Learning HTML so I Can Talk to Computers

If you’re looking at this picture on the left thinking, “hey that looks like that website the Devs are always on at work”, chances are you’re in the same boat as me when it comes to coding.

During my time at the Innovation Centre in Ottawa, I saw a lot of developers throughout the building whose dual-monitor screens were covered with colorful symbols mixed in with the odd word or two and wondered how it all translated into a working app or website.

As one of the more technical aspects of digital marketing and the one that I have the least experience with, I’ve decided to begin my journey toward being a digital marketer by learning the basics of coding, starting with HTML.

What is HTML?

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. Its a computer language used to create websites.

The code is based off of HTML tags which act as hidden keywords in the back-end of a website which tell the computer how to display content. These tags are what you see inside the angled brackets “<>” of the code.

By using HTML, you can format the title, text, images, position and basically any other content of your website in exactly the way you want. You can also use HTML to add in applications like Google Analytics to track your website’s performance, and “describe” your website to search engine “crawlers” (which I get into in my post about SEO).

Don’t get me wrong, although HMTL is considered one of the most basic computer languages, it would still require a lot of time and effort to build a website from scratch. A basic understanding of HTML is useful for editing web content, emails, and forming a base for learning more complicated coding languages. After all, computers are apparently multilingual.

What am I doing to learn?

I’m not looking to become an expert in HTML, and I don’t need to be, since I doubt I’ll ever make a website from scratch. With web-development tools like Pagecloud, Wordpress, etc. available, simply being able to understand and make edits to code (which often involves simple cutting and pasting) is good enough for me. I said I want to learn to “talk to computers”, but really I just want to be able to listen in on the conversation.

In order to learn HTML, I’ve begun by using CodeAcademy, which offers courses in various computer languages, and so far has been very useful in learning the basics of HTML. From an intro of what the language is used for, how to use different tags and how they look on both the back and front ends of a website, I have a fairly good grasp of the basics of HTML, but still have much to learn before I can consider myself competent in the language.

If you want to follow along on my journey or find out more about me, check out my website!