I began coding at the age of seven. No kidding. My mother bought a Commodore 64 (remember those?) and hooked it up to our TV – which back then had three channels and rabbit-ears. My younger sister and I would spend untold hours following the programming in the little book, meticulously typing in DOS commands to make it tweet like a bird for 10 seconds. I loved it.
My mother was always building computers. Putting pieces together like a puzzle, then booting up and typing in the commands necessary to put in the OS. I was fascinated by it all. In school, I took all the computer classes I could possibly take. I remember in high school, I got in trouble because I kept skipping my Computer Science class. No – not because I was bad at it, but because I inhaled programming. I caught on so fast, my own teacher couldn’t keep up with me. So while he was teaching everyone else, I’d go do my own thing until everyone else had caught up with me.
It was when I was in high school that I discovered web design. Programming aside, I was a student of the visual arts. I love to paint and draw, and you would often find me outside sketching the trees or people walking by. At one point, I’d even submitted my portfolio to Walt Disney Studios, hoping to become an animator – but this was before I went to college. When I didn’t hear from them, I called to see if I could get my submission back, and the hiring manager told me didn’t want to return it, he liked my work so much. (I took that as a compliment.) But web design became a whole new passion for me – bringing the two subjects I loved the most together into one. I would make website after website, just because I could.
It wasn’t until the year 2000 that I realized that people would pay for websites – that I could actually turn this thing that I loved into a feasible business for myself. I began taking on clients. My little business grew. The more I did, the more I wanted to learn. I went from straight HTML coding to where I am today – understanding accessibility issues, keeping up with web standards, using CSS-based layouts. PHP was my new “DOS”, MySQL a close running second. The discovery of blogging took on a whole new life for me, and I dabbled in Movable Type, Greymatter, Blogger, pMachine (now known as “Ellis Lab”), Pivot – even touching on Mambo/Joomla, Drupal and Expression Engine. I eventually got to “play” with ZenCart, and it was wonderful. I’ve found some other platforms I’d love to learn: Magento and ModX – I feel that these would also be beneficial to know, and to help future clients who might want to use them.
But the ultimate – for me, anyway – is WordPress.
I love WordPress. In fact, it’s often my number one choice to use for my clients. Many people will often tell you that “WordPress is just for blogs”, or that WordPress can’t do many things. The fact is, WordPress is probably the most powerful open-source Content Management System I’ve ever come across. It’s a joy to work with, and the customization possibilities are endless. I recommend it highly for anyone: whether you’re a “small time” personal blogger, or a nice-sized company.
But this page isn’t about WordPress, it’s about me, and my little company.
So, now I have my little business here. I love it. I get to work with great people, and I get to create and do things I never thought I could do. I love to help people. I love to have someone come to me with an idea, and I can turn it into something functional for them. I love getting emails from happy clients – and I’ll tell you, I get more than my share.
I also love to learn new things. I love to get challenges from my clients – my favorite questions involve “Is this even possible?” Many times, I don’t know, but I sure do want to find out!