About Terry Mack
A technical geek with a creative streak!
In 1996 I bought my first home computer. My first email address was a 9- or 10-digit number @compuserve.com and Internet browsing was limited to pages created by Compuserve. Then AOL introduced me to my own name in my email address—and chat rooms. Tired of paying U.S. prices (the exchange rate back then was around 0.65), I switched to a local Internet service provider and connected to the web via a T1 account. And that opened up a whole new wonderful world!
How did they do that?
I learned how to create a website by subscribing to an email list at HTML Goodies where the author, Joe Burns, taught HTML in “simple” English. I printed hundreds of pages and filled binders with lines of code. I was hooked, and absolutely fascinated that I could create something that had the potential of being viewed by thousands of people around the world (or at least those countries that had Internet access).
I never knew where I might end up using my Netscape browser. Most times, it wasn’t the content I was looking at, but the design elements. Can I do that? Right clicking introduced me to the source of other people’s web pages and reading their code taught me exactly how they did what they did.
Then I started creating
At my corporate job, I listened to a presentation by two guys who said they could create our business website for thousands of dollars. Not too many businesses had websites in the year 2000, so my boss passed on the idea. But it didn’t end there. We can do it ourselves! I already knew all about browsers and I was becoming quite proficient in Corel Draw, proving both my technical and creative aptitude. He turned the reins over to me and I hit the ground running, creating and maintaining my first small business website.
My place on the web
At one time I had five personal—and anonymous—websites online, including an online journal where I wrote the contents of my mind and even was a finalist for a writing award by my peers in the journalling community. My favourite website was a writing project meme where I would post a monthly question—for example, If you knew someone was watching your every move, how would you react? Essay responses would come in from around the world that I would post on the website so anyone could read. Then blogs hit the scene, and one sentence responses were being submitted, so I shut down The If… Project after three years, and turned my focus to my career.
My career in Information Systems included creating and/or maintaining corporate websites and Intranet sites for the companies I worked for. In 2008 corporate downsizing allowed me to decide what I wanted to do next. Two months of career coaching involved test after test to determine my strengths and weaknesses, personality type and passions: Jewellery and website design!
I trained on the Adobe Creative Suite software and earned university Certificates in Website Design, WordPress, and Publishing (for print and web). At school, the design of my first website, business card and brochure earned me an A+, and I used those to start my own business, Web Jewels Website Design, in January 2009.
What will I learn today?
The years since have been a constant learning experience. Staying up-to-date on technology, best practices and design trends is hard work, but I love it! My training in creative website design and online publishing has extended into search engine optimization and social media strategies. All to create your compelling online presence.
Certificate: WordPress, Mount Royal University, 2017
Career Blueprint: Visual Design, Skillcrush, 2016
Career Blueprint: Freelance WordPress Developer, Skillcrush, 2014
Certificate: Web Design, Mount Royal University, 2008
Certificate: Publishing (for Print and Web), Mount Royal University, 2008
Years of Website
Running my own business—and helping entrepreneurs and small business owners with theirs—requires other skills, too. I am able to pull from my career experience in administrative support, desktop publishing, and project management.
For shining results!
Years of Experience