Growing up, I spent a lot of my childhood on the Internet. So much so that my parents placed parental locks on my account and a two-hour time limit on the internet. I spent that time blogging on Xanga… realizing I could actually change it any way I wished. I couldn’t even decorate my room without complaints from my parents.
I figured out how to design layout themes- my first foray into web design and graphics. From there, I ventured into learning Adobe Photoshop to create website banners and backgrounds, animating them to glow with light, fade into space or blink with fervor. When the 2-hour time limit was up, I was kicked off the internet- at which point I learned how to hack the system, either resorting to discreetly eyeballing my dad’s fingers as he typed in his password, turning off the internet at intervals it wasn’t in use, or changing the system time so that I never logically ran out of time.
No one taught me how to build anything. But simply providing the tools and the opportunity to do so, curiosity taught me everything. Changing one letter resulted in changing the black text to grey, adding 50 to a number shifted the text block 50 pixels down. It was the closest thing I had to magic.