The Switch

When I initially began my journey in coding, I started with PHP in 2008. I went through several of the Visual Quickstart guides by Larry Ullman and got to a point where I could produce an entire application using nothing but native HTML, CSS, and PHP. At that point, I knew I’d fallen in love.

Due to two simple facts, I unfortunately dropped off coding for some time. First, I am a mechanical engineer by training, and never really had any need for programming in my daily work. And second, I didn’t really have any friends that were as infatuated with coding as I was. It’s amazing how two minor things like that can kill a drive that burns so hot.

After moving to my current town, I suddenly got the urge to start coding again. This was about 6 years after I’d picked up PHP. After doing some reasearch and talking with a couple people, I decided to give JavaScript a try. Now, I had access to Node.js and Express, which let me do all the things that PHP and Apache had enabled me to do before. And it was so much easier!

I began working with a non-profit to help get it off the ground by producing a web application for them. I brought in a friend I’d met that was teaching me JavaScript and software engineering practices, and he decided after just a short conversation that Node would not be the best solution for this application.

So, now, I’m learning Ruby on Rails. Funny how a journey will take so many different turns. The cool thing is that I’m starting to make associations between all these different languages/frameworks. When I ran through a tutorial on Sinatra in Ruby, I thought, “Wow, this looks a lot like the Express syntax”. Come to find out, the person who created Express took a lot of design cues from Sinatra!

As this journey progresses, I hope to keep you updated with how things are going. It’s somewhat difficult to get any kind of deep knowledge on a language/framework when you’re required to switch so much, but in our day and age, I don’t know that that’s a bad thing. I’m learning little pieces of all the languages and am able to tie them together. With the fast-paced change in the framework space in web languages, I think that might come in handy.


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