“Talkback Tuesdays” is an original weekly installment where a team member of The Mechanism is asked one question pertaining to digital design, inspiration, and experience. The Q&A will be featured here on The Mechanism Blog as well as on The Mechanism’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, every Tuesday. Feel free to offer up your 2¢ in the comments.
This week Dhruv Mehrotra, a key player on The Mechanism’s development team, gives some valuable advice to anyone just getting their start in the digital/graphic design world.
What is the most important advice you can give to a starting graphic/digital designer?
I know this question is about design, but I’m going to take some liberties and answer as if I was speaking to someone interested in becoming a developer. Talking about the importance of computer literacy is an easy platitude to fall back on, and I assume that, if you are reading this, you already want to learn how to code but just don’t know where to start.
The next pieces of advice I have are simple. Build Stuff. Build anything. Build a portfolio. Build a website for your cat. Build a joke website. Rebuild a site you think is cool. Just hit the ground running and put as many hours as you can into this.
Next I would learn to share. Don’t keep your websites hoarded on your local machine like a mom hoarding baby teeth. Buy a domain name and a hosting plan. While you’re at it figure out what is hosting anyways? What’s a server? How does the web work? What’s a GET request? Gaining a conceptual understanding of what web development is is the most important part of your learning because it’ll inform how you learn more.
For extra credit I would learn GIT, because source control make recently self-taught developers hireable.