Noah Lorang of 37signals:

Learning to make things doesn’t have to be a big or intimidating undertaking – it all starts with a step. In my case that first step was adding something I copy and pasted from a vendor’s website. What will your first step be?

His experience basically mirrors mine. As people making things on the web, you start running into roadblocks, and you take one step at a time to learn to make something.

I would never take a job as a programmer, but knowing that I’m capable of building a simple web app to power a project is liberating. All of a sudden if someone at work needs a tool to track their Twitter account, I can knock it out in a few evenings. If I have a project I want to start, I have the fundamentals that will let me create.

I don’t share this to brag, but to encourage anyone who has ideas but feels held back because of technology limitations to take the first step to fix that. Learn to build a simple version of your dream, and then constantly work to make it better.

The first version won’t be great, but the tenth might.