Coding might be in my bones

We all have weakness. Some people cannot draw, others cannot do math, and some just cannot code. Well I thought I felt into the category of not being able to code. It always just seemed boring to me and I was not interested in learning any of it. When it comes to memorization, I am terrible. The thought of having to remember so much code puts me right to sleep and if you know anything about me, it is that I am a designer and that is it.

Designing is all I have ever known and development has never appealed to me.

Web Education

In the eighth grade, we were able to pick our electives. They varied from music and art classes to shop classes. I had always been interested in art and being creative but I also wanted to try something new so I signed up for a web design class.

The class included an introduction to basic HTML but I was only interested in the design aspect of the class. I understood basic HTML and to this day still do, but I was never interested in taking what I had learned and building on that with more advanced coding techniques. In my freshmen year of high school, we were once again able to choose an elective and the selection was much wider than middle school.

A computer graphics class really appealed to my creative side so I jumped at the opportunity to take it. Everything changed from there. It had caught my interest in every way possible. I had not known much about the topic or the industry but I wanted to keep on learning even outside of the classroom. After taking the computer graphics class, I never really considered anything related to coding. Design took my heart immediately. Coding went on the back burner and eventually it no longer was an interest. My expertise when it comes to web design is on the low side. I have done one or two websites before but mainly just the design aspect in Adobe Photoshop and not so much the coding.

Coding was never a requirement

You may be thinking that if design is my passion why I am talking about coding. Well the story behind this is because I had a job interview in June and even though it was for a graphic design position, they wanted someone with more web design experience. Everyone knows that a lot is moving towards the web or mobile. In our world today, we are all about becoming eco-friendly and limiting our footprint. Newspapers and magazines are still being printed but you can view them online as well. More emails are being sent out than mailers are being sent out to individuals.

My major in college was Digital Media and Animation. We never had any web design courses, instead we focused on fine arts, graphic design, motion graphics, videography and most importantly 3D animation. This is why web design is such a learning curve for me. The most amount of exposure to code and web development would probably only have been WordPress where we were required to keep a portfolio/blog featuring all of the work we produced inside and outside of the classroom.

The web industry is continually changing and evolving and you have to keep up otherwise you may find your skills being out of date. I have wanted to dabble a little more in web design but I never found the chance to go in that direction. In college, I found it hard to find the time to learn outside the box, or what was not involved with the various projects. This has become apparent while hunting for a job, I have seen other postings for graphic design positions where employers would like their candidates to have HTML and CSS knowledge, which leaves me at a disadvantage as employers want their staff to have additional skill sets that I currently do not have.

Another adventure forming

I have been “propositioned” so to speak by a good friend of mine who happens to be my roommate. He is a developer who has been interested in doing some freelance however he doesn’t have the creativity, or the design background to make websites all on his own. Lucky for him he lives with a designer. That got the ball rolling a little bit and has pushed me to start relearning some HTML and learning CSS. I was also lucky enough to chat with Devon Campbell not too long ago about web design and coding. If you do not know Devon, he is a web developer from Knoxville, TN. He was incredibly insightful and I am happy we were able to chat. With that, he recommended Code School, something I had never heard of before.

I signed up then received an email about a free two-day Hall Pass. I definitely did my best to get the most out of the two-day period and learned more about HTML and even some CSS. At least now, I could say that I have some basic knowledge of both.

You know what? Coding is not so bad after all. After working with my roommate, speaking to Devon and using online tools like Code School, not only am I getting a better understanding but I think I am beginning to like it too! Coding is not as hard as I thought it would be and while I have had some struggles during lessons I am enjoying the challenge of learning new skills to further my career.

I have always been a hands on learner, in that while I enjoy reading about a subject, I do not feel that I learn as much as when I actually put what I am reading into practice. This is what makes online resources such as Code School and Code Academy great for people like me trying to not only learn new skills, but bring out passions for topics such as coding that have been inside me all along.

Lila Campiz

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