The Never-ending Learning Process

Robert Valcourt
Sep 06, 2013
The Never-ending Learning Process

New technologies, programming languages and web standards are evolving at a rapid pace. As a Web developer, I must stay on top of these technological evolutions. The learning process is never-ending.

In The Beginning

I started my Web development career with an idea. I was going to buy a copy of FrontPage and try selling mini business sites to merchants in my community. I had no HTML coding skills, no knowledge of how the internet works and I had no foresight of how the web would evolve in the coming decades. Suffices to say, my idea didn't pan out but it was still the catalyst which launched my career.

I quickly learned that I had to learn HTML and understand web standards. Even then I had no idea that things were going to change very quickly.

New Technologies and Web Standards

Within a couple short years, using table based layouts and statically written websites were becoming obsolete. I quickly had to learn CSS, get an understanding of dynamic sites, the benefits of a templated site and emerging languages such as PHP and Javascript. I was beginning to understand that like an automotive technician, job training does not end once you have mastered replacing brakes on a 92' Civic!

Web 2.0 and Metrics

At this point XHTML, CSS3 and a social Web is the norm. Once again I am forced to update not only my programming skills but my way of thinking when it comes to Web development. At this point, I begin to pay special attention to conversion rates and lead generation. Building a pretty site that has structural and visual 'WOW' is great, but if visits don't convert to a product sales or lead generation, then the site is nothing more than just wasted kilobytes on a server.

HTML5 & Mobile Sites

So here we are in the modern era. HTML5 is about to take over and mobile sites are commonplace. For the past year or so I have been building dedicated sites for mobile users. Of late, I have been struggling with the 'disconnect' between a mobile and desktop site. For this reason, I now develop all sites in a responsive manner. This ensures that there are information and visual consistencies for all users regardless of how they view the site or what kind of device/computer is being used. This is yet another example of an evolved Internet and why I must continue learning and training.

What's Next?

That's anyone's guess but if I had to make a prediction, I think the following is a safe bet!

  • Full adaptation of HTML5
  • A faster Internet leading to rich media
  • Connectivity everywhere
  • Increased social interaction
  • Voice-activated user interfaces

Made With In Whistler