Becoming Geekified – Learning PHP and mySQL

This semester, as part of a reduced course load at my school, I am studying/learning PHP and mySQL. To make it easy for my sponsor and others to monitor my efforts, I’m sporadically chronicling my progress at becoming a bona fide geek at my sub-blog Casnocha Turns Geek. (If I weren’t 6′ 4" and co-captain of my basketball team, I perhaps could pass for a geek since I wear glasses – most kids opt for contact lenses – and reasonably tight fitting jeans, but I digress.)

Back in the day, when I was 12 years old, I watched Dan Rather announce the latest dot-com millionaire and immediately charged up to my room and taught myself HTML. When I was building my first dot-com I coded all the HTML pages by copying from other sites and then modifying. I worked diligently to create separate versions for IE and Netscape. When I started my second (and current) company, Comcate, I hired a programmer in Bangladesh to code the prototype in PHP and mySQL. Though we’ve completely re-written the product since, we still use those open source technologies. It’s about time I try to understand what our tech guys have been up to the past 5 years!

Also, an early technology mentor of mine once told me: The most successful people in the Silicon Valley are those who can talk tech at a granular level AND communicate effortlessly with business people/lay people. That’s never been more true.

While I never want or expect to be a programmer, I hope this study will ultimately lead to a greater understanding of web application development, web servers, software as service, and some of the cool web 2.0 technologies coming out…

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