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For a while... and by a while I mean over the last 10 years... I have picked up various code and scripting knowledge. And by knowledge I mean dabbling. Here is a synopsis of what I've done.


In the beginning was HTML. No really, that's the first really useful coding that I learned. I mean, sure, we did BASIC in High School and I did actually learn some PASCAL in college, but can you port it to the web or parse that to a useful language? Absolutely! But who would want to? And would it really save time to code in an obsolete language and then try to bring it into the 21st century? Really??

Admittedly, HTML does not truly represent a 'language' per se. I know, it's a markup language. That's like saying Windows is a bonified operating system (without getting into the Windows/Linux debate, Windows 7 is finally approaching what Linux has achieved for years... but I digress). It (HTML) has helped me to grasp some fundamentals of what we know today as "web friendly" coding. Also, without my knowledge of HTML I would be lost in the JavaScript and PHP world. Not that HTML provides much of an understanding of these complex languages, but it did help me to get my head around them (to a certain degree).


Cascading Style Sheets, which is not a language, but it is certainly code of sorts, really propelled me into using the power of web styling and code efficiency. When I was just picking up HTML I was often simply using WYSIWIG editors and doing nothing more than drag-n-drop coding. CSS played a major role in how I looked at and understood what I call "the man behind the curtain", or rather what makes all those pretty pictures and colors work properly on a web page, and dynamic web coding played a huge part of this, although dynamics are much more apparent with PHP.

Style sheeting is more than just efficient coding. For me, it is what made my code much more "professional". I went from 1 dimentional coding to 2 dimentional coding with style sheets.


I've only really experimented with Perl. In fact, I don't like Perl... that's basically the extent of my Perling. I know enough to know that its syntax is screwed up. I suppose if I were a programmer type, I might be able to get used to it. But for what I do (on the web) and how I look at programming, I think I'd rather clean toilets than code in Perl.

Shell Scripting

That's really the exception. For me, shell scripting came through my exposure to Linux. It has very little to do with the web. For anyone who has not (or will not) begin using Linux, you will find that when you do... eventually you will want to work with shell scripts.

A colleague once told me, if you want to work with computers, you will need to do some programming at some point. Shell scripting, for me, was my answer. I hate programming but still like the idea of making a computer do something. I also love the idea of having the power of choice. With Linux, I have the choice and with shell scripting I have the power.


Now web development became something exciting. PHP is the best of both worlds of front end and server side coding. Not only that, but it works and plays within HTML and CSS. When I began working with PHP, web development was actually fun.

Code Reuse

I want to be very clear here... I have rarely ever produced my own code from scratch. Certainly nothing as complex and as fully dynamic PHP scripts that have multi-functional capabilities. I usually (ok, always) have scoured the web for any usable code out there that someone else has provided. My blog is a perfect example of this. Yes, it's laziness! But it's also practicality. Use what is already available.. it's already been debugged, tested, and well documented. How can this be bad?