July 29, 2014 - Comments Off on Important Advice – Talkback Tuesday

Important Advice – Talkback Tuesday

"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.

I started with codecademy.com and worked my way through html, css, and basic javascript. Its easier than ever to learn this stuff, and a simple google search will yield more tutorials than there are cats on the internet. Regardless of where you get your information, I think it is important to start with basic HTML CSS and Javascript in order to get a grasp of what a simple website is about.

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.

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