by Kate MacLennan, Lululemon
If there was code to sum up my first Intro To Web Development class with BrainStation, it might look something like this: <a href= “MIND BLOWN”</a>
Let’s back up the truck just a bit. What business does a magazine industry veteran have taking a web development class? Surely, nobody in their right mind would subject themselves to 12 summer nights squinting at a computer screen solely in the name of story research.
The truth is that to be a writer and editor in 2015—heck, to be almost anything in 2015—it’s ideal to have some digital know-how. A social media presence (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) is good, and being able to navigate a luddite-friendly content management system (read: WordPress or Drupal) is respectable, but in the 21st century that’s just a start.
Try this exercise: name a single business you know (besides your Great Aunt Millie’s roadside, honour-system huckleberry jam stand) that doesn’t have a website. If you can think of a business without one, I bet I could argue effectively that they’d benefit from one.
The bottom line is that people speak “digital” the same way they speak French, Spanish or Swahili. Digital is a language. So even if you aren’t about to run out and build your own website from scratch (and the savvy business person knows their time probably isn’t best spent that way) knowing how to communicate effectively with the people who create one for you is invaluable.
That’s how I landed at Intro To Web Dev. I want to streamline my conversations with the IT teams I work with—to speak their language. I want to communicate my needs in a way that bridges the gap between “can you put one of those little link thingies there” and “<a href=”html_images.asp”>HTML Images</a>.” I want to know what all those people working at the W3C actually talk about all day. (I remain unconvinced they don’t just drink beer and surf the Internet.)
One last thing: Learning about website development in no way means that you are therein tethered to a screen. Though my workdays are spent in the digital world, I’m happiest offline my own time. For the record, that’s code for balance.