I recently started working for EDITD which I am really enjoying. At the same time, I'm learning a lot. It's been a crash course in a range of subjects; Python, Ruby, Chef, Git, AWS, Mongo etc. My thirst for knowledge is definitely being filled, I'm going to learn a huge amount very quicky.
Until and even during University most of my 'programming knowledge' was self taught. From Blogger to Wordpress; Garry's Mod to Lua+Nginx; Command prompt to bash/SSH. University was more focused on the theoretical side of programming while, while interesting and useful from a progam-design perspective didn't provide much practical experience. The combination of self teaching and University has pushed me to learn a huge amount over the last few years, covering many different areas, languages and theories of computer science.
Despite lots of learning, it's only in the last few weeks that I've been using my programming skills in a 'live' environment. One where the code I write has a positive and noticable effect on a product used in the real world at scale. This is fantastic.
If there's any point to this post it's that I'm happy I chose to work for someone else rather than myself. Not only is it great to be involved in a quality product, but also to be part of a dedicated and extremely knowledgable team. If you're young and have to make a similar choice, I would advise that you find a great company & team to work with. Following entrepreneur dreams can normally wait a few years, and the many things you'll no doubt learn are well worth the wait.
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Over the last two days I've been writing a small PHP-powered markdown based documentation/wiki/website 'generator' called mdoc.
Inspiration / Why
I recently set up Daux.io to document Luawa. Daux looks very nice and runs well, however the UX is flawed in that the left navigation column takes up way too much space, leaving a (too) thin column in the middle for text, and code on the right in another (too) thin column. The design is also wrapped up in the index.php file, making modifications to it significantly more complicated.
So I decided to make an extremely simple wrapper which basically takes a header and footer template and sticks them either side of a markdown document.
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In March 2010, age 18, I rented a low-grade server from Hetzner for just $214/month which I borrowed from my parents (I was living in a Canadian snow/party town on a housekeepers wage). The idea was to sell these OpenVZ VM's I had been renting elsewhere to host a few projects. At the time I named my business Fanatical VPS (now Afterburst). I also had very little knowledge about managing Linux servers. Still, I followed some online tutorials, bought monthly WHMCS and SolusVM licenses ($18, $10 respectively), a domain ($10) and setup a quick website offering my services. Total startup cost: $252.
The First Customer
I will always remember the first signup. A rush of excitement as the payment arrives and the order clears fraud-detection. A major panic as the automatic provisioning fails. Scramble to locate the problem, fix it and activate the order. Then straight to the pub to celebrate.
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