Tom Lee-Gough

Programming Journey

First steps

I learned some basic programming few years ago. My first attempts at programming were VBA within Excel. I'd write a macro and then try to improve it. Then, bored in a job, tried writing some different scripts calculating different numbers: factors, Prime numebrs, Perfect numbers, and more. Quickly reaching limitations of doing that within Excel, I gave Python a go. I'm not exactly sure how I found Python, but I followed the exercises from Learn Python the Hard Way. It gave me a good grounding in Python. I put Python to one side, not knowing what to do with it or how to progress.


Websites were pretty cool, so I thought that I'd give web design a bit of a go. Treehouse has some excellent courses, so went thru their HTML and CSS courses. At the time, it was something like $25 a month, so a few months was a worthwhile investment. HTML and CSS aren't programming langages, but they were fun to learn. I wrote a few different webstites to understand how they both fitted together, but again reached what was interesting to do without a specific project. Bootstrap was interesting to use, but as I wanted to learn from scratch, it was a bit overkill.

PHP and Python again...

I 2015, I started a new job. It was a small company, but I soon found lots of tasks that needed and could be automated, so Python came out again. I wrote some useful scripts. THe problem was that, whilst useful, were somewhat limited in scope. I was working with some programmers that introduced me to PHP. I'd heard about PHP before, and wanted to write an app. So I did. I wrote an app to record the volume of formula my new born daughter was having on a daily basis. I wrote it from scratch, using what I had learned from Treehouse, my random Python scripts, and W3 Schools. Python and PHP are similar enough that it wasn't too bad to create the webapp.


Wanting to write something better. I came across several different frameworks. I think as I was researching PHP frameworks for work at the time. I found quite a few: Web2Py, Djando, and Bottle to name a few. None of them really did it for me. Then I found Flask for some reason, it clicked. Combined with Bootstrap it's very speedy to develop. And I'm hooked.