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I’m Dudley Storey, the author of Pro CSS3 Animation. This is my blog, where I talk about web design and development with , and . To receive more information, including news, updates, and tips, you should follow me on Twitter or add me on Google+.

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“Why Should I Learn HTML or CSS? Everything I Need Is In DreamWeaver Or A Book.”

html / introduction

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 16 seconds

A common response from students, most especially when they learn that we will be using a simple text editor in the first semester, and that they will face quizzes, is “Why are we learning this? DreamWeaver will do it for me. I can always look it up when I have work.” Most recently I’ve heard it from course editors in reaction to curriculum I am developing. But I never hear it from anyone actually working in the industry.

To understand my point, allow me to reframe the question:

“Why should I learn French if I’m going to live in France? Everything I need is in a dictionary.”

“Why should I learn how to weld a gas pipe? If my boss asks me to do it, I’ll just look it up then.”

HTML and CSS are languages: perhaps not in the classical sense or within computer science, but they are languages all the same. DreamWeaver does not tell you how to create a web page any more than a French dictionary teaches you to speak French. A degree of fluency is required in the language before either tool approaches utility.

The truth is, a web developer will always be learning on the job, as new technologies and techniques come in thick and furious. References are just that: a means of occasionally jogging memory. Dependence on such a tool would be like flipping up a pair of goggles to read “Welding For Dummies” while holding an acetylene flame in the other hand… as live gas flows through an open pipe.

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