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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Pros and Cons of working for yourself 

Believe it or not, next month will mark 10 years since Trina Chow Design was hired by my first client to design and implement a web site! (That client, by the way, was Adler & Co Gallery way back when they were an animation gallery on Union Street!)

There are obviously many pros and cons to be said for working for yourself. Sure, I get the benefit of setting my own hours, choosing my clients, having creative freedom, etc.,

However, I also work by myself, which, after 10 years, I've learned can be somewhat limiting.

Case in point: I learned HTML the old-fashioned way...
About 12 years ago, I read the classic Teach yourself HTML in 14 Days by Laura Lemay.
I learned all about tables, formatting, how to code by hand, gif animations, image-mapping, frames, etc.,
Sure, I picked up some tips and tricks here and there, but I always stuck to the tried-and-true basics.

This limited knowledge worked well for me for a very long time.

About 3 or 4 years ago, Dick started to introduce me to the idea of CSS. (Cascading Style Sheets for those of you who aren't in the know...) I admit it: I shied away from learning CSS for months, and even years. I couldn't grasp the thought that I might need to change the way that I'd been doing things for years. (gasp!)

A couple of years ago, Dick helped me in the complete redesign of the Adler Gallery site (yes, the one and the same as my first client!). This would be my first major CSS project, and what an enormous project it would be! I came to embrace CSS, and learned to love it. Gone now were the days of doing layout using tables! Style tags don't belong in HTML! They belong in my .css page! Begone you table tags! Stop cluttering my HTML!

So, I've been enjoying a couple of years of basic CSS euphoria, when, every-once-in-a-while, Dick brings in something new and different (gasp - again!)!

Each time, I cringe! I shy away! I wonder why do I need to change?

Each time, I get over my fears and anxieties, and eventually learn that it's good to learn, it's good to expand, it's good to keep up. It's good to learn about "ems".

I feel very fortunate that my hubby is so interested, on a personal as well as a professional level, in some of the same technologies that I use for my small, one-person business. He keeps me up-to-date, and helps broaden my mind to new ideas that I wouldn't have if I kept to myself.

So, it turns out that I'm one lucky girl. I have all the benefits of working by myself, but I also get to benefit from the fact that my hubby will make sure that I won't fade away into HTML oblivion. I even get my own personal tutor who actually enjoys learning, and sharing his expansive knowledge with me!

It turns out that I'm not working entirely by myself after all! I get to work with my hubby!

In case I haven't mentioned it in a while, I love my techie-honey! :)

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway --- oh right, I *am* my own employer! ;)

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