I have been a website designer on the Gold Coast since 1999 when I began my own business initially called WEBEL WEBEL.
I have lived around the Surfers and Broadbeach areas since 1964.
I was influenced in my younger days by the punk rock ethic which I felt was about expressing yourself by doing it yourself.
My form of expression came with screen printing t-shirts beginning with surf and ski labels then rock bands like Devo, the Sex Pistols, Stiff Little Fingers, TISM etc. etc. I have printed over one hundred different T-shirts for myself and friends over the years and I loved doing it and wearing the T-shirts, maybe with a bit of a twisted message designed to shock.
The web came along and I was really excited by it's ability to reach a potentially huge audience (but it didn't matter if it was only your circle of friends) with whatever you had to say to them!
I thought the biggest potential was with personal homepages (check mine called Thatch's webpage which was first published in May 1998) whereby everyone would get in on it and have their own webpage to do with their personal lives and interests in much the same way that a T-shirt can "position you" in regard to repelling some people and attracting others.
Well... I think that has come to fruition finally with facebook and blogging but in general I believe I was wrong and the commercial aspect of the web is what has really taken off and people see it as too much trouble to learn HTML and maintain their own webspace.
But, I have taught HTML to quite a few clients and the ones that pick it up and learn how to update their own webpage get a lot more out of the web, I believe. So there! Now on to some (mostly) boring bits....
HardWeb is a website design, SEO and SEM. business based on the Gold Coast since 1999.
I am the the Web Designer responsible for Hard Web and my name is David Thatcher.
Please call me on (07) 5526-2939 to arrange an appointment.
I had an early start in Computer Science with a school subject in Grade11 (1980 Yowee). We learned Hardware and Software which is sort of interesting in that I know what AND, NAND, OR and NOR gates are as well as the IF...THEN,ELSE and the unforgettable GOTO statements are...
20 IF X=2 GOTO 60
30 PRINT "Go and get GOTOOED"
50 GOTO 20
Anyway we learned BASIC (Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) and PASCAL (No Acronym - just a French Mathematician) which are now known as first generation Computer languages. We also learned technical stuff like bits, bytes and hexadecimal strings also those aforementioned hardware (CPU and memory) operator thingys called "gates".
We also dreamed of things like bubble memory and used a Digital PDP-10 and cards and a card reader which are alas the computing methods of a bygone era.
Next I went on to the University of Queensland and did more computing (in a Commerce degree) and picked up a few more languages namely FORTRAN and COBOL which stand for FORmula TRANslation and something beginning with C and ending with Language.
You can verify my UQ qualification (Bachelor of Commerce) here, or anyone else's if you have their birth date.
My b-day is eighteen/twelve/sixtythree.
You have to put in your name, email and reason for checking, you can say employment or "other" then "other".
If you can't be bothered here is what you would find (I promise I didn't doctor it).
At UQ I also learned Structured Programming and M.I.S methodologies (management information systems) - sounds better if you say it slow... m e t h o d o l o g y, see Grandma I got an OLOGY! (Just don't ask me what it means).
About here I seem to remember hitting the wall, I mean Accounting, Finance and Computers are O.K if you're really into that sort of thing, but they can get a little boring.
I finished the course with six subjects from as many faculties, Anthropology ,English, History, Philosophy et AL.
Finally some life!
I saw programming as sitting at a computer screen and well...PROGRAMMING! and baby that was not for me.
Graphics were in their infancy (Space Invaders, Pong) and the Graphical User Interface (GUI) just wasn't important.
It was a matter of manipulating data whether it was the TAB (big computer science graduate employees back then), airlines, motels, govt, big companies or whoever.
To cut to the chase I became interested again about 15-20 years ago when graphic programmes and animation were getting better. Photoshop is a great programme and I felt an urgent need to learn it and that was the start of my web interest.
I always tell people HTML (Web programming language stands for Hyper Text Markup Language) is easy to learn and so is publishing web pages and that is true, but programmes like Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Illustrator take a lot of time to learn properly and then there are the yearly upgrades. What I mean is to be a complete web designer you need programming skills as well as graphics skills and although in the future I am sure they will be separate fields at the moment web designers need a lot of different skills.
My graphic experience started with screen printing T-shirts which I did professionally for two years and was followed up with courses in Cartooning, Animation and Graphic Design followed by a one year Certificate in Arts - Printmaking 1996 in which I specialised in Screen printing and Computer Art.
The web came up at the right time for me and the job of being a web designer consolidated a whole lot of interests and skills I already had and it has finally made computers fun to work with.
If a client wanted it I would pick something off the shelf and customize it for them.
I love responsive web design because it is a great challenge, web world is always changing and people like me scramble to keep up with the changes, so far I have avoided App programming though.
For graphics I use Photoshop CS6 and for web design I use Dreamweaver CS6.
There are a lot of other programs that I have used i.e. Illustrator, Flash, but I wouldn't say I was an expert user which I am with the programs I have mentioned which I use almost everyday.
I probably have put the most extra energy into learning Google and how do you learn Google?
In the last 8 or so years my computing and web design direction has leant towards all things Google and I am getting a lot of satisfaction from learning more about Google's exciting and ever expanding line of (mostly free) products such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools), and Google Docs to name a few.
My business is now a Google Partner and I have the Google Analytics IQ qualification and all in all I am very happy knowing a lot about what Google offers the world in terms of search, search and display advertising and cloud solutions.
I am a member of the Australian arm of the Google Engage for Agencies program and have been to all 5 Google Engage seminars which are regularly held in Brisbane and a few other Australian capital cities.
I have now met and made friends with many fellow web developers and quite a few Googlers, I love these contacts and I learn so much at every Engage conference that it is easy to take the day off and travel to Brisbane to have my head expanded by the latest and greatest Google innovations.
Even though sometimes I don't necessarily have the spare time I have never regretted a minute of the time.
I also own Google hardware like the Nexus 7 tablet and Motorola (owned by Google) Defy+ smartphone which I also think are pretty good products and not too pricey which is what I don't like about Apple.
Thanks for listening!
Look below, gosh!, a social media widget.
No Mr Linkedin I am not in Brisbane and the Gold Coast is a pretty big place so please get your act together and let us be from the Gold Coast!