On the Horse, Again…

UpToHereI finally got fed up with myself and how I have let myself get sidetracked from my goal of being a web developer.  I find kind of stupid admitting this, but I have started refresher courses with CodeAcademy.  I blew through the first HTML/CSS course and even felt interested enough to try the initial JavaScript course.  It was pretty fun.

At the end of this month it will be one year since I graduated.  I have not changed or grown much in this year, in my opinion.  I have blogged about my internship and how happy I was to stop.  It was not really because of the tasks I was doing, it was the environment and people I was working with.  I am still at the same job I was last year.  On a positive note I have a client and the potential to have another (if they would call me back.)  It is not like I am not using my degree, things are just not moving along as quickly as I wanted.

Part of the slowness is where I got my degree.  Another part is me not being comfortable with code.  By code I mean JavaScript, C++, PHP and what not.  HTML and CSS, I get.  I do not see them as code, per say, they are formatting.  I am hoping that if I work on my skills via CodeAcademy, and other such programs, I will develop my skills and become more confident in my skills.

At the beginning of the year I was thinking and talking about my “Year of 300.”  We are close to starting March.  I should probably give a status update.

Physical Fitness: 3/300 hours (day to day activities do not count,  I have been bad at exercising this year.)

Web Development: 1/300 hours (just got motivated to do stuff today.)

Graphic Art / Fine Art: 46/300 (lots of this going on this year)



Giving Up

I really feel like I have given up on being a web designer/developer.  I would much rather spend my time doing graphics than reinforcing what I learned in web development.

I keep thinking that “I should …” work  on something related to web dev for a few hours a week.  I never do.  I play around in Photoshop or read Photoshop tutorials. 

I have so much invested in web development that I am angry with myself for not working harder on it.  Today I was wondering how I even passed some of the classes when I can’t even get a PHP contact sheet to send mail properly.  I just can not seem to get it to work.  Just thinking about this makes me want to go take a bath and go to bed.  I am tired of beating my head against that brick wall.

When do you know that you “wasted” you time and money on something?  I wasted so much time on something that I cannot seem to do.  Super depressing thought…  I want to give up and try something that I am good at.  I do not know why I did not spend that time and money getting a degree in marketing and communications.  That would have been much easier and more up my alley.  Nope.  I had to try something new and hard…


What a waste.

About this point in my blog I would normally say something like “there is no wasted experience” or something.  I hate to say that it is true, but I do not feel that way about this.  Even on a practical level I think it was a waste to do this.  After the first class I almost failed (c++) and when I started thinking about changing majors, I really should have.  Heck I am better at database design and programming than I am at web development.  I almost changed two or three times.

Now I am left with something that gives me headaches, and that I cannot do anywhere else but at my desk.  Argh!

Really a waste.

Now I am left to decide if I want to attempt to continue with web development or drop it and focus on graphic design and marketing.  If I stick with it, it is going to be long and hard work.  I am going to have to strap myself to my desk and learn from scratch.  Learn the basics of PHP, Java, JavaScript and even HTML and CSS again.  The way I should have done it the first time, on my own with books and how to vids.

I could just drop it and take some classes at a community college and get a bachelors in marketing and communication.  I have enough experience to be able to test out of a bunch of the basic and mid level classes.  Write it off.  I hate to do that though.

I am genuinely interested in making good multi-platform websites.  The thought just gets me all thoughtful and curious. 


I do not think I am going to figure this out tonight or even this month.

I do need to decide soon though.

Stick with it or drop it?  I wish I knew.

The Road to Learning

Holy Smokes!  I have been looking into the WordPress themes and their creation and I have to say that this is going to be tougher than I thought.  I might have to start taking some online classes or something.  Reading a book and following along with a few tutorials is NOT going to cut it.  Every time I look at something I get more lost. 

Is it standard to only be able to have 5 or 6 nav buttons / links per line? My big question right now is how can you – OR – Can you adjust a theme’s nav bar to be able to add more pages without it going to the next line? 

Every time I look at something I end up leaving one function to go to another function to another and so on.  This is getting kind of annoying.  I am pretty sure the real problem is my lack of understanding PHP and WordPress in general.  I am already missing the “basic” HTML and CSS layouts with the JavaScript bits. 

Enough complaining!  I do like the ease of use on some things.  It is pretty easy to install plugins and widgets and get them to work.  I also like that WordPress sites usually look very professional, well business casual anyway.  I have only seen one Worpress site that was visually horrific.  The site designer let the client walk all over the design. *shudder*  No I am not going to pass on what site it is, that would be rude and unprofessional.  I also am generally impressed with the number of plugins and widgets you can get. There is a way to add just about everything that a person would need.  If you can’t find it put the idea out there and some coding genius will make it happen.  Awesome!

If anyone can recommend a good set of WordPress instructional vids (free would be amazing) it would really help me out 🙂 




Almost There

I finally got PHP, MySQL and Apache completely installed and running! Even better I got the WordPress Developers package installed and running!  I had to cheat a bit and used XAMPP :I  Once I get a few themes under my belt I will go back and install everything separately so I can have the most of the software and flexibility.

I kind of feel incompetent because it took me three tries at installing things separately (failures) and twice to install XAMPP.  I ended up wasting time watching a few videos and finally got some good help from a StackOverflow article.  TG for the internet and places like StackOverflow or I would have had to get a fine arts degree!


I went to Tacoma’s Art on the Ave this weekend. There were some great shows. The dancers always looked like they were having a good time despite the heat and glaring sun. Even though I adjusted the camera settings most of my early morning photos were washed out 😦
I have not done much of anything to this photo, just cropped out the crowds heads.

In the end, no matter how I got it accomplished, I did get it done.  Tomorrow I am going to start on making a basic theme from one of the tutorials I found.  In the mean time I am reading about PHP and refreshing my sql commands.

I am very excited about tomorrow and getting a chance to create something that is on the path I chose for myself.  I may have had a few graphic designs used and a few basic HTML and CSS sites used, but that does not make me a web designer yet.  Getting a theme that more than 10 people use is where I am going to start.  I have some things in my head that I think will be really cool. They are a bit different from the normal fare seen on WordPress, but in some instances different is good. I hope that I can get them out there for you guys sooner rather than later.

Keep working on your dreams!

A Not so Magical Week

One would think that having a short week would make the rest of the week go more smooth than a normal week. Short of having some extra work on Tuesday the rest of the week is expected to go smoothly.  That is not what happened this week.

I made some mistakes.  One was actual ignorance and the others… Well, it has not been a great week and I was not in top form.  Thankfully typos and spelling errors are not going to stop the train I help run.

Moving onto the Magical…

I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my degree.  There are so many options and it is hard to choose the path that will work for the family and the future.  I may not be the fastest learner or “the best” at web design.  I know I will get there as I experiment and learn.

To that end I am working on getting PHP installed.  I am having some trouble doing the actual install.  I was never amazing at manually installing things that have files that need to be moved around.  I even had to reinstall Apache twice because I messed it up the first time.  Of course once I get it figured out I will have something else to add to my list of stuff I know, and that list can never be to long.

I hope everyone out there on the web has a good week and weekend.


Thank You internet for the awesome image.