This week’s blogging challenge was our computer software now and then. Lorelle talked about the different versions of WordPress over time. I thought it was an interesting article.
10 Years Ago
I started web development back in 1997. My tools back then were:
- Notepad – That right, the one and only. It was how most people did their websites back in the day. It hasn’t changed much over the years.
- Adobe Photoshop v4 – The must have program for image editing:
- Dreamweaver 1.0 – Thats right, I’ve been with dreamweaver since the beginning! (Sorry, I couldn’t find a screenshot)
- ws_ftp95 – This old school FTP program was the bomb in my eyes since day 1. Boy have things come a long.
Technology wise I was serving up static HTML pages. When I had mastered Dreamweaver’s template system, I was able to run a website with 20+ pages not too bad. It was definitely interesting. Every time I made a change, it would go through and update every single page, and then I would upload every page to the server.
Website wise I started off piddling with the Knights of Honor’s website (Web Archive: http://www.knightsofhonor.org/). It is no longer up, but it was for a guild for one of the very first MMO’s called The Realm. It was a lot of fun for a long while.
I then started my own website called RPGLegacy.com (Web Archive: http://www.rpglegacy.com/) where I did reviews for video games. It was a lot of fun and I had about 20-30 visitors a day. I was really happy with the traffic. I did it under my writing alias of Kevon McCoy, because I was only 14 or 15 at the time.
Up until this point I had done everything with static HTML pages. It was a nightmare looking back now. So ineffective and tedious. However, it did add a level of accomplishment and self-reward. Running your own website was a lot of work.
In 2001 I started a website called Counter-Hack. It was a website dedicated to the education and protection against illegal video game cheats. At the time I was playing a game called Counter-Strike. It was plagued with people using programs to see through walls, auto-aim, run super fast, etc. This was running the fun for the rest of us. I started the website like my others, with static HTML, until my friend Anthony Ouwehand (a.k.a H3X) introduced me to a wonderful language called PHP. He spearheaded the new design of the website.
Within a few months, due to some luck and great SEO, we started to have 1,000-3,000 visitors a day. I was astounded! We continued to have success throughout the years. We were even mentioned in an article of Rolling Stone Magazine about hackers. We have had a great staff there and I’ve been lucky to work with such great people (Anthony, Nick, and the rest of the CH gang!) While Counter Hack is still running itself, it has slowed down a lot. However, my current projects are anything but slow.
Web Development Today
Today I have more tools and utilities than I know what to do with. It is amazing how different developing for the web is now.
- Zend Studio 6.0 – This PHP IDE has been a time saver. While there are some other good IDEs for PHP, this is my personal favorite. With features such as debugging and intellisense, I’ve come a long ways from the days of just Notepad. I mainly use this for coding PHP. I use other tools for CSS and HTML Layouts.
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 – This program has come a very, very long way. While many parts of the layout have stayed the same, Dreamweaver is a good WYSIWYG editor. I use this mainly to create HTML templates before cutting them up into their PHP parts. It also has great CSS editing capabilities. I mostly use it in the split mode, so I can code by hand quickly and see the results below.
- Notepad2 – While I don’t use Notepad, I love Notepad2. It is a free program with code lines, syntax coloring, and a few other features. It makes for a great lightweight editor. If I need to do something quick, I find myself using Notepad2.
- Visual Studio 2008 – While some people dislike .NET, I will have to say ASP .NET has it’s situations where its quick and fast, especially for larger corporations who already have Windows Servers.
The technologies of today for developing for the web have also increased greatly:
- PHP 5.1 – I’m a avid PHP believer. Its a very scalable and affordable.
- MySQL 5 – I love this database. Its a great open source database that is getting better every version.
- CSS – Cascade Style Sheets, the new way to design websites.
- XHTML – The new HTML.
With all the new technologies, web developers have never been empowered as much as now. Many websites are approaching near “rich-application” experience. With the new ideas of “Web 2.0” breading new ways of sharing and presenting data, the imagination is the only limit (well, almost).
The current websites I’ve been working on have been pushing my personal limits of knowledge and creativity. I always enjoy the challenge and experience.
CEVO – Cyber Evolution – Online Video Game Competitions
I’ve been working with CEVO since March of 2005. It is a service geared towards video gamers to provide a venue to play their game competitively for prizes, glory, and fame. We’ve successfully served over 17,000 teams and over 70,000 members these past three years. The technology behind CEVO is pretty complex and demanding due to the fact that 95% of all of our business runs through our website. It is the lifeblood of our organization. We use PHP and MySQL for out website, and have been including more jquery and AJAX techniques across the website.
I’ve learned a lot about managing a mid to large sized websites. We’ve had a lot of bottlenecks with inefficient MySQL queries and structures. Its different when programming with millions of rows, not hundreds. We’ve had to do a lot of optimizations over time and we’ve done 4 different version of the site in 3 years. I know, a lot.
WhySecurity.org – Security Resource for Regular People
This is a small project I’ve whipped up real quick with the goal of being a site on PC security. We’ll see if it takes off.
DatingDNA – Social Network Dating Website
I’ve very excited to be working on this project with some great people and a lot of potential. We’re working on some cutting edge stuff and positioning to be a very popular website. I cant say much, but it is a very fun project.
Hopefully you’ve found this all intriguing and enjoy this blast to the past.