A young women sat at an old computer, on a messy desk. There is a Christmas tree behind her.

My daughter came to stay for a few days at Christmas, and we pulled out a box of old photographs. I found this photo of me, taken in December of 1996. I was 21 and pregnant, and had just been let go from my backstage job in the theatre. The computer—a Packard Bell 486 “all in one” with a 640×480 screen resolution—had been sold to me on credit by a salesperson at PC World. I’d been to PC World hoping to find a cheap Word Processor with the aim of taking in typing work.

I never managed to get the sound card and modem working at the same time on that computer. I did, however, teach myself HTML and some Perl, and began building websites. It turned out to be a far better way to earn a living than typing up essays for people.

I’ve been spending some of my time off this Christmas learning Python and Flask, working through the excellent Flask Mega-Tutorial, which is perfectly paced for someone coming from another language (in my case PHP). The web industry has changed in ways I could never have imagined back in 1996. I have changed with it, and sometimes because of it, yet I’m still as excited by learning new things as I was back then. I’m incredibly fortunate to have stumbled into an industry that has a never-ending stream of interesting new things to figure out, and to be in a position to share what I’ve figured out with other people.



rem January 1, 2024 Reply

@rachelandrew love the picture, and maybe even more so how imposing your tree is over the desktop computer!

Leave a Reply