I have to say that the best thing I ever did for myself in terms of development was to learn basic HTML. I didn’t sign up for an expensive course or buy a bunch of books. I did it all with the help of Ebay.
When I was selling domain names on Ebay a few years ago, they began to offer sellers the option to customize their listings with HTML. You could either use the visual effects, where you would highlight the text and push buttons (bold, italics, colors, indent…etc) to make changes, or if you were daring, you could open up the actual HTML sheet. I haven’t been a seller in a long time, so I don’t know what it’s like now, but I would imagine it’s similar. This is also similar to the admin panel on WordPress.
Instead of simply using the “cheating” visual method, I also checked out the HTML and got a grasp for using HTML, which is a universal development language. I know what varies tags mean (like <b>bold</b> for example). Knowing basic HTML from my Ebay days a few years ago, I am now been able to manipulate and edit design code provided by my developers and designers. Each time I do this, I am able to learn new things and grow my knowledgebase.
I have never been entirely comfortable using HTML, and I would never call myself an expert, but I am confident enough to make changes and edits, and as a result, I am less reliant on developers for small changes. I can make edits on my sites much more quickly and for a lot less money. Whether I use full websites or mini-sites, my HTML knowledge is immensely helpful.
So, when you have a chance, learn basic HTML and you will be much better for it. Incidentally, I have absolutely no computer science or technology background at all, so this is all foreign to me – so that’s no excuse!