HTML5 + CSS + Javascript

CSS Javascript HTML5

We all have, or think we have, really great ideas that hit us in the shower. That revolutionary customer facing web application that could change the industry. So what do we do next? We go out and find someone to build it for us. Err. Wrong. We outsource our project to someone who is well trained. Well technically yes this might work very well and affordably, however what happens when you want to make an addition to the web app. What happens when you are waiting days to weeks for this person to e-mail you back. This is the conundrum that would be entrepreneurs and problem solvers face when trying to go from idea to fully functioning online solution.

In my experience if you want to get it done right you have to do it yourself and do it myself I will. That means understanding, appreciating, and learning the building blocks of the web. Why learn this scary language? What value added does a web application bring to any company? Don’t I need to hire a computer science major to do this stuff? The answers respectively are “Its fun”, “a ton”, and “don’t need one”. Take a look at the class requirements for a Computer Science major. Odds are you will see classes like “Intro to Java”, “Object Oriented Programming”, “Memory Management”. The truth is that present day web development languages and best practices aren’t even taught to CS majors (academia is slow to change their rubric, who wants to update their PowerPoint anyhow?). So if you aren’t a CS major remember that you are starting out at the same level as a new graduate. A great free resource to start learning HTML5, CSS, and Javascript is w3schools.com. You don’t need to download any special programs or read any books, you can build the elements of webpage within the site.

This past week I attended a two hour Meetup learning session in San Francisco called Startup Saturdays – IT Training and Entrepreneurship Academy. We went over the basics of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. I highly recommend going to your local meetup as every major city will have an HTML group as well as a group dedicated to learning JavaScript. I signed up for the San Diego local groups and there are quite a bit of offerings. The reason to learn these sets of languages are that HTML tells the browser what is being displayed, CSS makes it pretty, and JavaScript makes it interactive and alive. JQuery offers a community built library for common JavaScript tasks. So the next time you have a great idea don’t go running to find someone to build it for you. At the very least understanding the basics of how to build your own site will allow you to speak intelligently with experienced web developers in the same way knowing what your car alternator is when speaking with a car mechanic. Chances are it is something you can do yourself or it takes a lot less time than originally estimated.

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