Pokemon Influenced my Life as a Coder, Developer, and Designer

Surprised to know Pokemon’s already turned onto its 20th anniversary this February 2016! Makes you feel old. But one’s never too old to have fun and love anime. Go to Japan and you’ll see.

Many people know me as the creative guy. The one who knows how to edit this and that, draw, illustrate, and so on. What most people don’t know is that all this technical know-how started because of Pokemon.

It was summer of ’99 when I got hooked onto Pokemon. It started showing on GMA7 and needless to say, like many of you, I fell in love with the concept of the whole series and having my own Mew. The internet was peaking then as Yahoo and Altavista made it as the primary search engines or “web crawlers” of that time. My instinct as a kid? Find po…kemon!

I looked through the web and found AniPike “Anime Web Turnpike” which was a very known database of anime back then. It had a Pokemon section which housed every single website dedicated to the series and I loved visiting every single one. It was then I noticed how this specific site was giving away “Pokemon Awards” to good-looking websites. Many sites housed and showed off being a Bronze, Silver, or Gold medalist. Twas then I decided I wanted an award. And so the research begins.

Homestead is where I realized I could make websites by simple drag and drop. I got a free hosting account there because Geocities, Tripod, and Angelfire needed some complicated code I didn’t understand. So I dragged and dropped photos, and voila! A website of my own with all unoriginal content I found online.

The school year of my 6th grade started with me frustrated. Something must be wrong, I can’t get any Pokemon awards online! My website must suck. It does, actually, after comparing it to a couple other known ones online. So what do I do? I started learning basic HTML online. I hated to be the mediocre Pokemon website afterall. And so, I found myself learning about the HELLO WORLD code through a very HTML-noob friendly website – LissaExplains.com

First few months in and I started making those heavy tables which are dreaded nowadays by clean coders of HTML5. I don’t quite recall ever receiving a Gold. But hey, those table widths did the proper divisions I liked, and I distinctly remember receiving a lot of Bronze awards and posting them in my sidebar.

Remember the age of webrings, affiliate buttons at 468×60 and 88×31 pixels? Yup! Surely, it was an addicting phase of learning through HTML, CSS, affiliate marketing, domaining, and eventually making a bit of earning online. IT and coding through highschool and college was cake. It’s worth nothing I also made animations and graphics at 6th grade using Jasc’s Paint Shop Pro. No idea what Adobe Photoshop was back then too, although I distinctly remember encountering its icon – the one with the magnifying glass and an eye. But yes, everything I do now, it all roots back to those pocket monsters! Those damn awards I wanted and the curiosity that tailed it all.

Happy 20, Pokemon!

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