Web Development, from notepad to cloud

Cloud cloud cloud. Cloud is everywhere now-a-days. Industry giants are moving to cloud computing to offer best possible solutions and services to their clients. But what is cloud? Cloud are nothing but series of networks round the globe where servers are connected to internet to serve us.  According to the PCMAG, cloud computing means “the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer”. Many companies are offering their service through the cloud infrastructure, like hosted E-Commerce solutions, social networking etc.

Lets go back to year 1998. I am mentioning this year because in this year, internet was first introduced to me. I was pretty happy about the internet speed at that time which was only 1-2 kbps! I became very thought-full and curious about how the internet, website works. In that time it was not easy to figure out something very easily. But my curiosity never ended because of lack of information. Yes, Google was there and since then Google is my friend. By the way, Click here to see How Google looked in 1998. I remember Netscape Navigator was very popular browser. I used it a lot for web browsing, email client etc. I spent most of the time to learn about the internet, web page, server in that time. It was not easy for me because there was little information out there and literally no ones around me to help. So my journey of self learning started.

At 1999, after doing a lot of research and self study I learned HTML and started creating static webpage using notepad. My PC config was Pentium II, 128 MB RAM running windows 98. Then I learned some basic page styling using CSS and some Interactivity using JavaScript. But soon realized that there should be some dynamic behavior like backend coding and using of database.

In 2000, I found some Microsoft technology (ASP, Microsoft Access Database) that are used to create dynamic website. But I need a server for that. I found a Microsoft Web Server named IIS which needs Windows NT. So, upgraded my PC OS to Windows NT and start learning Active Server Page (ASP) language.

After learning some dynamic functionality, I developed my first Dynamic Web Site which was a student Record Management. After developing, I needed to host it. So started research again who offers  ASP web hosting free. Because I had no money to buy hosting at that time. I found a hosting provider who offers free ASP hosting with AD supported. So far I remember, it was coolmb.com, who gave me 100 MB space with Access Database option. I then host my web site and invite some of my friends to visit. But many of my friends do not have access internet at that time. So my hidden talent remain dormant but journey never ended.

At last I found, The PHP, which was really easy to learn. Then I introduced myself with the linux environment and found the most popular LAMP stack. I decided to learn them all. It’s really easy and fun for me because I read a lot with the documentation and search the web for solution.

My full Dynamic website using LAMP was a Medical Students’ Community named MedicBD.com which was first launched at 2004. At that time it was popular among the medical students of Bangladesh. But due to internet using issue among medical students and doctors, it become fade. But time to time I upgrade the website, introduce different features in it. You can check out the history of the site at web archive. It was remain offline for few years when I had to pay attention to my Medical Study.

In this year 2016, I completely rewrite the code using Laravel framework with lots of services for doctors and citizens. You should definitely checkout the site now. Yes, Its a nation’s first E-Health Platform. So far I know, it is the only service which actually have all the features of connecting doctor, patients and students. Before developing I had to study about the E-health systems, EMR (Electronic Medical Records), EHR, PHR and other health terminology like ICD-10, SNOMED CT, LOINC etc. I am an one man Army behind all the things. You probably can imagine how much efforts and time I gave in this personal project.

Recently I am learning Node JS, mongoDB and Express framework. It seems a promising technology because it’s all about Javascript in everywhere. For this, I took a course on Udemy and really enjoying it. I already have all the environment setup in my laptop but found cloud development options like Cloud9. While testing this, reminds me the old days when I wrote code in simple notepad. Now I can setup all the developing environment with few clicks. This is the power of cloud!

In, Cloud9, there is a free options (but requires credit card to verify identity) which comes with a lot of development environment like NodeJS, PHP MySQL Apache, Python, Djongo, Ruby, C++, WordPress and many more. Each environment you get 1 CPU, 512 MB RAM and 2GB HDD with all the supporting tools like git, composer, ssh and deployment option to heroku, Windows Azure console, Google App engine, openshift, cloudfoundry and many more.

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