Some time ago I watched the WordPress Lynda tutorials by Morten Rand-Hendriksen, specifically ‘Essential Training’ and ‘Building Child Themes.’ I would hazard a guess that most users start this way. They were great. They were easy and informative. Unfortunately, though, I hadn’t set aside enough time to digest them properly, and any benefit I got from watching them was supplanted by the latest Yahoo news headline or the current adorable dog video. It was just surplus information I had no use for.
Fast forward to a week or so ago. With my sabbatical approaching its end, and my looking towards the next step in my career, I wanted to increase my web-presence. My global resume, so to speak. I wanted to let anyone searching for ‘David McFee’ online to be able to discover exactly who I was, what I was interested in, and what I stood for. But my website was – is – a shambles. I had to take another stab at WordPress.
What have I learnt?
Well, in short, much! I have come to grips with the basics. How the WP interface works, the basics of posts vs pages, how a theme works, etc. And I have started to craft my content. I know what I want to say, and where to put it. It is all rather simple, but necessary stuff. I’ve also branched into the world of css and php coding, at least as it pertains to child themes. For a beginner that doesn’t know the respective languages, this is both fascinating and intimidating. But I love it.
A good friend, who is a software engineer, once told me that I would love programming. I’m paraphrasing, but he said that programming is perfect for people with an analytical minds, as it offers a good dose of both challenge and reward. I got his point. It was 1991. At that time I was studying for my HEC in Mechanical Production Engineering at Newcastle College, and one of my favourite classes was CNC Programming. I enjoyed writing the code, printing out the ticker tape, and testing it. But I had different goals back then. I was on track to do Quality Assurance. It also didn’t help that I was pretty much computer illiterate. I had had a bad experience coding ‘basic’ in high school, was too poor to be a ‘gamer’, so computers were foreign objects. I wasn’t much different to most people my age, really.
That, of course, has all changed. I was a late bloomer, but I am now pretty much a tech junky. Even though my primary interest at Uni was biological conservation, I always wanted to see how technology could help. When given the opportunity, I latched on to learning GIS and remote sensing software and techniques. It is the best of both worlds. As I progress with this page and the associated blogs, I want to expand further. I want to know more about the programming aspects to GIS – that is where the magic lies.