Learning Feeds the Mind

I love learning new things because learning feeds the mind.

Growing up, my brother played the trumpet and after college, he learned to play the guitar. I was always intimidated by musical instruments. I was never musically inclined, but inspired by my musician friends,  I wanted to learn. I discovered MIDI, bought a keyboard and plugged it into a computer. All I could do was plink the keys, but once it was hooked up to a software sequencer, I learned enough musical theory that I could create music. Some of my work is right here on this site.  In 2014, I started learning to play the bass guitar. Over the years, my little Hofner has been a joy.

The Glory of Rome

The Glory of Rome

In the Nineties, I became fascinated by ancient Roman history. I spent long hours reading everything I could find about the rise and fall of the Roman Republic. I learned about the history and intricate nature of that brutal society, its odd quirky traditions, its hardcore military, and the particularly vicious political system that makes modern American politics pale in comparison. That inspired me to create an online game, The Glory of Rome, which gave players an opportunity to lead a Roman noble house during the last century of the Republic.

The Glory of Rome

The Glory of Rome

I was an early adopter of the internet. I originally was an AOL subscriber, and when they started allowing users to create web pages, I was all in. Building a page back then was a clunky, ugly affair. But I learned what I needed to know to do what I wanted to do. Over the last 25 years, I’ve built quite a few sites, always learning what I didn’t know to do it passably well. I picked up bits and pieces of the developing HTML spec and the newer technologies of CSS, Javascript, and various extensions like JQuery.

Now, I’m taking that to a new level. And it’s a good thing that I like to learn. The first thing I recognized as I approached this new endeavor is that the field has exploded with new technologies and options. It’s overwhelming, and the more I dig into it, the more there is to know. I’m focusing on improving my skills with the three core technologies: HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Every day brings new opportunities to learn. And my understanding of what I’m doing with the code is growing.

 

JavaScript Code Snippet

I learn best by doing, and with that in mind, I’m building a new web app. The goal of the site is to provide inspiration to players of a science-fiction roleplaying game. The exterior challenge is to create a dynamic and interesting narrative tidbits to prompt users’ imaginations. The interior challenge is to figure out how to deliver that to the users. The HTML must be well structured, the CSS must create a modern visual ambiance that supports the theme, and the Javascript must be crisp and efficient.

I love learning new things because learning feeds the mind. I want to be a professional coder. I don’t know why lies ahead, only that I’ve got work to do to reach that goal. Bring it on.