I decided to pull up my website and said out loud that I could show them my website and this is perhaps the highlight of the entire class for me.
“Your website? You have a website?” Someone said.
And I was somewhat baffled by the question, “Yes, it’s my website.” Not quite realizing they didn’t know you could buy a URL and code up a website. I’d clearly forgotten what it was like to be their age.
So I pulled up my website and asked if any of them knew what the browser developer tools were and no one did. So I explained how on any website they visit, they could right click, find “Inspect” and click on that and view the code for a website.
I opened the DevTools on my site and there was an audible gasp from the class and excited murmuring.
“That’s your code?” A student asked.
“Yes, that’s all my code!”
“You wrote all of that?!”
“Yes, it’s my website.”
And the class kind of exploded and starting talking amongst themselves. I was floored and my perspective readjusted.
When I code, it’s usually in HTML and CSS, and I suppose there’s a part of me that feels like that isn’t special because some tech bros decide to be vocal and loud about HTML and CSS not being special nearly everyday (it is special and tech bros can shut up.)
And the response from that class of high school students delighted me and grounded me in a way I haven’t experienced before. What I view as a simple code was absolute magic to them. And for all of us who code, I think we forget it is magic. Computational magic but still magic. HTML and CSS are magic.