The first class of new Web Development program is nearing graduation by Jesse Garwick

This semester marks a big stepping-stone for DMACC’s Web Development program; it is the program’s first graduating class.

The Web Development program (Web Dev) is a relatively new two-year program for the college. It began around two years ago when Professor Jeff Gullion saw the trend towards web technology, and the increasing need for students to have coding skills, and thought, ‘let’s build a program for it.’

In today’s industry, the web is becoming more and more accessible to more people, and companies are utilizing the Internet in their marketing, sales, information, and other departments. More and more are realizing that this is the trend of the business industry.

To help develop the classes for Web Development, a number of companies that use the web for their business were interviewed about what skills they want in an employee, and these core skills were built into the Web Dev. program.

“My biggest challenge in setting up the program was convincing the board that we needed a full program for Web Development. It actually went much better than I had anticipated. No one thinks of the internet as a “fad” anymore.”  Gullion said.

About 30-40 students are currently enrolled in the full Web Dev. program. Some will be graduating this semester.  Most of the students in this area are working towards the Web Developer certificate.  The certificate gives you the core requirements to be a Web Developer.

The program has six instructors at this point: one full time Web Dev. instructor (Mr. Gullion), a full time multi-field instructor (Carin Murphy) two part time instructors (Steve Bendy and Igor Khalandovskiy) and two adjuncts that come in and teach a class or two.

Web development is not really a new concept to DMACC. Instructor Carin Murphy said, “I am really glad to see this program at DMACC. Although there have been classes that address Web Development skills at DMACC for some time, it is really nice now that students can get an actual degree in Web Development at this college.”

The Web Dev. program is the ideal choice for students wanting to further their knowledge in the area of the web, coding, and online media. This takes quite a bit of work, as do all fields that require special training. The students in the graduating class agree that time management to get projects completed is essential to succeeding in the program.

The field of Web Dev. also includes a small amount of design classes. Even if you can build a website, it’s got to look good or the client might not approve it. Gullion acknowledged that not all students like to do design work, and not all love coding, but knowledge of both is important in the field.

While this field may not be for everyone, it is a very important one in today’s workplace. Many companies use the web not only to promote their business, but to sell products, advertise for partners, develop networks with other companies, and store their information so that it can be accessed quickly and easily.

Although it is essential in today’s society, Web Dev. is not an easy skill to retain. Why? Because technology is upgrading at such a quick rate, that many things you learn rapidly become obsolete in a year or two. Even the instructors need to constantly update their skills. Murphy said “My biggest challenge with teaching in the Web Development program is staying on top of new technologies. It seems that there are always revised or new software programs, new methods of producing sites, new devices, and more.”

Even Gullion has to constantly stay on top of the new programing skills. There is a class for the second year students with the sole purpose of re-learning the new and updated skills from the first year. In other words, the second-year students must be brought up to speed on the stuff that they learned the first year.

Textbooks in this program will cost just about as much as other programs. The textbooks will not be the main cost, however.  Second-year student Gil Webb commented “Be prepared to spend money on additional programming books and for your own web hosting service.”

Now that the Web Dev. Program has its first graduating class, both students and teachers believe it will grow and grow very quickly, because it is relevant to every student and a vast job market. Murphy said, “The web development program is already growing fast. The courses I teach in the Web Development program are usually full. With he current trend of the web media, I think the program is just going to explode with students.”

For those who might think that you can never keep up with all the new technology that keeps progressing, Gullion offers this advice. “You can’t know enough in this field. But you don’t have to know everything; you just need to know more than you used to.”

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