It was my job to run the BBS and other things when the Web became available so it became a collateral duty. Hated doing it and when I changed jobs, feigned no knowledge of Internet stuff as long as I could.... didn't last long. Later I decided to play with some things just because I didn't like the way some of the pages looked on the web.... I've been here at least part-time ever since.
Last edited by opifex; 09-16-2009 at 03:39 PM.
It doesn't seem like web development is something you just "decide" to do. It comes at you in some way and then you take an interest. It seems like it's not a "hmm... today I think I'll learn to build websites". I think it's something you learn when you need it, or when someone else asks you to do it.
Somewhere between 5th and 6th grade I saw my older brother showing my dad some HTML that he was learning in High School. Having recently learned a little QBasic from my dad in gradeschool, my mind was primed for another geekventure. So, I did a little research and patched together my first public site in ... 6th or 7th grade, I think (12 or 13 years ago).
I already knew sgml, so adapting to html wasn't a big deal... there was ONE set of standards! Of course very few paid attention to them and later the M$ people decided to make their own set of standards for their browsers.
I was a C, Pascal and Lisp programmer and had varying degrees of fluency in other languages and was flexible... there was always a "Gumby" mascot nearby.
I learned more from fixing poorly constructed pages than starting from scratch... I still recommend that my students fix bad coding as a way to learn today.
JavaScipt (NOT JScript) was neat to learn and useful... and when Apache added mod_perl I got excited. It was a brave new world...
Personally, during my university I was doing AI stuff, mainly Natural Language Processing. Since I needed to pay my courses, I accept some contracts as web developer.
After that, my 'main' work experience was in web so people only offer me contracts related to this. By default, I gain my experience in web dev domain, so today people only offers me jobs related to that domain.
Until I have money, and time, to concentrate on AI, I'll continue to do web dev. But by chance, there's some interesting and challenging things to do in web development today...