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Monday, June 21, 2004

Things You Miss Along the Way

It dawned on me last week that a whole lot of things have changed in computer technology without my really paying attention. Web design, for instance, has come a long, long way since I wrote my first web page in pure HTML (using VI, thank you very much), and I haven't really been along for the ride. I've been sorta like the swingin' guy who got off the fashion train in 1977 and just waved from the platform while everyone else left Leisure Suit Land for Denim City and Poloville. CSS, Javascript, ASP, etc. are all alien concepts to me, honestly, and if Paul Graham and Joel Spolsky are correct, then online applications are the wave of the future.

Regardless of their predictions, I've decided that it wouldn't be healthy to remain isolated in my desktop application world, and therefore web-based things are no longer something I can safely ignore. The primary reason is that my long-term goal is to build an interesting career, and I really don't see desktop development as a very promising path in that direction (at least not by itself). For the most part, it's a solved problem, and although it's certainly something I enjoy doing for a living right now (certainly much more than tech support!), I really can't see myself spending my entire career on it.

So, as a computer scientist, and a person who wants to do interesting things, I feel some obligation to catch up with the state of the art. Maybe not the current state of the art, but at least the state of the art circa 2001.

And I think I have a lot of catching up to do....

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