Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lift-off the Dock*

It's been too long. I am so bad at keeping up with this. So much has happened since the last post. I don't even know where to begin. But I can type almost as fast as I can think now, so I'm just gonna go with it. Stream of consciousness blogging. Is that a thing?

So, I have built a website. Not just one from The Odin Project. I wanted to put my newfound skills to real world use. I posted on Facebook that I was willing to build a website for a lucky someone. I believe I wrote about this in the last blog.

Anyway, I built the site: This was a fun project because I really like the e-liquid they make, so helping them get their name out there was fulfilling in itself, let alone the fact that I actually made the website. I used Word Press to make the site, which helped out a lot. It still took every bit of my limited knowledge to set up and customize the site. Man, I am only 4 months removed from not knowing a lick of HTML and CSS.

The great thing about learning programming is the instant gratification it gives me: I have a problem, I come up with a solution, I make it, problem solved. There are many missteps in between, but the end result is that a problem was solved. And the crazy part is that I haven't even got to the real programming yet. I just made a website. Not software or something that actually does anything.

But that all changed tonight. I have had this idea for a new way to shop for a certain product (sorry about the ambiguity there) and I am now in the process making it happen. I am lucky that I have someone to guide me along in this process, and I definitely recommend that anyone trying to learn a new skill find a mentor. Tonight we set up a virtual machine through Docker. It basically sets up a mini internet so that I can play around with the project I am building in real time. I wish I understood how it worked, and if you are curious, google it.

That brings me to something that has been on my mind all night. So many people have come before me and done some truly awesome things to make my life easier. I mean, aside from the fact that I don't have to hunt for my food or worry about dying from the water I drink. But these tools that are so freely available to me are remarkable. I hope that one day I can contribute something to this world that leaves a mark. It doesn't have to make me rich- it would be enough if it just made someone else's life easier.

I am sure there is plenty more that can be written to fill the gap between this post and the last, but for now, this will have to do.