I’m just wondering out of curiosity, when did you learn the <a>’s, <b>’s and <center>’s?
Most people start off teaching themselves the basics before reaching out for professional training, if at all. I was no different, starting at the tender age of twelve or thirteen using Notepad when IE6 was launching and it was supposed to be popular. I soon learned the limitations of static pages, moved onto a free web host that allowed PHP and MySQL, and haven’t left those beautiful languages since. The first thing I remember building for my friends was a very basic password protected picture gallery to share our weekend adventures in private. Mediocre grades didn’t prevent me from being able to work on my high school website as a course for a couple semesters. Using PHP to speed up math homework, and Photoshop to breeze by multimedia projects did help my marks as the years went by. By sixteen, I was designing my first commercial website, and was technically being paid to get a credit, to work from home. That’s probably the point where hobby lead to career, and so far I can’t complain.
During my one year of college for Web Design & Development, I was surprised to be the youngest in class. More surprising though, was the fact that nearly a fifth of the class was above the age of thirty-five. Perhaps it’s just odd to me because my parents are just now learning how to send a text message, but I wonder how well it worked out for them. The class didn’t teach me a whole lot I didn’t already know, but there were a few tricks in there, and a nineteen year old with a piece of paper is easier to hire than an eighteen year old without. A few months later I was hired full time to develop websites in downtown Toronto, and have been doing so ever since.
There have been plenty of discussions on whether further education is a necessity for the field, but I’m curious to know when most web designers and developers get started, and what program/language it was that sucked them in.