I might date myself here, but I was first introduced to html when I was a kid in the early 2000s in, of all places, Neopets.com (a website for elementary to middle-school aged children to play flash games and earn in-game currency to care for digital pets). Users could create custom pages for their pets’ profiles or item store, and with that came a rudimentary introduction to HTML and pre-CSS era styles. I was hooked.
Eventually I outgrew Neopets and moved on into a free Geocities site in high school, where I modified free templates to suit my needs. I never took a course on html - I just tweaked the code until the page looked right (my fellow programmers might joke that that’s basically what we all do). With that I made my first portfolio site of drawings and digital art. That site is now, sadly, lost to the time of the ancient Internet.
Two directions: art or math
While I enjoyed coding and math, I was also fascinated by art and drew a lot in my free time. My grandfather, who would design custom greeting cards for my sister and I, inspired me to pursue a field related to design. When it came to decide on what to study in college I chose Graphic Design. I greatly enjoyed the courses I took and the professors and fellow students I learned from. My education provided an invaluable foundation that’s applicable to all design disciplines, especially web and user interface design.
But during my studies of graphic design I realized that my true passions still lied in web design and development. At that point I decided it was best to finish the path I was on and find a role that would allow me to design and code.
A happy medium
In my current role I've had the privilege to expand my development skills beyond CSS and HTML to create the UI and front-end develop an online learning management software, a desktop shipping application, a Reach dashboard, and several websites.
With all these tools and my design background, and with an excellent team of back-end developers, I've been able to create beautiful and user-friendly interfaces that accomplish business goals and give users what they need. For me, there’s no greater feeling than getting to take a product from design to completion.