My wife calls me an overachiever and says I’m not happy if I’m not doing 80 with my hair on fire. Well, in many ways she’s right. I’ve always kept myself busy. I’ll be working on one thing and thinking about the next thing. And yes, I’ve been diagnosed with mild ADD. I call it a blessing. If I didn’t have the ability to focus I never would have accomplished as much as I have. The proof is in this transcript. I’m 62 and I managed to get a 3.99 GPA while getting my Web Application Developer Certificate. (Psssst! I blame the .01 loss on medical situation and the beginning of the Covid pandemic.)
I’m not trying to brag. Really! But, I am proud of this accomplishment. Especially in light of the challenging world situation right now. I also want to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to my wife. Not only has she put up with this “slightly” eccentric creative for over 41 years, but she still supports my crazy decisions and ideas. Okay, see?! I’m getting sidetracked.
I mentioned this morning, “How can I be so busy and I don’t have a job?” Well, I have a very small webmaster contract with Edmonds College Teachers Union, on an as-needed basis. Now that I’m out of college I have a lot of goals and action plans on my plate. Such as:
Get myself up to speed on React and Angular. I plan on doing this via the LinkedIn Learning site. And I’ll be applying what I learn to my next big website project – CEPAR.
Redo my resume and make it available here. I updated it last week with my education and new skills. But, it’s still in the bland old MS Word format. I really need to spice it up to get attention. I’m going to put these new graphic arts skills to good use.
Start blogging about CEPAR. I’ve been working on this idea for several years. Based on the training I have received as a first-aid responder and disaster planning, I am building a site for Critical Event Planning and Recovery.
Write the Business Plan for CEPAR. Not only do I want to build the site and the technology to drive it, but I also want to create a plan for implementation and feasibility. I need to show a projected ROI to demonstrate that the effort is worth the time.
Continue to design CEPAR. I have the Business Statement and Goals. I have designed the Business Graphics. I have mapped out the website structure and features. Now I need to design the database and start coding the UI.
Oh, and look for work! School is done. Government support for the school is done. I’ll be pinging the freelancing sites (Upwork, Fiverr, LinkedIn, etc.) for projects and contracts.
Prepare my Onschool.com course. I have applied to be a teacher at Onschool.com and my first course will be on creative writing. It is already outlined. I just need to run through it and then schedule the course.
Wear my Creative Writer hat! I’m halfway through writing Air Storm. It has suffered during my college courses and I really need to dive back into it. My fans are chomping at the bit, and I really want to get it into print before the end of this year.
How to Get It All Done?
If you have hung around me enough, you know I’m pretty good at scheduling my time and focusing my attention on my goals. I try to spend most of my time in my Circle of Influence. I don’t play a lot of games and I don’t watch any sports. I map out my day and tasks in Microsoft’s OneNote and I schedule which days I’m a geek, which days I’m an author, and which days I’m the handyman. (Yes, dear, I’ll take care of it.) Thank you, Stephen Covey, for showing me the way!
Cry havoc and send out the dogs of technology! I’m diving in!
During my last semester at Edmonds College, for my Web Application Developer Certificate program, I had the privilege of obtaining an internship with the Edmonds College Federation of Teachers. Edmonds College had just changed its name from Edmonds Community College and the web site had not been updated in quite a while.
The site is an interesting configuration and is actually governed by the American Federation of Teachers. It is a CMS based site similar to WordPress.
During my internship I performed the following tasks:
Performed a review of the site by examining the elements with Chrome Developer Tools.
Conducted an SEO analysis, keyword analysis, and a site audit with Lighthouse. Compiled and submitted an audit report.
Got up to speed on the Administration features of the site.
Retrieved the site graphics, created a new logo design for the top banner.
Updated site content and articles to reflect the name change from Edmonds Community College to Edmonds College.
Changed the subdomain name of the site from edccft to edcfedt. Updated the menus and navigation to reflect the new URL. QA testing of the entire site to make sure the links and navigation are working.
Updated links in existing articles and posts to the new subdomain.
Edited PDF documents to reflect the new name and links.
Added new logos to PDF documents.
Added new documents and content to the site.
I greatly enjoyed this internship. I learned a lot, got to work with some awesome people, and was able to deliver a successful website refresh. And I get to continue as the site webmaster on an as-needed basis.
Many thanks to Kay Latimer, Steve Hailey, and Professor Louis Ho on the Edmonds team. And thanks to Rachel Anderson and Barbara Tobias with aft.org.
It has been a crazy last semester at Edmonds College! With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing all the classes to go online, I thought I would have a little breathing room. Not! My internship with the Edmonds College Federation of Teachers filled in all the extra breathing room. However, it was a great experience and allowed me to flex my web development wings. And, I am happy to announce I have graduated from Edmonds College with a Certificate as a Web Application Developer. Woot!
What I Took
First Semester: (GPA 4.0, Honor Roll)
Algebra – Almost killed me, but I managed to finish with a GP 4.0.
Intro to Programming with VB – Really? Yes, I breezed through this and provided help to some of the other students. I did recommend Python as the target language in future courses. GP 4.0.
Web Development I – Intro to HTML 5 and CSS 3. While I already knew the basics, this course turned on the light bulbs for me regarding CSS. A portfolio posting shows one of the projects from this. GP: 4.0.
Second Semester: (GPA 3.97, Honor Roll)
Joomla! and SEO – This was a great course for learning a Content Management System and Search Engine Optimization. I gained a great toolkit of resources from this course. GP: 4.0
Intro to CSS – Even though the title says Intro, this was a hard-core course on front-end UI control with CSS. This course greatly expanded my knowledge of front-end design and the power of CSS. GP: 4.0
Third Semester: (GPA: TBD)
PHP – This course dove into the use of PHP and MySQL for the back-end development. Even though I’m very strong in SQL, this course filled in the blanks for me on how to move data between the browser and the server. We also focused a lot on WordPress and plugin development. GP: tbd. Total Grade: 101.3% (With some extra credits.)
Graphic Design – This course took me outside of my comfort zone and taught me some serious skills for graphic design. While the focus was on print media formats, these skills directly apply to digital content creation as well. I’ll be writing a big portfolio piece on this one. GP: tbd. Total Grade: 98.96%
Internship – This was a special assignment aside from the assignment given to the rest of the students. I was assigned as the webmaster for the Edmonds College Federation of Teachers website. (edcfedt.wa.aft.org) My primary task was to refresh the site with updated graphics, logos, a new theme, and change any content referring to Edmonds Community College to Edmonds College. This went so well, I am continuing as their webmaster for the long-term. A portfolio post is coming soon. GP: tbd. Grade and review are pending.
Seminar in Cyber Security – In addition to the assigned courses, I also attended a half-day seminar on Computer Forensics and Cyber Security. Since I have done a lot of forensic work in the past, I was glad to have attended this seminar. It brought me up to speed on some of the security challenges being faced by companies and their developers in order to keep their data and customers safe from “bad actors.” While I have no desire to work in computer forensics again, I’m sure I will have to face the implementation of security measures in web development. Certificate of Attendance.
It is hard to summarize all of the things I learned, the friends acquired, and the overall feeling of accomplishing this nine-month intense learning process. My true roots in the computer industry are as a creator of content and code – a perfect combination for web development. I’m very happy to have accomplished this and gain the foundation for continued growth as a web application developer. I’m looking forward to diving into my CEPAR project and learning more about React, Angular, and other web application development tools.