Learning Web Design

One of the original iterations of this website had a page explaining how I came to learn web design. As that page no longer exists, I thought I’d re-create it here…

I was first introduced to web design in my early-teens when my uncle bought me a magazine on the subject (“How to make a web site from A to Z” by John Horner). With it, I learnt the basics of coding HTML and started down the path of becoming a web designer.

I soon started looking online for tutorials and came across HTML Goodies . That website taught me even more about coding HTML, introduced me to JavaScript, and served as a good reference over the years that followed.

I eventually decided to buy a book on web design (something I could read away from the computer) and settled on Elizabeth Castro’s “HTML for the World Wide Web ”. I see this book as being a major turning point for me, as it taught me how to code my websites in XHTML and mark them up with CSS. I loved the idea that the design was now consistent throughout the site, relying on only one CSS file rather than multiple HTML files. I quickly became a believer in standards-based web design and tried to make sure all my websites validated; testing them in different browsers and adhering (as much as possible) to the W3C ’s recommendations.

From there I expanded my knowledge of CSS, learning from websites such as W3 Schools , CSS Zen Garden and A List Apart . I bought more books (on standards-based web design), and even tried to learn PHP a few times. Then, in early 2008, after having finished full-time study at university, I started looking for my first job.

In February 2008, on my 22nd birthday, I had an interview with the owners of Alma Technology, a local web development team that specialised in building Drupal websites. On March 5th, I started working with them. Up until this point, I had only ever heard of content management systems (CMS’s) and never actually used one. I soon found out what a CMS was, and how powerful they can be. I immediately took a liking to Drupal and now wonder how I ever lived without it.

In May 2008, I started working (additionally) for City Centre Travel; a small, local travel agency. I was employed as their web designer and, over the two years that followed, developed their various travel-related websites in Drupal.

In early 2010 I left the travel agency to start working for NetEngine , a Brisbane-based web development firm. NetEngine specialised in building Drupal websites for a variety of clients all over the world. Through working with them, I learnt even more about Drupal and the power and flexibility it provides.

Years later, I’m still using Drupal exclusively for my web design work and have even setup my own website development business . I continue to enjoy expanding my knowledge of Drupal and experience in web design.

Update: September 2017

I still very much enjoy making a living building websites, however I have started to move away from Drupal and have started using its fork, Backdrop , instead.