How to learn to develop web sites

First – learn HTML/CSS. You’ll do these in tandem, as you need both to do anything. Don’t pay attention too much the the version #’s like HTML5/CSS3 – just learn the basics and the rest will come with time as you do it.  Avoid W3 Schools website (it’s out of date) and instead use something like Mozilla Developer Network or SitePoint Reference Guides.

Then JavaScript – learn the basics of how to use it as you will need to if you do any web work. After you know the basics, learn how to use a library like jQuery to make your JavaScript easier to write (but learn the basics of how JavaScript is written first.) Free or mostly free JavaScript resources

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Refection of 2012; Planning for 2013 – My 4 C’s

Ah, the end of the year.  Looking back and reflecting; looking forward and planning.  It’s a time when you can put the past in perspective and the future starts to come into focus.  In 2013, I’ll be focused on what I’m calling the 4 C’s.  Create more, consume less, contribute to others, and (self-)control.  But first, I want to reflect a little on 2012.  This post is mainly for me to reflect on, but I welcome any comments, criticism or support any readers may have (@LocalPCGuy.)

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Setting up WordPress for a simple blog

Looking for a place to post your thoughts?  Want to distribute information about a hobby or something you are knowledgeable about on the web?  Setup a blog using WordPress.  I don’t generally recommend someone just go to, although that is obviously an option.

No, I recommend an individual learn a little bit about the inner workings of their website by setting up WordPress on their own domain and with their own hosting.  You also get invaluable experience which will be important as a website owner.  It is a simple process these days, even those without a lot of Internet knowledge can follow the instructions and steps to get this setup.

Warning: If you are running a business, you probably should consult with someone who builds websites for a living.  For a blog you do for fun, it doesn’t matter if you mess something up and it is down for a few days, but in your business?  Inexperience can cost big dollars in lost sales and lower reputation.

Now on to the steps you need to take to get your first post online:

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JavaScript Resources

There are a ton of free or low cost resources for learning or improving JavaScript skills, and since I had recently gathered some together, I wanted to post them here for anyone to benefit from them.  So without further ado:

jQuery (definitely learn JavaScript first, don’t make the mistake of jumping straight into jQuery)

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Become an Iconoclast, be irreplaceable. Self-Engineer.

Two of the takeaways from the 1DevDay Detroit conference 11/17/2012.

I wrote up my thoughts and takeaways on the 1DevDay Detroit conference for the Enlighten blog, and you can find the post here:

Enlighten 1DevDay Blog Post

I just wanted to expand for just a moment on the keynotes.  They weren’t technical.  You probably didn’t learn anything that would significantly impact your coding ability.  But they were, in many ways, the most important thing that was presented at the conference.  Both keynotes, if the principles are applied to our daily lives, would impact our life success far more than a little tip on the newest coding language.

So I urge people to take talks like these to heart.  Apply the practical points the speakers give, and continue to appreciate self-improvement just as much as technical detail.