The accidental history of the "Codigo" name

Some years ago when I was still learning the ins and outs of a web server, I decided to experiment with buying a domain name. In those days, HostPapa’s customer portal wasn’t very developed, and some of the controls weren’t very clearly labelled. I had typed in an arbitrary domain name in their lookup tool, added it to my cart, and clicked an ambiguously-labelled “Submit” button. I expected to land at a “Review your order” page, like on Amazon. But instead, the next page suddenly thanked me for my purchase!

I was now the proud and accidental owner of “codigo.ca”.

I had used “codigo” as a test because it means “code” in Spanish. I had taken a lot of Spanish classes in high school, and even lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico for a while with my sister, where we attempted to become fluent in Spanish (to varying degrees of success). As a kid, our family had travelled a few times down the Baja peninsula, and I had gone there once as a teenager on a church missions trip. So, Mexico and Spanish have long been part of my imagination.

“Great,” I said erasibly to myself, looking at my computer screen, “What am I supposed to do with this?” I was still in college, studying Greek and Hebrew, and had never worked with any web programming more complicated than basic HTML.

So I decided to hang onto it… for the next 3 years.

During those years, a series of events led me to become the webmaster of my college, and consequently I had entered into the world of server-side programming, databases, and HTML5. I was starting to find my footing in the web industry, and one day (receiving one of those automated domain renewal emails), I finally knew what I might do with that old, neglected, accidentally-purchased domain.

I thought to myself, “If I’m going to use this name for a business, I guess I should figure out some kind of logo for it.”

After weeks of playing around with various ideas, I finally settled on the double-brackets:

Codigo Brackets

In HTML, it is these brackets that turn regular words into code. And since that was my goal for the business (to be able to turn people’s thoughts and ideas into something tangible), it seemed fitting.

Since those days, “Codigo” has been the word I’ve used to refer to my web development business. Even now, 8 years later, the memory still causes me to laugh to myself each time I give someone my email address, realizing so many people across the country communicate with me through an accidental purchase.

I’m just glad I didn’t end up with one of the other domain searches I tried, like “GoodSchmeg.com”.