Vonstipatz is a little bit crazy. He’s into something dangerous.
Back in the mid-90s, when the Internet first reared its majestic head, few people really understood what it was, and what it was good for. I remember going to an early seminar on the World Wide Web; I think this was in 1994. One of the presenters made the statement that there were “approximately 30,000 web sites” in the world, a number that was growing at an exponential pace. The website http://www.howmanyarethere.org/ states that as of about 12 months ago the number was well over 600 million.
Today, in virtually any field you’re in, you had better know how to use a computer and the Internet. If your work is largely on the Web itself, you ought to know–at the very least–some basics about HTML to be able to effectively utilize a Content Management System such as WordPress. And if you want a really good job, the new lingua franca is CODE. To write code, the mysterious if/then digital hieroglyphics of strings, methods, arrays and objects, is said to be the new language of success. Or at least a way to avoid abject failure.
I got to know basic HTML well enough, with the help of a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) graphical editor such as Dreamweaver, to be able to build basic Websites. I even made a nice bit of change on the side building them–everybody knew they just HAD to have one, even if none of us were sure what they were good for. Um, e-commerce, anyone?
Point being, I got away from those salad days when Websites became more complicated with things like CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Java, server-side scripts for processing forms, and so on. But now, having worked in social media for the last few years, and with the siren song of mobile changing the world, I’m finding I need to get up to speed again. Fast.
So, I’ve been cracking the books on HTML5, Responsive Web Design, platform-specific apps, Ruby, jQuery, Rails and more. Which has lead me to something I thought I’d never open up on my Mac, much less actually use. I’m talking about the Terminal, found in the Utilities folder under my Apps menu. It’s the rabbit hole to the Unix code that runs the Mac OS command line. It’s where you type in weird looking, cryptic instructions, hit return, and something happens. What that is, or should be, I’m not yet sure. This is a jungle filled with all sorts of wonderful medicinal plants, as well as poisonous toads and other strange creatures of the night.
So, I may be terminal, depending on how far in I get. But there’s a method to it all (if not a string or array): If I survive, maybe I can become a guide. To the next of you to follow me in.
I do fancy that dollar sign after my name, though.
(More to come).