Brian Nelson

Learn something already

November 26 2012

Kyle and I attended a web design/development conference this past June in sunny San Diego. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so sunny while we were there. The locals told us we were experiencing the tail end of the “May Grays” and the beginning of the “June Gloom”.

California, man.

Anyways, most of the attendees at this conference were designers. Web designers, to be exact. And most of these designers didn’t touch code. And we talked to a lot of people that weekend.

There were the rare few that worked with code everyday. But the majority of the guys (yeah, there were only 5 or 6 women attending) did little code work besides updating their personal websites occasionally.

This is wrong.

Working in the web industry requires knowing about such a wide variety of topics that to me, working in one medium (Photoshop, usually) seems incredibly limiting.

Don’t get me wrong. There are those of you out there that are amazing in Photoshop. You can do things that I can’t even dream up in my head.

And there are also those of you out there who do work with code on a daily basis. I salute you.

But I don’t think that’s enough.

The web is an ever-evolving medium. It’s changing, literally, as you read this. And it’s changing the world. In that sense, we can never get comfortable with our skillset, because there’s always more to learn.

So, I urge you, web professionals to step outside your comfort zone. Learn something new. If you can’t code in basic html or css, learn how.

If you do know some basic coding, push yourself to learn something new. Try Javascript, or at the least JQuery.

Kyle has forced me, over the past couple years to work in Ruby on Rails and it’s been one of the most frustrating and enlightening experiences I can remember.

So, take an hour or a half hour out of your day and start learning. The web is a challenging medium, so don’t get comfortable.