I began coding when I was 10 years old. It was 2004; the internet was stumbling out of it’s clumsy infant years, and so was I. Like many other women who code, my humble beginnings began on Neopets.com. I was given control over my pet’s “pet page”, and I was able to put whatever I wanted up with some HTML. I could even make the background as bright hot pink as I wanted with CSS. Immediately, I began reading up on anything I could about basic web coding (Thanks Lissa!) and started making graphics for myself and other Neopets users using MS Paint. When a family friend gave me a copy of Photoshop 5, my pet bios and user profile pages were plastered in gradients, flower pictures, and intense drop shadows.

There, I learned the basics of iterating through design decisions. I’d make multiple versions of things, coding them up, and seeing which designs “felt” better and easier to use. I developed an eye for composition, spacing, and even basic color theory based on trial and error. My work was not only praised, but genuinely appreciated by other young girls who didn’t know much about computers but still wanted to express themselves. Coding and graphic design gave me control over something: a means to create something that mattered. Back then, I didn’t have any control over a difficult home life. This meant everything to me, and was quickly rooted in my identity. I don’t know where I would be without the ~8 years I spent on that website.

I continued with design throughout high school, creating basic posters for my friends’ bands and a t-shirt design or two for various school clubs. It was around my junior year of high school when I realized: hey, I could probably make this my life’s work and feel pretty happy about it. When I graduated, I began to browse Craigslist, and got my first job at a local business as a Digital Marketing Consultant at 17.

Throughout my life’s ups and downs and even its sideways, my passion for this ever changing field only grew. I love learning, and even though it’s difficult to keep up when the frameworks/languages/libraries/buzzwords, I enjoy every second. Even when I’m screaming internally looking for that missing semi-colon. The goal is set: I will be a Front End Developer & Designer!

Over the past few years, at the opportunity of the wonderful open source community, I read books, ran through tutorials, watched videos, and hardly ever followed up with the knowledge I learned. Within the past 6 months or so, I started taking my goals and learning seriously. Giving back to the community while simultaneously applying my new knowledge is paramount to my growth as a developer. Thus, the blog is born.

I plan to document my learning process here. I want to make any charts, notes, and study tools to be published here for myself and others. I will review various learning resources, and post about projects I’m working on and why I do the things I do. I can’t wait. Thank you for taking this journey with me.