Welcome! This page intends to answer your curiosity about this website. Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.
What is WebAppZero.org?
WebAppZero.org shares learning resources to help familiarize people with the technology and business skills needed to create, deploy and maintain web based solutions to real world problems. Once familiar with these ingredients to online success, Web App Heroes will have the confidence to join with others to solve real world problems. So then, what is a Web App Hero?
A Web App Hero is a learner which possesses the communication skills, knowledge and experience necessary to participate in the team-based creation of multi-user, web-applications which solve real world problems. Web app heroes are competent in and effective discussing these fundamentals areas of expertise:
- Empathy based communication, team dynamics and public speaking
- The web itself, its nature and ideals
- User privacy and online security
- Content strategy and design
- Online research, intellectual property rights and information management
- Computer programming
- Problem modeling as a path to solution discovery
- User centered interface design
- Leadership, business and legal best practices
- Community centered marketing and outreach via social networking
- Financial integrity
A Web App Hero idealizes and aspires to a path of life long learning, seeking broad technical and business competence. Each area of expertise consists of a set of basic fundamentals which are vital to understand.
These building blocks, when implemented in real world solutions, are the result of making many pragmatic choices between the trade-offs of opposing forces inherent in each problem area. Consider the example of determining the appropriate time to launch an application to the general public. Too much planning and preparation could potentially delay earning indefinitely. Too little and reputation may suffer, potentially destroying earning capacity. However, discovering and evaluating middle ground between extremes defines the available set of choices.
The basic service provided by a Web App Hero inspired approach is to reconcile these opposing forces into cohesive solutions through effective decisions.
The primary means of achievement is communication, including verbal and non-verbal, written, hand-drawn, computer generated, but most especially the skill and art of empathetic listening, i.e. listening with one’s heart and mind with an ear for the essence of a problem.
More technically, our core process is to break large problems into smaller solvable problems through a standardized design process.
Aspiring to be a Web App Hero is a worthy goal, but lest we be tempted to stop learning, rather than graduate an official course of curriculum to earn an honorific or heroic title, we who aspire to these goals might prefer to refer to ourselves simply as “learners” to help ourselves remain open to new information and opportunities. We rely on our portfolios, Github contributions and technical presentations to demonstrate our capabilities.
Who is behind this idea?
My name is Jay Martin. My first programming experience as a child was in a graphical language called Logo. After programming in BASIC for a couple years, I quit programming in favor of hanging out with friends, riding my bike and just being a kid. Later I returned to technology by obtaining certification as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer in 1998, among the first 50,000 MCSEs.
My systems administration career was a great introduction to corporate culture. I was recognized for “outstanding customer service” by our COO as part my company’s receipt of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. As great an honor as it was to be recognized on film during the ceremony where the President of the United States handed the award to our company president, this experience was only the second greatest compliment of my life.
As the mascot for my High School, a man approached me in the stands at a game and said to me “I’ve been coaching cheerleading for 16 years, and you are the best mascot I’ve seen, including Hight School, College and Professional!”. Something about the way he said it, with such conviction and sincerity. I felt completely acknowledged as a person in that moment. This is what drives me, to inspire others the way that man inspired me. I could run for a lifetime on that one exchange. The things we say and do matter. I want to help foster a fun playful culture of people communicating empathetically to build a brighter future. I believe we can do that, together.
Now I’m starting a new path, diving into the most basic fundamentals of solving technical problems. I’ve started this process a couple of times. I realized that I hadn’t yet found a path that I felt confident in sharing with the general public, i.e. anyone with pre-algrebra math skills. I’m confident that I’m now embarked upon a path that is worth sharing. I suppose I’ve come to specialize in “How to get started in web programming”.
Essentially, I’m a learner seeking to share with and learn from you and society.
Why do you want to learn to produce web apps?
Programming was my childhood dream. I feel that programming is one of the most interesting things I can do with my mind.
In his book, The K Wave, David Knox Barker informs us of the existence of Long Waves, 56-year debt cycles at the heart of all economic activity. While any theory is open for debate, this theory may stand alone as the only one independently supported by the most comprehensive economic computer simulation in history, performed by the System Dynamics Group at MIT. David Barker states,
“…programming combined with the Internet and other networks will usher in changes to how virtually every industry does business in the years ahead. It has already begun, but you have seen nothing yet.”
I suspect we are nearing the start of a 14-year upswing in business potential fueled in large part by innovations delivered via web applications. This is not intended as investing advice for others, but to inform you about my motivations. In contrast to this optimistic outlook of our economic horizon, it also appears likely that in the immediate future the global economy will either take it’s medicine and suffer dramatic declines or that the global central banks will continue to intervene at unprecedented levels, thereby dragging out the recovery over many years. Either way, it is an ideal time learn a new skill and become part of the solution to the global recession.
I’m interested in delivering solutions to people to help them simplify their daily lives. I have an idea for a web application, Meal7, intended to improve the process of serving healthy family meals. In order to create Meal7, I began to research the variety of ways to deliver software. I rejected the idea of writing one version for Windows, and one for Mac, and so on. The ability to write one code base to reach across platforms is why I want to specialize in web app production. I’m sharing my research with the public as a way to give back the things that have been shared with me.
How will you achieve this ambitious goal?
I’ll start by learning to solve problems. At webappzero.com we’ll talk about everything related to building web apps, including:
- self-education best practices
- curriculum selection
- educational resources
- organizational techniques and tools
- drawing (a fundamental to all design)
- graphic art
- user interface (UI)
- user experience (UX)
- HTML, & CSS
- basic computer knowledge
- operating systems (Unix/Linux)
- data storage and databases
- workflow efficiency
No subject with the potential to help us achieve our goal is off topic. We will practice these basics as a path to mastery. If you’ve ever been curious about web technology but intimidated by the complexity of it all, then this site is dedicated to you! I hope to make the idea of learning to build web apps more approachable to more people by sharing the ups and downs of my journey candidly, concisely and clearly.
When are you doing all this?
Right now! I don’t know how long it will take to experience mastery, but I’m committed to the goal and sharing my experience with you along the way. I wish you the best on your path forward and very much look forward to hearing from you.