From Business Development to Web Development </>

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Willkommen! (Welcome" in German) 🇩🇪

Hi, my name is Andrew. I’ve always wanted to be a web developer/designer but didn’t have the nerve to change careers until recently. This site, like me, is a work in progress. I initially created this site several years ago, and it summarizes my coding journey (so far).

We all strive to be comfortable in our areas of expertise. One thing I have learned to accept (and also ignore), regardless of how much (or how little) I have learned about web development, is that it is easy to think to yourself "I’ll never learn this fast enough." It's important to continue learning and pursuing your goals.

photo of a MacBook pro desk

A little bit about me:

I’m a Front-End Developer, and I’m super passionate about web development, interaction design, and business. I live in Austin with my amazing Canadian wife (a civil defense attorney). I’m also a huge fan of Germany soccer. 🇩🇪⚽️🇩🇪

When I'm not working or learning online, I like to get off the grid and enjoy nature or a long swim or bike ride.

So, what in the world caused me to want to change careers and learn how to code? I'll share some of my story with you. If you like, now may be a great time to grab a cup of coffee and keep reading.  ☕️



So, what’s the deal with all the whale and dolphin photos?

In addition to web technology, I have always been intrigued by the ocean. Growing up, I was always interested in learning more about the ocean and marine life (especially cetaceans – whales and dolphins).

After university (late '80s), I fulfilled my childhood dream (at the time) of becoming a Dolphin Trainer at SeaWorld. I believe with hard work and persistence, you can accomplish anything in your life (like learning to code and design websites!).

One of the reasons I enjoyed working at SeaWorld was being able to help educate and promote awareness about our oceans and marine life (well, besides working daily with the dolphins and whales of course)!

My views have since changed dramatically towards marine habitats and marine parks (especially captivity, marine conservation, and environmental protection).

About three years ago, not knowing anything about creating websites, I began learning how to configure (and eventually deploy) this website. I first learned how by using WordPress, and became a huge WordPress fan (hence the name of the URL).

I had so much fun learning WordPress that I eventually decided to dive deeper and learn more about how websites and (open-source) apps are actually built. I think it's pretty fascinating to see how code “becomes alive” on your page and the user experience is improved.

In my former career, in various business development and channel management roles, I was fortunate to be able to work with several "high-profile" technology clients to help solve business challenges using (SaaS) technology.  Even being a web developer or designer, it's ultimately still about the user and solving your clients business problems.

Let's face it, change can sometimes seem daunting. Especially if you are changing your "comfort zone" to something new and unfamiliar.

Fast forward to early 2018. I finally decided to go for it and immerse myself in code, and successfully completed The University of Texas at Austin Full-Stack Web Development Program (that's a fancy way of saying "Coding Boot Camp").

I gained familiarity and experience working with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and primarily MERN-stack (MongoDB, Express, React and Node) technologies.

I'll be the first to admit, learning to code is definitely a long-term commitment. It can be a roller coaster for sure. What I love about this process is that it motivates me to constantly strive to gain a better understanding of new and relevant technologies. There's a ton of research. This is a good thing! You realize you are learning a lot of information that may not seem relevant at the time, but eventually, things start to make more sense.

At times it feels like I’m drinking from a firehose, but I choose to focus on learning and improving (with or without "imposter syndrome"🙂).

I'm currently (early 2019) reinforcing and expanding my knowledge by completing a Techdegree (in Front End Web Development) through Treehouse. I've also invested in attending a developers/designers conference (in Seattle 2019) that came very highly recommended called An Event Apart.

I've also researched a ton of online resources and I find Treehouse to be one of the best for learning to code (IMHO). They have a variety of different "Tracks" to choose from.

Link to Treehouse website


A few resources that have helped me so far:

Besides learning on Treehouse, this book (click on the book image below) is a classic must read by Jon Duckett (in addition to his JavaScript book):

HTML & CSS Book by Jon Duckett


Udemy logo

 

Udemy: Online HTML/CSS/JavaScript courses:

I realize there are plenty of choices out there in YouTube land, but I found these particularly clear and explicit. You can watch these anytime and anywhere on mobile (via the Udemy app).

How awesome is that? You can learn 24/7! These guys do a fantastic job of taking time to explain the process in a way that is very straightforward and they respond quickly to your questions too.

Incidentally, I have no affiliation with the course resource and podcast links just below, I simply wanted to list them to help make them easier to locate. It's sad that I even have to state that, right?


WordPress:

If you're interested in learning WordPress here are a few resources I recommend. You can also attend a local WordPress MeetUp and WordCamp (or travel to one for fun, like I do, by going to the Seattle WordCamp) :


GitHub logo

GitHub, Podcasts,  and additional references:

As a developer, you will need to learn Git and GitHub so you can post your code ("repositories") and easily collaborate with other developers.

I spend some of my "idle" time listening and learning from the Syntax and ShopTalk podcasts every few days, and really like Wes Bos as a JavaScript & React instructor.

For CSS Chris Coyier and Rachel Andrew are both awesome resources. They both spoke at a recent conference I attended called An Event Apart.

Github logo

I'm working on adding new projects to GitHub (and launching an updated portfolio site soon).


OK…Let's get back to the dolphins and whales.

For this site, I thought it would be interesting to create “marine life” content (along with some fun places to travel and explore).


You can watch the entire Humpback Whales (movie) here on Netflix.


For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.”―Jacques-Yves Cousteau

 

hawaii-surf-rainbow


maui-whale
Pacific Humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) demonstrating a "Pectoral slap"…

humpback-poking-up-maui

whale-flukes

Kaanapali Beach HD Desktop Background
Black Rock, Maui (Kā'anapali)

It's surreal to see and hear the Humpback whales end their 6-8 week journey from the feeding grounds of Alaska to the shallow breeding grounds of Maui (and other nearby islands). The first whale sightings usually occur in October; however, the best time to see these whales is anytime from January 15th – March 31st (peak season is usually February). Official whale season is December 15th – May 15th.

To learn more about whale watching in Maui, click here: (This is one of my favorite websites 🐋🐳).


The Hawaiian Islands

Humpback with calf...

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North Pacific Humpback Whale off the coast of Maui…

I enjoy meeting people and learning about where they came from (their ancestry). My ancestry is German, Dutch, and Swiss.

I'm an avid fan of the Germany soccer teamDie Mannschaft (which translates to "The team"). When the World Cup is not on (every four years), I enjoy rooting for my favorite team in the BundesligaBayern München (Munich, Bavaria).

Be sure to check out some of the travel videos below of Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.

If you made it this far, thanks for visiting!

~Auf Wiedersehen


Deutschland/Germany

Bayern Munich


The Netherlands


 Switzerland


 

 

 

 

 

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