Paying it Forward with Ethan Hunter
Web Development Workshop leader, Ethan Hunter aka Hill Bill E has been guiding the monthly NC Tech Connection series via Zoom to help others create their own websites. Hunter credits the meetups that took place at the Nevada City Tech Hub prior to the pandemic with giving him the skills and the confidence to share technique and other web design elements with others.
Hunter said he was initially interested in learning how to code when he discovered the Nevada County Economic Resource Council initiative, NC Tech Connection. “I started learning coding about four years ago and I found a free code camp online and saw a local resource in the Web Development Meetup at the NC Tech Hub. They were offering Java Script and I decided to try that.” Hunter said the group met a couple times a week which was a great way to find mentors and made for some accountability. For him, that morphed into web development capability.
Hunter said, “I was liking coding, but I really just wanted to serve people –make websites, create an online presence and things like that.” He said WordPress, the gold standard for web design, fell into his lap. The North San Juan Community Center needed a site, so Hunter answered the call.
He has since created a few sites that also include e-commerce. The self-taught web creator is humble in his abilities but is happy to share his knowledge with others who might be intimidated by the process. “I wouldn’t call myself a developer, more like a WordPress guy. I wouldn’t even say I’m a WordPress developer because developing means a lot of coding and what I am doing is interfacing with that management system.”
Hunter said the Meet Ups were an opportunity to give back. The group met monthly, and Hunter would give talks on different topics, but then Covid dropped its ugly hammer. Internet issues limited opportunities to connect, so the NC Tech Connections online forum became another way to reach an expanded audience. “We are just trying to help anybody, not just meeting coders but anybody who is DIY (do It yourself), small business owners or nonprofit organizations – just trying to tap into how we can help.”
With the Web Development Workshop series, Hunter has offered his expertise around print on demand, the use of color on websites and will soon be offering advice on font choices and talking about setting up an e-commerce option. While these may sound simple enough, there is a right way and a wrong way to make a web page. Through the monthly talks, people will be able to develop a style sheet, Hunter said, “The idea of giving this series of talks is to eventually give people a style sheet so you know your color style, what your fonts are, what images you will use, getting content, so getting all those things in place. “
He says the talks are great for anyone wanting to learn how to create an online presence. Hunter said he looks forward to revamping the Meet Ups and creating another sense of community and will work on facilitating that dynamic. He says the nice thing about meet ups is the camaraderie and there are a lot of people helping each other. Hunter emphasizes that webpages are really about problem solving, “If you are willing to solve a problem and have the confidence in yourself, it’s totally doable.”
“It’s really about giving back, “ Hunter concluded. “It’s about building a community around website development. You don’t have to go it alone.”
You can learn more at Web Development Workshop – Typography with David Carroll and Ethan Hunter on Tuesday, June 22nd at 6:00 p.m.