Let There Be Website

The apocalyptic month of October, which stretched its Cthuluian tentacles far into November, is finally over. That’s right, friends. The Cultural Trust’s new website is live!

Seriously, check it out!

One thing that’s no fun about being a programmer is that the majority of what you do is meaningless to friends and family.  I’ve built a few really cool things in my career, but you can’t go home and say, “Mom! Look what your son did today! He built an entirely functional model to handle dynamic pricing for flex packages!” Not unless you like that glazed over look people get when you describe technology to them.

Today, though? Today is awesome. Today I can point with a jittery, anxious hand to a brand new website and say that it’s mine. My website. The one I built with my hands. Use it, and you’re using stuff I built. The thing near killed me a few weeks ago. There were a few days of catastrophic stress levels in there. By the end, the stress of it had crept into every other aspect of my life. Erin could almost certainly count the number of days I didn’t come home ranting desperately on one hand.  This has been, hands down, the most stressful month of my life in memory. But look! There be website here!

So what didn’t I do for the site? Well, I don’t do graphics, so anything pretty was the work of graphic designers. While I can execute a layout, I can’t design them, so the look of the site was drawn, so to speak, by someone else, but implemented and coded by me. While programming is a lot like writing, it is nothing like visual design, so I suck at it as badly as I have my entire life. I know just enough about visual art to be seethingly jealous of those good at it. Also there are a few bits of functionality – that spinning carousel thing on the home page – that are free, downloaded website plugins that I then customized. Writing code means knowing when to steal code. I know when to steal code.

The rest is all me. There are a lot of cool things about it that you can’t see, but the neatest is this: If you troll around, you’ll see a lot of event information. When things are coming up, links to buy tickets, and all of that. That information? It all pulls from our ticketing site, culturaldistrict.org (which I co-developed, and which is now all mine for the foreseeable future) with the power of hot, sticky, Ruby API magic. No one has to enter events a second time into the new site. It just slurps them in and shows them. Considering our old site was The Stinky Pit Of Duplicate Effort, this is a big deal. And I built it. Give me a moment to high five myself.

This means that I can spend the weekend recovering.  Since I have no idea how I come off to people (not kidding. at all.), I’m not sure how much of a basket case I’ve seemed for the past month and a half. If it’s been excruciating, it’s hopefully coming to an end.  If not, cool. No idea how I pretended to keep it together.

Now let’s go down to the pub and grab some drinks, yeah?

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2 Responses to Let There Be Website

  1. cabri says:

    I wish I could come down and celebrate with you guys, have fun! :)

  2. samatwitch says:

    Good job! A well programmed website is a thing of beauty.

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