It was January of 2005 that I landed my first real web related position. I had messed around with web development in high school here and there. That knowledge stayed with me and so I moved on from retail and call center jobs with no idea the world I was about to transition into. Google was just a young search engine. Internet Explorer was the primary web browser. Twitter was not the beast it is today.
That first agency job had me handling this thing called search engine optimization. I didn’t have a clue what that was but I was eager to get my break in the industry. That break has paid dividends. While I still touch base with the Gil Grissom looking manager that took a shot on me (and I stayed with that company for almost 4 years), the connections I made and opportunities I seized have been invaluable.
Last night I was reading John Sonmez’s latest book, The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide in which he devotes a chapter to building your brand. This wasn’t a new concept for me but what struck a nerve was just his bluntness about getting a blog out there. I had been experimenting with Gatsby.js to build this site originally. I must have spent 20 hours hacking away trying to wrap my mind around some of it (GraphQL is still alien to me) with not much success. John basically said, “don’t worry about that”. So I decided not to. I did enjoy the hacking away portion but it was impeding my ability to get a site launched. I hadn’t updated my old site in 4 years. So I went back to what I know (WordPress), picked a theme, updated the copy, and launched. 1 afternoon of light work.
I am coming up on the 13th anniversary of getting that job offer for which I am eternally grateful for. Now I have this up where I can hack away and experiment but use them as blog posts. Ultimately, that will be a better route to take.