There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. Ernest Hemingway

Panting, running up a hill in a suit and tie, and trying not to be too drenched after walking in the rain. I was extremely nervous and had left the house a bit earlier than I should have, resulting in being 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Nevermind the 20 minutes I had already spent sitting in the car hoping the rain would stop and trying vigorously to find my location on my phone. That’s how I officially started my web development and design career two years ago. Rushing around to get to the interview from the lot I had parked just down the hill from the office of the State Board of Elections.

In high school I was fascinated with computers, but had no real knowledge of how they worked nor did I really spend any time with them – more of a passing interest if you will. In an effort to take more of a concerted active effort in this interest I signed up for a “How to Build a Computer” class at a local community college. But a week before I was supposed to attend the class I received a call that the class had been cancelled due to only a few people signing up for the class.

I was crushed. I had some teenage dreams riding on this class and was a little despondent upon hearing the news. In an effort to cure my despondence I enrolled in an “Intro to Web Design” sort of class. Now keep in mind this was in 2004 – no CSS3, every site mostly was in a table based design, and jQuery was just getting started. In short, it was the adolescence of web and here I was learning the most basic of HTML and good ol’ Frontpage.

I was easily the youngest in the class by a decade, but I found that I quickly moved ahead in the class. This was it – the advent of my computer career. A whole new world opened up to me after this five-week course. I was the first person in my high school to take part in an early set of computer classes to learn Macromedia products. A friend of mine mentioned a club called TSA (Technology Students Association) and I quickly joined the statewide web design challenge. There wasn’t an organization I was a part of where I didn’t offer my help with their website – my local church, and later several organization on my campus during my time at Longwood University.

And that’s it – just the beginning. I eventually did learn how to build a computer and spent four years doing PC repair. Every now and again I sneak a peek at some older work I had done and wonder why I approached things a certain way. I was trying to find some older versions of my portfolio site to show the different designs. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any – but I assure you that the first few attempts were pretty awful. I’ll look back at those old sites I’ve made and find better ways of development, think of better ways to handle the design, or how to better advise a client. As long as I can keep doing that I can stay superior to my former self.

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