What is this all about?

Hi, my name is Elis and I’m a self-taught coder from Toronto, Ontario. You probably stumbled onto my blog because, either you’re looking to learn to code, or, you want to know how to create apps code-free. Well, you’ve come to the right place because that is exactly why I started this blog. It is my goal in life to help others discover coding and how a few simple lines can create something beautiful and useful. I also hope to create an easy-to-understand resource for new coders to get started. I hope you agree that it is.

How I started in Coding

My journey with coding started back in 2001 when, as a 15-year-old, I met a friend who was a moderator for a fairly large community chatroom. I got involved through him and started to help moderate. It was a family-friendly chatroom so I had to watch for people violating the community guidelines and handle them accordingly. We also had some issues with the operator of a rival chat room who kept spam flooding our room with messages. Their goal was to prevent our users from enjoying their experience and to switch to theirs. Some automated tools had already been developed and implemented but they were inefficient and slow.

While most guests would use a web-based java applet to connect and converse, as moderators we would use mIRC to connect and moderate as it had an easier UI to perform moderation tasks. The thing about mIRC, though, is that it had a scripting interface. I didn’t know the scripting language at all so I started to tinker on my mIRC interface with a script I had downloaded. I needed to do a lot of research and had to look things up online. Google Search was still in its infancy at the time so finding the right answers was not as easy as it would be today. But, I was determined to code my mIRC instance to be as efficient as possible and to automate the moderation process to prevent as many community guideline violations as possible. 

In seeing how bulky other scripts were, I realized that I needed to take a trial and error approach. With a simplistic view and a goal in mind, I was able to successfully program mIRC to efficiently detect and prevent large scale violations of our guidelines. It was the mIRC scripting interface and the script I created that made me fall in love with the power of a few lines of code. I promise that it had nothing to do with the praises I received from other moderators and the requests from operators of other rooms to provide the same service to their chat rooms. 

With the moderation problems largely under control, I started to dabble more into the world of website creation and experimenting with different languages. From the early days of HTML and CSS and Java and its applets fast forward to today 20 years, a few awards, and many apps later, it is my hope that, through this blog and newsletter, I can inspire you to see the beauty and power of a few lines of code as just as I did 20 years ago.

Feel free to drop me a line at elis@applesson.com if you’d like to chat.