Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Code Is the New Literacy

When I started blogging in 2003, the tempates that were available for blogs on platforms like Diaryland and Blogger had very little personality let alone style, so I took it upon myself to start learning some rudimentary HTML.


photo credit: nevsred

The first bit of code I learned, though, was actually BASIC way back in 1984. I learned how to create a blue square and a red circle with goto and if-then statements. It was magical, and even though it had been 19 years since I had coded anything, I think it was that early experience that made me think I could change my online environment in 2003.

I started teaching myself CSS and HTML so I could create blog templates for myself that would better deliver my individual personality and message, and that control did incredible things for my creativity and ability to grow my talents. I began to really own my space online in a way I had not before, and I discovered a love for blog design that would eventually launch me into a whole new line of work.

The CSS and HTML that I do now is small potatoes compared to what the people in the video below do who build whole systems, but I know enough to have discovered the powerful levels of human expression and creativity that can be born out of a few lines of code.

This whole preamble, though, is just me getting you to watch "What Most Schools Don't Teach", because it's great code inspiration:


I first ran across this video at Karen Walrond's Chookooloonks.

If you've ever wanted to know how to code, please start, and make sure this kind of knowledge is handed down to your kids. Code really is the new literacy, and it opens both personal and professional doors like none other in history.

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Check out Code.org. I've just signed up with their Codecademy, and it looks like a good place to start learning code from the bottom up. Also, WCSchools has a wealth of free tutorials.

UPDATE: I've just been told about Treehouse, which offers paid but more in depth, project-oriented tutorials to teach you how "...to build websites, create iPhone and Android apps, code with Ruby on Rails and PHP, or start a business."

59/365: Love By Laundry

58/365: Old Fear