Program Outcome

katily17

Program outcome reflections for the Information Technology -Web Development and Design Specialists Associate Degree Program.

What I knew:

Before I joined the program I had worked with different web programs.  I had dabbled with Wix and had spent a little time working with HTML and CSS in highschool, but it had never been anything I had focused on and wasn’t something I spent a lot of time with.

What I gained:

I gained so much!  I feel comfortable tackling all different projects.  From Recstuff.com and utilizing CSS, HTML, Javascript, JQuery and Bootstrap to Frosty’s Site with WordPress. I knew that I could build what my clients wanted and do it well.  I now understand when I need to pull code out of a WYSIWYG to really look at it in Notepad++ to focus on what it looks like and where I can make it better.  I’ve widened my Photoshop skills and begun working in Illustrator.

What I Still Want to Learn:

I want to do more with PHP and Java.  I feel like I only got a taste of what they can do.  I think that learning more about PHP will help me further my skills in the Ecommerce business I currently work in and I would love to solve problems by being able to make custom API’s.

How Did I Demonstrate It:

As mentioned above I used several different systems throughout both of my internships.  With Frosty’s Fosters Animal Rescue I spent a lot more time in WordPress learning exactly what you can do with it and which plugins I prefer.  Recstuff.com was a massive project that included finding solutions within the premade template to make the site look and feel the way we wanted.  This meant time spent within the CSS finding the right style and making sure that the page stayed responsive.  Sometimes this also meant changing the Javascript as well.  A lot of times I wasn’t sure if it would have been easier to start a whole site from scratch rather than have to find things in the template and work through another designers logic.  However, I’m proud of the work I did and it’s pretty crazy how different the site looks now from the template we started with.

www.recstuff.com

www.frostysfosters.org

What I knew:

I knew next to nothing regarding databases and how they integrated with websites.  MySQL was something I called my s q l.  

What I gained:

I learned how databases hold the information of a website.  Through godaddy and CPanel I learned how to create and maintain the databases.  I had never used the terminal on a computer and I learned how to actually create a database manually.  Now I’m much more comfortable using the terminal to install programs, make changes, and update databases.

What I still want to learn:

I think this program gave me a good taste of just what can be done with databases, but I know there is so much more.  There is more integrations that can be done and I still struggle at going through a large database to find what I need to make changes.  I’d like to simply do more with databases and become more comfortable.

How Did I Demonstrate It:

I created Frosty’s Fosters Animal Rescue’s site on my own personal godaddy.  I did this so that I could leave their current site up and uninterrupted.  The site they had was on Wix, but previously had a WordPress site.  After finishing the site I had to move the whole thing, including the database over to their host.  This included exporting and creating a new database and then import the database I created.  I also needed to make changes for the password and username in the database as they client had locked the account accidentally.  I was incredibly pleased that I was able to move the database without any issues.

www.frostysfosters.org

What I knew:

When I began the program I knew very little about CSS or HTML and nothing regarding Javascript, Java, PHP and MySQL.

What I gained:

I learned how to create a fully functional responsive website on several different applications.  I can create CSS, HTML and Javascript in Notepad++, build a site using Dreamweaver, build a site on Wix, Drupal and WordPress.  I am comfortable with all these applications and can utilize them fully to build what my client imagines. I am able to utilize all of the knowledge to use make a dynamic and interesting site.

What I still want to learn:

While I am happy with everything I have learned in this program, I still want to go further in my knowledge of how to make the best websites possible.  The things that I think would help me most going forward is learning Javascript and PHP more in depth.  I think learning Ruby on Rails and Python would also be advantageous, but more than anything I think I need to develop skills in Javascript and PHP more fully.

How Did I Demonstrate It:

With Frosty’s Fosters Animal Rescue, I utilized WordPress and found the appropriate plugins to achieve what my client wanted.  I didn’t have to do a lot of manual coding because WordPress is very user friendly.  This was the whole reason I chose it so that the client would be able to take the foundation that I created and change it as they needed.  With Recstuff.com there was a lot of manual changes made in the HTML, CSS and with the Javascript to get the look and fully optimized site that the client wanted.  While still working off a template there was often a lot of research as to how the original developer created all the files to make sure that changes were done correctly and worked appropriately.

www.recstuff.com

www.frostysfosters.org

What I knew:

I didn’t know a lot about how to document the technical aspects of a website. I felt pretty comfortable with essay writing, but nothing like scope writing or hand off packets.

What I gained:

I learned how to write for my audience and to make sure that I was explaining things well enough for people who had no experience in the web field.  I learned how to create a project scope that fully outlined the work and what the website would bring to a business.  This documentation is important to a business owner to know that the investment that they are taking on is worth it.  Plus, it gives a timeline and a cost breakdown showing exactly what will be done.

What I still want to learn:

When it comes to technical documentation I don’t know that there’s more that I want to learn, but I believe there is more that I want to do.  I have written quite a few different documents and I feel that with each one I learn my own style and what works best for me to get the information across accurately.  Each time I create a proposition, scope or hand-off helps me become better.

How Did I Demonstrate It:

With Recstuff.com I had to create an extensive scope for the President of the company to explain to him exactly what would be done, how long it would take, and what it would cost.  Not to mention that I had to be convincing that this re-design was necessary for the site to continue to be successful.  It was a large undertaking, especially as the President of the company is not very tech savvy.  Frosty’s Fosters Animal Rescue’s scope was not as exhaustive as it was taking a lot of what was there and simply expanding it and making it better.  The client knew that the site needed to be redesigned, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.  I was able to outline how things were going to get done and what was going to be used easily.

www.recstuff.com

www.frostysfosters.org