Why Learn HTML
My husband and I often work on projects together. He's a tech expert and I'm... tech adequate. I always say I know enough to get me in trouble. And he knows enough to get me out of it! When we first met, he was curious about how I ended up working in IT without purposely pursuing it. It all started in the early days of the world wide web.
When I was in college, I joined a student activity that was in desperate need of someone to maintain their website. The internet was by no means new, but cell phone plans still charged per text message, people listened to music on mp3 players, and if you wanted to take a decent picture you did it with a camera. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to a website, but it was already built and used a simple program for maintenance, so I didn't think it could be that hard. In retrospect, it was a horrible program, but it did the job - I could upload current photos and update the text so that the site had current information. The problem was always with the text. The program allowed you to type in a text box and VOILA! That's what appeared on the page. But it was never quite right looking. The spacing was off, there was no way to emphasize a statement, and the overall style of new text that was added didn't match the rest of the page. However, the program had the ability to switch from the plain text box to HTML mode. I knew nothing, but looking at what already existed, I started learning the basics... break, paragraph, bold, italics... HTML had simple rules I could follow and with a few internet searches here and there, I was able to maintain that website for several years.
It didn't start me down the path to being a website developer or software engineer, but it did stick with me. Post college, while working in the business office of a healthcare clinic, that experience drove me to ask questions about how our software worked. It was a program, and while not HTML, it had a language behind it telling it what to do. It had rules to follow. And just before that clinic decided to upgrade its electronic health record, I became a certified front end user of the billing software. So when the upgrade happened, I was tasked with understanding how this new software worked and training all the business users. That pattern has followed me throughout my career.
I didn't need to master HTML. I wasn't planning to ever work in the nitty-gritty world of code and computer languages. All I ever needed to learn were the basics. Those allowed me to do the task I needed when I needed to do it. There were other things that I was better at, things I was more suited to master - so I did those. Now when I'm working on a project, I know when to call in an expert - I know I'll never be one, I don't want to be one... but I can get myself off the ground and that's always been very empowering.
If you own a business, and you have a website, I think it's important to have some base knowledge like HTML. It's like owning a car. I don't have to be an expert in how my car works. However, I do know the basics so I can maintain it. I don't even have to do the maintenance myself, but if I have someone do that maintenance for me, I know if it's being done right.