, things I file away and come to me at the right time later: vim (didn’t get it, still don’t get most of it, but thought to start learning it the either day when I had to do some server file editing), django vs. ruby on rails (which to start with — the community seems split but my friend jake and I decided to go with django since we knew a little python), types of servers (apache, nginx and the like — helped me recently when I was setting up an app), what web host to go with (I chose web faction)…the list goes on.
Even if I don’t dive into the vast majority of what I read it, definitely reduces my unknown unknowns. Plus, it’s just damn inspiring and has pushed me to learn more. The level of passion and talent on that site is staggering. Being exposed to other people going after that dreams day in and day out, building incredible things, and having an awesome time doing it tends to rub off on you.
I’m a level zero on this road to code journeyman, but it’s certainly been fun. Viewing the world through the eyes of Hacker News has been the most helpful to start to familiarize myself with what’s out there. Can’t wait to keep going.
Update: Realized I forgot to post the first ‘real’ programming project I put this learning to use on: twordsie.com which Jake and I built to visualize your top tweeted words.