iPad is the new portable Library !

I never thought a new gadget could have aided my self learning so much. I knew the time was right to get an iPad when Apple introduced the Retina display. It really is just like reading a book, the text readability is better in fact, since books are difficult to hold completely flat when chilling out on the sofa ! ( at least the hefty tomes that I have been working through are  ! )

So far this year I have finished ‘Beginning PHP and MySQL’ and am now reading ‘Professional Javascript for Web Developers’ and “Pro HTML5 and CSS3 Design Patterns” I really think that ignorance on the subject is becoming less of a reason not to start focussing more on  coding some of my ideas and making some web sites and more complex applications.. I am still learning a lot though.

As you go onto more advanced books they explain things in more depth and you begin to realise where you misunderstood things from more simpler introductory books. It’s fascinating to catch up on the history of the Internet and the WWW, it’s all evolved so massively and so rapidly . It’s amazing to think that when I had my first job the Web had barely been invented.. and now it has changed the world, lets face it we now have a new paradigm in shopping, services, support, research.. oh and socialising of course ! How many billions of Javascript enabled devices are out there in people pockets.. houses etc ?

I have been also creating my own Audio books that I can listen to at the gym. This is a great way to review stuff and I actually quite enjoy the process of making them as well.

I’ve started putting together a Web application to allow online access to the database of British Hills. It struck me though just how complex Web development can be ! In one file there can be a multitude of languages, each with it’s own syntax, rules , conventions, keywords etc etc. For example my site evolved from a single file with a .php extension.  This file contains  HTML, JavaScript, PHP, SQL and CSS code ! There is a /lot/ to learn here. Luckily I seem to enjoy just sitting down and getting stuck into a good book. Learning a new set of skills is really fun it and of itself. I have looked around and there don’t really seem to be worth while certifications and I really don’t know if I would benefit from expensive training. Be able to teach yourself stuff is a skill in itself I guess.

It’s amazing how many tools there are for the Web Developer to play with. Every thing from the Image conversion utilities to Photoshop, simpe  text editors to fully featured IDE’s ! I must have downloaded and fiddled with most of them now. I have to say that non of the editors seem to match the old-school efficiency of vi when it comes to speed of access though ! There is so much software  available these days and for free. I have not  settled on a one-tool-fits-all solution yet. Examples do  exist such as Coda 2 but I don’t really want to shell out cash 😉 Kommodo edit is good as is Aptana . Eclipse has good PHP support but seems to crash on the Mac. Notepad++ is quite good but PC only 🙁 .

So as I gradually work my way through these two advanced books I think I am coming to realise that I will need to focus now on practising my new skills and organising new projects and applications. I have also been working on my time management skills. I have never had to manage my own projects before and I have again been listening to Antony Robbins tapes on time management. This guy is a genius, I mean even if he were trying to sell double glazing you would find him interesting to list too ! ( And he certainly is not selling windows.. ) I find that I can listen to most of his tapes 4 or 5 times or more and still pick up on things that he mentions in passing.


So then that’s enough reading, coding and blogging for today !






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