Dear Reader,

It seems like those words are as timely now as they were back in the ’80s when Cheers! was on the air.

To continue where I left off after my last blog.   For those of you have been (and those of you who haven’t been) wondering  “So what is the starving programmer doing now?”   Facta non verba.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to start working towards my certifications to get paying work.   I never thought it would be this challenging after working as an employee at ITT-Tech for a year and a half and accomplishing straight A’s at the same time to get solid work.   But it is.

I have been networking with other technical professionals, employers, and students and deciding what I want to be when I grow up.   I have learned that the best way for me to eventually get my career going is through volunteering — that feeds my soul nicely.   It just doesn’t feed the wallet very well.  But, all in good time.   I never believed that I had to have an entire plan of action laid out ahead of time.   I like to remain flexible enough to adjust with the twists, turns, and rolls that life sends our way — and its more fun!

Other than discovering that it is possible to write ads for Craigslist in HTML  (note to the non-techies: the computer language for websites that you can use to make Craigslist Ads look very nice instead of very drab), I have been having a tough time breaking the fresh-out-of-school and no experience cycle.   I wrote a couple ads for local businesses (see my website:

For hands-on work, I am writing the website for my brother, Dan, who has decided to start his own Photography business in his spare time.  I have had a fun couple days with that project.   It is still in the rough second-draft stage, but the ongoing work in progress can be seen at this website:

I am also somewhat loosely partnered with my former Java teacher, Greg Milette, who is working on Mobile Apps for the Android platform.  Our current project has been temporarily slowed down by the wonderful addition of his new baby girl, Madison Grace.  I did promise him a website for his work that I need to get on top of.   For those of you interested, – the first listing is the one I’m helping him with.

Now, I should issue a warning: For those of you non-technical people, you may wish to skip this next section of the blog and read the ending to see how the story works out.

I was up to my armpits in coding my brother’s website.   He brought a complete design to me including the elements he had put together himself and had a clear idea of  the fonts involved. My main job is bringing it all to life for him.   After he emailed the important information to me, I began working on my laptop.  Since he had already picked out a hosting site, he asked me to upload as I went so we could see it live — there were some decisions I needed him to make regarding design.  By the end of our first session I had his homepage finished and he was happy.

At home, I proceeded to download the updated files and work away happily on my computer.   Time to upload.   No problem, right?  Never that easy…. I uploaded all the files I’d gotten working so splendidly together and checked the live website to find all of my work looking like a dismembered pile of Tonka Toys.  Yikes!! Well, after trying to figure out what on earth was going on between my .css and my .html files; I got desperate.  Oh for the love of a compiled language!!

I didn’t hold out much hope that I’d have my answer tonight since I was now exhausted from hours of coding.   However, being slightly too stubborn to quit… having gone through too many rapid development sessions…  having worked under worse deadlines and seeing the look on my dear brother’s face… I HAD TO TRY….

I Googled and found some wonderful web validation services being run by The W3C.  I typed the URL into the validation engine and pressed the button awaiting the results….

Could it be that simple?  My mind looked and considered the possibility…. <link REL=”StyleSheet” TYPE=”text/css” HREF=”PhotoDanRI.css”>  …. the consortium did NOT like this line… the error message made no sense, but from all those hours of C++ programming I learned not to let the actual error message bother me…. I changed it… <LINK REL=”StyleSheet” TYPE=”text/css” HREF=”PhotoDanRI.css”>

It worked.

Once again, triumphant over the machine, I rested.

Tune in next week for the continuing story…………..