So Many Things to Learn …
You can only search for jobs for so long in a day. It is important to be sure, and I am doing my best to maximize my efficiency in that endeavor, but I needed something to break up the day. My plan has always been to continue learning things, and I am finding that stimulating my brain after a couple hours of searching for jobs is helpful.
As I have worked on different projects for school, built my website, and delved into the depths of web and software development, I found what to focus on next. I am really drawn to web development technologies right now and want to further sharpen those skills by learning new and current technologies. As an alumni of Western Governors University, I also have lifetime access to PluralSight which gives me access to a multitude of courses.
So I’m starting with PHP next. It is a very well adopted and mature language that is widely used. According to w3techs.com PHP is used on over 83% of web servers. It enables dynamic websites, works well with databases, and overall can make life easier. Currently my site is mostly static pages, so I am excited to implement new features to make it more dynamic as time goes on. I am using PHP for my contact form, but I know there is so much more I can do.
In my research I found that most people recommended Node.js first, as it is essentially a server side platform built on JS that allows you to make robust web applications. It’ll be interesting to see the differences between PHP and Node.js once I have played with them for a bit. Once that is settled, I will check out React. I have enjoyed digging into my design roots and am excited to see how React will make that easier, or at least allow me to make more robust user interfaces. I am most excited to see how I can use these technologies together to make some great website experiences.
The last thing I am planning on tackling is really digging into Linux and ensuring I understand it from head to toe, as best as I can. It is a powerful operating system that has been a breeze to work with so far with my web server. I would like to dive into its capabilities a bit more.
All-in-all I plan on getting through over 150 hours of courses in the next few months. I really want to take this time to expand my knowledge from the general development principles I have learned into practical use of software engineering in today’s web environment. The more I discover in this unique industry, the more I want to find new creative ideas to tackle.
I have a couple ideas for projects I want to complete once I get through these courses. The first is a custom blogging CMS. I don’t want to use a standard CMS if I don’t have to, and this will help to expand my knowledge and have something to show for it. After that, I have a few hobbies I want to create web applications for as well. One would be a custom media collection database. There are a ton out there, but they are always missing something. This will allow me to get everything in one place. Another big one for me is a cigar journal/database of my collection. There are very few out there, and they’re very dated, so I want to make something fresh and clean. These are just ideas at this point, and I will share more as I start to develop them.
For anyone looking for some good references on any of the subjects I covered in this post, here are some resources I found: