Why I Want to Learn How to Build Web Apps

I’ve been fascinated about building things on the web since the late 90’s. Remember Geocities? Yeah, I had a site there. I remember learning HTML for a back in middle school (late 90’s, early 2000’s) to build a webpage (no sites yet!) with animated construction gifs and guestbooks. I learned a bit of Java and Ti-83 BASIC in high school and some Python in college, but never got very into it because I had little interest writing really basic programs that weren’t useful.

I’ve watched the web develop, continued learning about HTML, and later CSS, and how to navigate my way around a WordPress installation. It seems like now with libraries like jQuery and symfony and web frameworks like Django, symfony (thanks smentek!) and Ruby on Rails, it is easier for people to build useful web apps without years of experience as a developer and/or thousands of hours of coding.

I do hope someday to found a web/tech startup and while I’ll never serve as CTO, I know understanding more about web development will be critical to our success. I also have a few ideas for web apps that I’d like to build. And to be honest? I’d love to gain some street cred as a geek. Hey – just being honest.

You can learn more about my adventures with Ruby on Rails here.

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Jason Shen

Jason is a tech entrepreneur and talent expert. He is CEO of a performance hiring platform called Headlight, a Fast Company contributor, and an advocate for Asian American men. Follow him on Twitter at @jasonshen and subscribe to his private newsletter.

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  1. “It seems like now with libraries like jQuery and symfony and web frameworks like Django and Ruby on Rails,(…)” – Symfony is a web framework just like Django or RoR.

  2. I have been developing with Rails since it was beta to earn my life. I would love to be part of a start up but I lack of starting a business myself and lose concentration when I work all alone.

    Why don’t you let me help you on Tech part and you do the business part? (=my rejection therapy for today?)

  3. A lot of what you just said sounds exactly what’s been going through my head. I learned HTML as a freshman in high school and still use it to this day. I’ve been teaching myself Python, but I’m not sure if that’s the direction I’d like to go. Creating a tech start-up would be awesome, and learning to program/create your stuff makes that process a LOT easier.

    Good luck with all future endeavors. And, Apple is creating an Mac store, just like the App store, except for Mac software. That could the you break in!

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