Đán has been obsessed with Flash. He spends most of his screen time finding ways to install Flash Player on his PC. He explained to me step by step the process of getting Flash to run. He showed me newgrounds.com, which still has Flash games. I haven’t visited that site in 20 years. He even showed me the Flash Browser, which is still in beta. I don’t know if it will ever gain traction.

Even though I repeatedly informed that Flash is dead and unsecured, he kept digging in. I feel bad that he’s just wasting his time, but he feels passionate about it. I don’t want him to end up like I did. I wasted so much time learning Flash in college and I ended up ditching it. All I cared about was making cool Flash animation. I thought I would get paid just creating Flash intros. I was so dead wrong. The reality started sinking in when I could not find a job doing Flash. In addition, I had a Flash burn. I was creating the same thing over and over again and I failed to learn Flash scripting language. I was depressed and thought of quitting web design altogether. I could not do anything else besides Flash, but I also hit the crossroads on my Flash path.

I dropped Flash and hit the reset button. I transitioned over to HTML and focused on web standards. CSS rescued my career. HTML for structure and CSS for presentation made so much sense. They opened up a whole new web design world for me that I didn’t know existed. I was stuck in the Flash bubble for so long. Once I discovered HTML, CSS, and a bit of PHP, I never looked back. They aren’t as sexy and as cool as Flash, but they are accessible and outlived Flash. HTML and CSS are the backbone of the web. Flash came and went. Fancy JavaScript frameworks dominated and faded. HTML and CSS are here to stay.

I still love creating pure HTML and CSS sites because I know they will work for years to come. My fancy Flash creations are completely useless, but my HTML and CSS sites are still usable. If Đán wants to learn about the web, he should learn HTML and CSS. I’ll teach him if he’s willing to learn. In the meantime, I just let him explore on his own. He’s just nine years old. He has plenty of time to learn.