Getting My First Application Online
Feb 12, 2018
- 07:53 AM
The internet has always been a bit of a black box to me. I had an idea about what it was... a bunch of servers communicating with each other, but in the end that's about all I understood about it. Even after five years of working in the tech industry in various capacities I still didn't have a clear picture of it. Sure, I knew buzz words and pieces of it, but if you asked me how you stood up a website and hosted it from scratch, I would have been at a loss. So, it became one of my goals to do just that: stand up a website from scratch.
One of the things I found while working 40 hours at a job was that I routinely had no energy to dedicate to my own personal growth. 40 hours would turn into 50 or 60 hours, and by the time I was done all I wanted to do was have a drink and relax. Video games and television became my relax time, and so my website building goal remained far off. Even though I could modify a .NET stack, or add a page to an existing site, or modify content of a site, I still never stood one up on my own.
After I built my first Flask application, getting it online was the next big project. But unlike Flask, which is so conveniently built with Python, standing up a website required something I had embarrassingly little of; server knowledge. Luckily I had a mentor who had some experience in that topic who was willing to work through that with me; and so we met at a coffee shop for a few hours one weekend afternoon.
That workday was mostly me watching while my mentor worked through creating a Docker container based off of my code that would run. He troubleshot through issues that would take me a solid year afterwards to understand, but after a few hours of digging through the weeds on his part, and semi-comprehension on my part, we had it; my site was online!
My reaction was immediate; excitement to the point of euphoria. I think I actually kind of freaked my teacher out because of how excited I got. Regardless of whether I fully understood the process, or the fact that I hadn't even been doing the Dockering, my objective had been realized in a very non-trivial way. I had a site that was online from scratch (more or less). Of course I wasn't hosting servers or splitting into the city power-grid Guilfoyle style, but I didn't really want any of that. One of the primary lessons I have learned over the years is that there are shoulders of giants to build off of; and it's silly not to start there.
So there it started; I spent the next year learning the key components myself, but that's a blog entry for another day.