Mastering the Art of Web Development

I loved the Julie and Julia film, which my husband, somewhat surprisingly, also liked. Julia Child wrote Mastering The Art of French Cooking, a book that is missing from my cookbook stash (I don’t cook, but I do read). I might have to remedy that someday.

Julia Child was a delightful TV personality who I remember from my youth as fun to hear and watch. My husband remembers her as an unattractive woman whose voice he did not like. Different strokes… I did some quick research and decided it was safe to take him to this film anyway, that it was not just a chick-flick. He is a good sport when I get it wrong, but if he would not enjoy it, then I would prefer to go with girlfriends. I decided I deserved this outing. One of my favorite ways to treat myself is to see a film. Although software is never in the can, I like to compare the work of the filmmakers to the work we do with software, where an ensemble of people create a product that is brought to delivery.

This film was great for me in that it showed not only a finished film product, but also the process of writing a cookbook and a blog. What fun! If you see the film, you might note that I am not obsessed with my blog as this Amy Adam’s character was. There is no aspect of writing this blog that has taken any toll on my marriage, for example. Clearly I am not writing every day, not even every week, but when I feel like writing, I do. Some might think I’m undisciplined, but I think I do a reasonable job at setting priorities.

I thought I deserved the film break after working this week on SnupNow, with two new developers coming on board (super!), as well as on one of the two courses I will begin teaching in a couple of weeks. Yikes. The course is called Client/Server Programming, but it is now all about developing web-based software. I chose the book Internet & World Wide Web: How to Program (4th Edition, Deitel)) as a text. It has information about various languages and tools so that I don’t have to do any information dump on such topics in class. Students will pretend they have read the assigned pages, and I will pretend I believe they did. I will at least know that I have read it, even if I have not tried all exercises.

We will walk around various aspects of web programming from the early chapters of the book, while they each pick a platform for their project, some from the later chapters. We will write html, css, and javascript. We will create web pages, a web site for each student, each setting up and using a different development environment but working toward a similar goal.

While I hope that both new SnupNow developers as well as students come away with a good overview plus some more detailed skills related to web-based development over the coming months, I am trying not to put pressure on myself to know everything. I will be a Sherpa. In the case of the students, I can teach them some things that books do not related to software development, with some stories that might add insight. In the case of the new developers, they are seasoned pros, but web development, particularly with our tools, is still new to them too.

I am not sure why this is the case, but after three decades working in software development and two years of specifically web-based work, I am nowhere close to saying that I have mastered the art of web development. So wish me luck. I might just have to rely on my big personality, even if it is a tad bit smaller than Julia’s, to get SnupNow to delivery (still miles to go), teach these courses, write this blog, be a wife, mom, grandma, daughter, friend, and sometimes preacher’s wife, and maybe even tap into my inner-Julia to prepare some meals.

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One response to “Mastering the Art of Web Development

  1. Bravo to you for setting priorities correctly. ‘ loved your column, will get that book.

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