Mass Communication Week is already halfway over with the end of tonight’s last event: A panel discussion of Texas State grads about careers in Web Development.
The panel consisted of Ashley Hebler, Josue Plaza, and Glynn Jordan, all alumni of Texas State. They talked about everything of their journeys to careers in web development including what they did before and after they graduated, what they’re currently doing now, advice to aspiring web developers, even just career advice in general.
Ashley Hebler is an alumna of SJMC (School of Journalism and Mass Communication)graduated in 2012 with a master’s in new media, and is currently the front-end Web developer at Volusion
Hebler has that lightbulb moment of this was what she wanted to do while doing coding work for one of Professor Cindy Royal’s classes. She found herself working on the code, but not actually thinking of it as work. She loved it.
“It’s like a puzzle: it can be hard, but it can be beautiful,” said Hebler. “Being able to create something from scratch, it’s such a satisfying feeling.”
Josue Plaza is an alumnus of SJMC, graduated this past May with a bachelor’s in mass communication electronic media, and is now a junior PHP developer of Bravelets.
“Web development is a different kind of creativity,” said Plaza. “And it’s not far from your other passions.”
Plaza adds that whatever passion you have, whether is be photography, dancing, cooking, etc., you can blog about it, make a website, make a business or advertising. The goal is get other people to love what you love.
Another panelist was Glynn Jordan, graduated with a bachelor’s in communication studies and creative writing in 2012, now works as a Web developer for Clearhead.
“Use the skills you’ve learned to solve problems and make an impact,” said Jordan. “You can always find other people who feel the same and can help.”
Jordan also put a different and appealing spin on a job in Web developing saying it is an “enabler to do all the things you want to do”, that it gives you the means and the flexibility to do so. So many people are in nine to five jobs they don’t really want to be at, and there are so many restrictions and rules. Which Plaza completely agrees with.
“I love my job, it’s like I’m on vacation everyday,” said Plaza. “I set my own schedule, I can work from home, it’s challenging like any other job, but it’s not frustrating.”
They all were in our shoes, not that long ago, and know what we’re going through. They gave great advice as to how to get started and what we can do with these skills, such as:
Be aware and relevant, you have to understand what the environment holds. Once you get practiced and comfortable, you develop a process, become observant and you no longer need to think about it you just know it. Network and go to meet ups. People will notice you if you keep at it. Get your name and your work out there.