"Unlocking IT: The No Code / Low Code Journey" Part 1

Crafting Without Code: A Self-Taught Developer's Adventure


4 min read


The Problem:

In 2016, during my time as a volunteer for an NGO, we faced the need for a dedicated website. Fortuitously, one of our members happened to be the Tech Founder of a prominent company headquartered in Chennai. Assuming the responsibility eagerly, he enlisted the support of a team of developers from his company to undertake the website's creation. Swiftly, they translated our provided content into the Home, About, Projects, and Contact pages of the website. This collaborative effort concluded within two weeks, culminating in the delivery of the fully functional website. However, upon our initial interaction with the website through a web browser, we identified some areas for improvement and requested the developers to address them. Regrettably, due to their ongoing engagement with another internal project, they expressed that rectifying these changes would entail a considerable duration. Consequently, they proposed that we handle the alterations ourselves. Given the website's static nature and the changes primarily revolving around content rather than design, this suggestion held merit.

The Solution:

When I initially opened the HTML files using a text editor, I found myself at a loss about how to proceed. Employing the "find text" function within the editor, I located the specific text that required modification. After effecting the changes, I previewed the file in a browser and to my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be an uncomplicated process. Encouraged by this success, I began exploring various segments of the HTML document, contemplating the feasibility of altering text colors and more. This marked the inception of my inquisitiveness to delve into the realms of HTML and CSS.

The Journey of Learning:

I encountered online courses dedicated to instructing HTML and CSS, which prompted me to embark on a journey of learning and experimentation with these essential components. The website we initially obtained had been constructed using Bootstrap CSS. While I grasped its workings, a desire to explore alternatives led me to discover Materialize CSS. This framework provided a convenient starter template that facilitated seamless learning and work. Harnessing its resources, I swiftly crafted an alternative design for the NGO's website. Reflecting on it now, I acknowledge its imperfections; however, in comparison to the Bootstrap-based site we had received, it exhibited a marked improvement. Thanks to the utilization of Materialize CSS, it exuded a web application-like aesthetic. This experience spurred me to dive deeper, resulting in the creation of another website. Throughout this process, I gained insights into constructing elements such as the navigation bar, hero section, article segment, and footer. Furthermore, I honed the skill of adding pages and mastering navigation between them. Ensuring responsiveness became a vital aspect of my learning journey, enabling me to fashion pages that displayed flawlessly across both desktop and mobile platforms.

Another Problem - Hosting:

Over some time, I developed several example websites and routinely opened these projects in my local browser. The sense of accomplishment I derived from these creations fueled my desire to showcase them to friends and family. While presenting my work during in-person meetings was straightforward, the challenge emerged with individuals situated in different cities or those I didn't frequently meet. This predicament led me to delve into the realms of hosting and domain names, uncovering their pivotal significance. Although I don't recall every hosting provider I explored at that juncture, the prominent names recommended online included GoDaddy and SiteGround. Opting for GoDaddy for domain purchases and SiteGround for hosting, I weighed my decision against the backdrop of their offerings.

SiteGround stood out due to its comprehensive feature set, notably encompassing a free SSL certificate to bolster website security—a feature that incurred additional charges with GoDaddy. In pursuit of guidance, I turned to online tutorials detailing the process of acquiring domain names through GoDaddy and hosting websites on SiteGround. Additionally, I sought instruction on configuring DNS settings within GoDaddy to seamlessly direct to SiteGround. This configuration allowed individuals to access our websites by inputting a domain name rather than an IP address.

Part 1 Conclusion:

Starting with a simple need for a website, I embarked on a tech adventure that has taught me curiosity and persistence go hand in hand. What began as a solution to boost our NGO's online presence evolved into a voyage of discovery and skill-building. I went from tweaking content to immersing myself in HTML, CSS, and frameworks, gradually unlocking the secrets of web development.

As I dug into hosting and domains, I learned how to make my websites accessible to friends and family who aren't just around the corner. The journey wasn't always smooth, but it revealed the vast digital landscape.

In essence, this journey underscores how taking on challenges leads to personal growth. I've seen firsthand how even small steps can lead to significant improvement. With technology always evolving, the path I've paved will serve as a strong foundation for future accomplishments.

In short, from the initial need to find solutions and ongoing learning, my story celebrates the incredible power of an idea, fueled by determination, which can evolve into concrete achievements.


Tools Used:

  • ChatGPT (Rephrasing Paragraphs & Title Suggestions)

  • Unsplash (Cover Image)