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Friday, February 6, 2009

What's Up, Doc?



One of my personal developing themes of 2009 is the growing list of things that I don't know, but increasingly need to know, in order to just do my job properly or pursue my 'dream' of becoming a physics teacher. Obviously, I knew that going back to school was going to be all about learning stuff I didn't know - that was a given, and I was as emotionally prepared as I could be for it, and did well enough considering the constant stream of anxiety that testing puts me in.

But to have so much of my current job depend on knowing how to do all sorts of esoteric - to me! - web stuff. PHP, ASP, PL, etc. I know I often fall back on this as an excuse, but, goddammit, people, I have a BFA Illustration. How is it that I'm now somehow magically supposed to know how to deal with Unix/Linux Server Side issues? Is it not enough that I write all the radio and direct all the television and implement all the web design and all that other stuff?

Lordy, the stress. And as Karl and I were discussing earlier tonight - a lot of it is that I just don't want to know. Well, that's not exactly right in my case. I'd love to know, but I dread the activity of going through and somehow learning. Furthermore, I flat out resent that I can't just take my already pretty wide skill set and rest on my laurels and have a decent career. Is it not enough that I'm trying to learn Physics, Algebra, Trigonometry and fucking Calculus, but I also have to simultaneously figure out how to apply a search engine to a site and have a form deliver its contents to an email address and set up an e-commerce site?

Thing is, I actually really do enjoy web design. But like everything else in my life, when things get outside of my comfort zone, I seize up like a beaver in a petrified forest. The sites that I've done for my friends have been a lot of fun, even in the areas where I had to gain a lot of knowledge in order to achieve a desired effect. Things would certainly be easier if I could port that voracious need to learn over to my job.

Fuck it. I'd be happy if I could just remember how to do long division properly.

Anyway, I thought you all should know what's with the blockage on the Rambler recently, and that's it: making the mistake of not being born 5-7 years later, so my college education would have featured a good smattering of web design. I didn't even send an email until 1996, three years after I got my diploma.

Ach, poor timing. That's what all of life is - not just being in the right place at the right time, but knowing that you are at the time.

All right. This ends my whining. I'll bring back the entertainment later.

D.

8 comments:

Ansley said...

The Walrus messageboard has given me a crash course in PHP progamming.. starting to get it now... HTML I've known pretty back and forth since 97... read abook on it and that was it.. then I took every course they had at my work and got the certifications.. but HTML is the very basics...

I read a book on Flash animations.. I've got a general sense of how to make animated stuff with it but have never applied it to web design.. I've still got a stigma against basing an entire site in flash... seems the longest running and most popular sites do without it.. theyre simple as hell..

dynamic html menus and slideshows are way less buggy.. they don't disappear on you and are easier to control...

flash always takes the first layer or Z-index... they still have not ixed this problem... for that reason alone, I stay away from it.. the only thing I use it for is on the music lists where the jukeboxes are in flash...

You didnt really explain why your aggravation with programming is whats blocking the rambler...

are you working on your site or something??

Dave Kopperman said...

I disagree on Flash - I view its one main drawback as the lack of viewer for mobile devices. But if you approach a site from a seamless design standpoint, nothing can compare. I'm doing a site in HTML for a client now - a choice made almost on a whim. And with every minute, I'm wishing I'd done it in Flash, because the solutions would be so much more elegant and the work would have gone much more quickly.

It's understandable why you wouldn't want to deal with Flash for Walrus, though - too many contributors, the idea being that you want to hand off a lot of the work and just be done with it. Flash isn't buggy at all, btw, at least in my experience.

Rambler slowdown: When I get overwhelmed with anything - work, school, life - I tend to just kind of mope and drag my heels on everything. The combination of my lack of ASP, PHP, etc. knowledge with my ongoing math anxiety has recently produced this effect in me.

D.

Christine said...
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Christine said...
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Dave Kopperman said...

Actually, teaching is a dream of mine, and the plan to enter the field is through Physics. I also have always wanted to really understand the subject, so there's a lot of joy mixed in with my general anxiety.

Personally, I hate the private sector, and I'm trying to get away from it as fast as possible.

As far as HTML vs. Flash:

1) Flash is going to help pay for your house, so don't be so down on it,
2) HTML is useful for some sites, Flash for others. No matter what, brand identity and seamless design will always be my goals in web design, and these are things that HTML does not provide.

As far as the job stuff:
I don't know why, but my experiences with headhunters, agencies and the like have been with people who are actively dissuasive. A good part of my reason for wanting to get away from the field entirely.

And do you not understand that it's beyond annoying to go into a job as a designer and then be expected to know how to assemble an e-commerce website a few years later? Like my job has changed to the point that I can no longer do it. If you can't give me some sympathy in this area, then I recommend continuing the tongue-biting strategy on your part.

D.

D.

Christine said...
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Christine said...

Deleted my comments because a simple issue of misinterpretation had escalated unnecessarily.

Dave Kopperman said...

That's the sludge that greases the engine of the internet - don't take it away!

D.