Hi @McKennaR - thanks for joining in on the WebOps AMA!
I learned programming and server wrangling during the four years, I wasn’t allowed earning any money. I had some web building experience in HTML when i arrived in the US. I made myself useful by joining with the local all-volunteer Free-net on the Helpteam and Webteam. They became my family away from home. I learned creating dynamic websites, working with databases, and programming in Coldfusion. After building a few smaller projects for the Free-Net, I got started on a learning management system for a training company in town. I was also very content, coding, server wrangling and exploring new technologies. It wasn’t a big stretch for me to found a technology company, as soon as I got my work permit as part of the green card process. As a friend told me: “Luck is being prepared when opportunity knocks.” During the four years being part of an all-volunteer technology organization, I had enough contacts to get businesses going one customer at a time.
Pop-online shops are a great idea, you can test out your products, see what works and what doesn’t and adjust processes, technology and people. What will be important is that you have processes/automation in place to spin up a new shop without a lot of overhead, so you can ride a fashion wave.
As a artist or developer, it’s hard to stay creative once you have to deal with the business side of things. Once you turn into a business owner, being creative will become 25% of the time spent, the rest is client acquisition, onboarding and project management and staff and office organization. I didn’t mind all that as I have done these things on a different level in my previous life and was very proficient in it.
Start small, the is the expression of a minimal viable product, that helps you with minimal effort to bring something to life that can withstand scrutiny and delivers value to the customer and then you can start scaling slowly.
And now to your last question: Explain to middle schooler, what Gutenberg is and why it’s valuable.
With Gutenberg you can create web content that goes beyond the wall of text interrupted with a few pictures. You have more tools in your box than just the good old white box of the editor. And you can actually see what it will look like without to have to safe and preview. You don’t need plugins to give you a Cover section, or a Call to action section, changing a paragraph’s background is easily done without a plugin. Everything is standardized and out of the box.
In the next phase, you will get full site editing power without knowing any code. A Theme will still be ther and support your work, but you don’t need your developer to create a landing pages with videos, cover image buttons that look completely different from you homepage. The blocks and block patterns go beyond what WordPress website allow you to do today.
A couple of years ago you needed to know what shortcodes are, widgets, sidebar, header and footer and your theme need to provide you with all that. There was a different admin page to create and organize your navigation menu, another page to organize widgets, a third page to change some of our site settings. And then there were posts and pages. What’s the different? Now you do it all from one canvas: The block editor and all that mystery meat is gone.
Not sure if that hits the mark. It’s been a while since I was a middle schooler and unfortunately, I don’t have enough contact with kids.