Re-discovering Creativity in the 21st Century | Student Insights

By Evan Hallward May 3, 2016
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As someone who loved to code in high school, amongst many other interests, I always enjoyed seeing the fruit of my labour come to life. To me, this was my canvas, my piece of clay, a fresh piece of sketch paper. I remember once, I was able to make the image of a cartoon lady bug scamper across the top of my screen, turn 90 degrees southward and then zip to the bottom right corner. I was awestruck. I had made something that had in turn done something else. This was finally an art form that meshed my love for technology with the want to build something. Luckily, it was also not too hard to pick up.

Unfortunately, I quickly learnt I needed to start thinking about my professional aspirations (because every 18-year-old loves hearing that). I was told that these teenage interests, like my basic coding abilities, either had to become a career option, or fall to the wayside as a waste of energy and focus. My outgoing personality and ‘talk-a-lot’ attitude gradually drew me to a management degree, and then into sales. While I greatly enjoyed my studies, and the early years of what could be a long career, I still held a deep fascination with how things were created. Like many other service-oriented jobs, I rarely saw the actual outcome of my work. All those long hours, late nights, blood, sweat, and tears simply boiled down to numbers and dollar signs. There was nowhere I could truly look and see what all my hard work had become.

Then I took a course at BrainStation. The Introduction to Web Development course teaches the basics of HTML5 and CSS, as well as a touch of JavaScript. These 3 coding languages play together to create the websites we all enjoy on our laptops, cellphones, and tablets today. While the first few courses started with the basics, adding in images, changing font size and colour, creating hyperlinks, you could slowly start to see everything weave itself together. In a matter of weeks, I had the growing sense that I was learning an art form. This level of creating, the ability to work and labour, then instantly see the site come to life, was mesmerizing. The sense of accomplishment of getting the website to appear just right was more gratifying than any deal I’d closed that day. I believe there are a lot of creative individuals in the world who might lack a medium to test themselves on. While coding may not be for everyone, I can say confidently that picking up the HTML5 language (as well as CSS) is not an impossible task. There is no extensive math to be learnt, nor any customized machine required. It all takes place on the devices we use every day in our professional and personal lives. For me, this ability to truly create something relevant to the modern web, was one kick that helped me start thinking big. I cannot honestly say I know where I will take this new skill and passion, but I can assure you there are many applications I already see for it. Stay tuned!

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Evan is taking Intro to Web Development at BrainStation in Toronto!

Intro to Web Development
460 King Street West
Toronto
CA