I believe my journey into web development began when I started building websites using a Google tool called "Blogspot." They provided a free account for making your website on their platform. It was exhilarating to create websites there, shaping and constructing them as I desired. I relished the opportunity to craft something I could instantly share with the world. At that juncture, I had no formal website design or development training, but I did what I could with the tools available.
Upon entering college for programming, I assumed I would continue in a similar vein — that is, being capable of constructing a website, designing it, and launching it without delay. As I embarked on my program, I delved into the fundamentals of HTML and website design. However, I noticed a significant gap; they seldom emphasized the design aspects of creating a website. This lack was frustrating, as my goal was to handle the website construction and launch independently. I suspect this oversight was due to the nature of my course, "Programmer Analyst," which didn't cater to design principles.
My interest in designing and developing my websites remained strong. I spent my free time experimenting with various graphic design tools and dabbled in Photoshop to comprehend its application in website creation. At that time, Photoshop was the go-to software for website graphics. After college, I joined a program at Ryerson University centered around Website Design and Development. Nonetheless, I encountered the same issue as before. Despite covering the fundamentals of website development and exploring various programming languages, the program skimped on the design elements I craved.
Fortunately, during my time there, I connected with a peer equally eager to grasp the design aspect. We invested countless hours outside the classroom, painstakingly working through the entire Photoshop manual, learning the nuances of each feature. This endeavor propelled my drive to delve further into Photoshop, subsequently venturing into Illustrator to discern the appropriate usage of both. As I grew proficient with these tools, I found myself capable of creating my website layouts and constructing them single-handedly. I gained the competence to alter graphics and enhance them independently, even if I wasn't the original designer.
I'm grateful for dedicating effort to incorporate design into my skillset. This investment has paid dividends, especially during my time with design agencies and as a freelance Website Designer. Clients often seek dual expertise in brand and website design, a request I can comfortably meet. While I occasionally outsource specific design and development tasks to subcontractors, I'm reassured knowing I can autonomously undertake projects when necessary.
I offer advice to those in the field: If you're a designer, consider learning coding. And if you're a developer, I urge you to grasp design principles. This additional skill in your arsenal offers you greater flexibility. As a developer or designer, You will have the ability to undertake projects solo or collaborate with other designers or developers. Most importantly, it allows you to choose how you wish to approach a project.