Why I became a web developer

I’ve talked about my story and my life a lot, both on my podcast, The Janchi Show, and in posts here like this one where I talk about why I like the term adoption apocalypse for what I experienced back in 2020. While hopefully just as entertaining and insightful as other things I do, this post is about how I became a web developer, (without trying to sell you on anything).

Among other things, when I was younger two things held my fascination: languages and technology. Ultimately, I love learning how things work, and yet web development was never on my roadmap of potential careers. I was so focused on being a good Christian and becoming a worship leader that most other people in my life left me to my most-obvious love and didn’t say much else about it. In fact, it wasn’t until my senior year of college, when I took an Intro to Digital Media course at my Christian liberal arts school that anyone told me I should look into becoming a programmer.

Programmers are nerds

“Become a programmer?” I thought to myself, “Programmers are such nerds.” Of course, anyone who knows me will say I’ve always been a nerd, but something about being a programmer sent shivers down my spine. I was just starting to be cool! How could I take such a large step backwards?

my idea of the “prototypical programming nerd”

Still, web development was just a small part of that digital media course, but I went above and beyond. I blasted through the courses on Codecademy (back when it was smaller and less price-walled) and knew I loved it. Then I got a job as a worship leader and didn’t really think about it. Until one day, my coworker said he was thinking about re-doing the church website.

I jumped at the chance. It was awesome, and it got me back into the wonderful world of web dev. Back then (and as of this writing), the website was built in WordPress on top of a visual builder called Cornerstone, made by Theme Co. (Side note: as of this writing, my website is also built with the same theme & visual builder, but I’m going to rebuild it soon).

Becoming a nerd…again.

I got back into HTML and CSS, learned a little about Javascript (and then a lot about Javascript and Advanced CSS with courses through Udemy), and got to immediately implement it at my job…as a worship leader.

All of this early-days building got me into front-end development and got my feet wet with php, a back-end (or server-side) programming language that powers WordPress (and Drupal, and Facebook, and other sites). It introduced me to the concepts of UX and UI design, as well as servers, page speed, web apps, micro-sites, and more.

As time moved on, I became more disillusioned with “corporate” nature of American evangelical churches and I grew more concerned about my role in perpetuating/propagating this system. Plus, I continued to grow in my passion for web developmentā€”and I even got paid for it sometimes! I knew this is what I wanted my next career to be, so I spent many nights and weekends practicing and learning and getting better.

Conclusion

While I was a worship leader, I loved the idea of tradition being a bridge across generations. As a person, I’m still fascinated by how tech can help build that bridge. These days, I consider myself an intermediate web developer, and in my opinion, there’s not enough high-quality content out there for folks like us. So, just as I’ve learned a lot from well-written docs and blogs (and banged my head against my desk at poorly written docs or stack overflow questions that are almost what I need), I thought I’d jump into writing for people at my skill level (and our family/friends whose eyes glaze over when we get excited about it).

There are currently no comments. Why don't you kick things off?

Leave a Reply