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I’ve been doing a lot of research about what makes up the modern day web page. Essentially, the heart of the page is a text file that is written in a code that tells the computer how and what to display.
But even with all of that, the heart of the web page is still the text file and the code contained therein.
If one learns the code, one can not only design web pages, but can modify, improve and repair pre-existing ones. You don’t need Adobe Dreamweaver. You don’t need Microsoft Word. You don’t need any special software, period. You just need to learn the codes that make the websites tick.
Learning code is a lot like learning a language except you don’t have to worry too much about pronunciation. You don’t need to go to school to learn a language, any more than I went to school as a kid to learn BASIC. Instead I opened a book, read the instructions and started making programs.
Perhaps I’ve been overthinking this. For years I’ve wanted to learn more about websites but thought it would be too hard for me to learn on my own. I thought that I would need instructors and a formal path to learn what I wanted to know.
I looked over the syllabus (syllabi?) of several colleges that offer the education I desire. To my dissappointment, most of the classes required (especially in the first semester) have absolutely nothing to do with website design. For instance:
- Why do I need a writing course when I’m a professional writer?
- Why do I need an Algebra course when I know I won’t use the skills?
- Why do I need to take elementary networking classes when I’ve been designing, implementing and deploying networks for over a decade?
I sure as hell don’t need to take the numerous computer intro classes. I can build, fix and upgrade them quite nicely already, thankyouverymuch.
Most of this stuff I already know and what I want to know they don’t teach very much of. For instance, you only get to choose one programming language instead of learning several like a website designer really needs to. In essence, out of the 16 classes I would have to take to earn a degree I only really need 5 or 6 of them to acquire the knowledge I desire – and that doesn’t cover all of the other stuff I really need to learn how to design webpages properly.
So basically, 10 of these classes are a waste of time for me.
There’s no magic in those walls so while I would still like to have the college experience I am seriously starting to doubt the wisdom of even bothering. I can take the syllabus, buy one book at a time and learn what I need to know without the bullshit or the fluff.
You know, I’m glad I read Mohamed’s book on passion! Without that book I would have never faced the fact that I’ve denied my love for computers because I thought I needed a formal education to pursue the knowledge I crave. If I had never faced that fact, I would have never tried to go back to school and as a result, I would have never realized how much bullshit is involved with formal education.
I would have never pulled up a syllabus and realized how little a formal education would actually benefit me; I certainly would not have realized that there is nothing that they can teach that I can’t learn on my own from a book.
It is amazing how much one can grow as a person when you open your eyes and examine the walls in front of you. What have your walls taught you? Please share your stories in the comments below.
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