Ignorance is Bliss

The ignorance described in this piece is ignorance of walls, limitations, and naysayers. This ignorance supports continually learning for the sake of it and exploration into any field that fills your fancy. Ignorance is freedom.

I started my exploration into web design and development in a Computer Fundamentals for Business class, which taught how to make a website for about 3 weeks of the course. This was the very basics, with HTML layouts built with tables and inline CSS; looking back, I realize how outdated and lazy it was for them to teach students this way. Nevertheless, I was hooked from the first time I saw my webpage completed in all its Web 1.0 glory. From then on, I began delving deeper into all that I could discover about building on the web.

At no point in my journey did anyone tell me there was a difference between being a web designer and a web developer; in my ignorance, I had assumed that if you knew how to design a website in Photoshop then you would build it as well with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. So I continued to learn the proper way to create web projects from mockups/wireframes to implementation with semantic code. I wasn’t working towards a job title, just trying whatever interested me.

Looking through various design and development programs in higher education, or even at the job market in the industry, there are many constraints put on what you must know to earn that piece of paper or position. There is no standard definition on the requirements behind being a professional designer or supreme developer ninja (as so many of the uninformed like to all it); you must know Photoshop, even though you can perform the same tasks in other applications such as Sketch, or the school only teaches C and Java, when your dream job requires more modern languages like Ruby, Python, or PHP.

Why do we confine ourselves into these barriers of knowledge instead of pushing past the limits of our job/degree requirements and keeping improving ourselves without someone saying it’s not necessary or just a waste of time? This may have just been a rant about personal journey into finding a job in the web world and the frustration at the various definition of what constitutes a web designer, front-end developer, or web developer, but the lesson I leave you with is to ignore these definititions and limits to explore what you want and enjoy what you do. Hopefully, this will leave you with bliss.