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Web Development Journey: From notepad to the cloud

Cloud cloud cloud. Cloud is everywhere now-a-days. Industry giants are moving to cloud computing to offer the best possible solutions and services to their clients.

But what is the cloud? Cloud is nothing but a series of networks around the globe where servers are connected to the 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.

Let's go back to the year 1998.

I am mentioning this year because this year, the 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, and website works.

At that time it was not easy to figure out something very easily. But my curiosity never ended because of a 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 a very popular browser. I used it a lot for web browsing, email client, etc. I spent most of my time learning about the internet, web pages, and servers at that time. It was not easy for me because there was little information out there and literally no one around me to help. So my journey of self-learning started.

The first webpage was written in Notepad

In 1999, after doing a lot of research and self-study, I learned HTML and started creating a 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 the database.

Dynamic era

In 2000, I found some Microsoft technology (ASP, Microsoft Access Database) that is used to create dynamic websites. 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 researching again who offers  ASP web hosting free. Because I had no money to buy hosting at that time.

First Dynamic web hosting!

I found a hosting provider that offers free ASP hosting with AD support. So far as I remember, it was coolmb.com, which gave me 100 MB of space with the Access Database option. I then host my website 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 remains dormant but the journey never ended.

Going to the LAMP stack

At last, I found, PHP, which was really easy to learn. Then I introduced myself to 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 of the documentation and search the web for solutions.

My full Dynamic website using LAMP was a Medical Students’ Community named MedicBD.com which was first launched in 2004. At that time it was popular among the medical students of Bangladesh.

Let's back to Medical Study

But due to the internet use issue among medical students and doctors, it become faded. But from time to time I upgrade the website and introduce different features to it. You can check out the history of the site at web archive. It remained offline for a few years when I had to pay attention to my Medical Studies.

Laravel Happy time

In this year 2016, I completely rewrite the code using the Laravel framework with lots of services for doctors and citizens. You should definitely check out the site now. Yes, it is the nation’s first E-Health Platform. So far I know, it is the only service that actually has all the features of connecting doctors, patients, and students.

Before developing I had to study E-health systems, EMR (Electronic Medical Records), EHR, PHR, and other health terminology like ICD-10, SNOMED CT, LOINC, etc. I am a one-man Army behind all things. You probably can imagine how much effort and time I gave to this personal project. But I had the urge to study Medical Informatics to become an expert in this field.

Javascript everywhere!

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

In, Cloud9, there is a free option (but requires a credit card to verify identity) that comes with a lot of development environments like NodeJS, PHP MySQL Apache, Python, Django, Ruby, C++, WordPress, and many more. In 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.