Why I Started Site Skills

Site Skills has been designed to help you build better websites. We're doing that already through our online training courses, and we plan to expand this via our forum and email newsletter.

I'm Richard Pearce and many of you already know me through the work that I've done at Build a Joomla Website over the last eight years. For those who haven't met me yet, here's a bit of my background. My first experience with computers was back in the 1980s at a trade show here in Sydney. My father introduced me to a computer that was running a text-based game called "Hunt the Wumpus". A year or so later I was lucky enough to welcome our first family computer - the Tandy TRS 80 III. So from the age of 13, I been tinkering with computers and have seen and been part of all sorts of incredible advancements.

I pretty much hated school, but luckily we were forced to do cadets and at age 16 I was sent on a promotion course which included some instruction on how to teach. In a few hours I discovered that I had a knack for this and went on to teach other cadets all sorts of aeronautic topics such as Bernoulli's Law, aircraft recognition and how to safely operate an L1A1 semi-automatic rifle.

Despite being good at this, for some reason I couldn't picture myself teaching as a career, so I drifted through my early 20s, mostly working for Sony at both a retail and wholesale level. Eventually fate caught up with me when my boss, who knew I tinkered around online, asked me if I could build a website for them. Of course I could! I then hurriedly tried to find any bit of information I could on how to build websites. There wasn't much available back in 1995. Yahoo was brand new and I was using a now extinct browser called Mosaic. After a lot of trial and error, I launched, what was then, one of the first retail websites in Australia.

I eventually went on to start my own web design business and for 16 ½ years created sites for a range of clients including small businesses, medium enterprises, radio stations, arts organisations and some non-profits. When content management systems came on the scene, the one that stood out was Mambo. That project essentially morphed Joomla. In 2008, I acquired Build a Joomla Website. Finally my interest in computers and teaching came together and these days I am a full-time course creator.

Site Skills is the next step on my teaching journey and I hope it will be yours too. I will continue to produce Joomla courses, but the next step is to tackle other subjects. The first of these, Kickstart Your Web Design Business, has just been released. This course is designed to help those who are thinking about starting a web design business of their own, to get off on the right foot. This is the course I wished I had when I started back in 1995.

There's more in store too, but that's all I can reveal for the moment. As you join us on our journey, we look forward to helping you with your journey. Let's do this together, and build better websites.

As always, if you have any suggestions or questions please feel free to leave your comments below.