Texas State alumni sit down with Dale Blasingame to talk about careers in web development

By Janessa Rutiaga — jmr297@txstate.edu

Texas State University alumni sat down with professor Dale Blasingame during this year’s Mass Comm Week discussing their own experience working in the field of web development, and gave advice to current mass communication students.

Alumni included Ashley Hebler of FANS 1st Media, Thomas Hodge of Sanders Wingo and Kimberly Cook of Zenoss. Blasingame led the discussion as moderator, immediately starting the talk with questions regarding their education in web development and coding, and how it has expanding since the university.

“I had no experience in coding when I came to Texas State. I used YouTube and Google for everything,” Hodge said.

All three panelists agreed that the nature of web development was vast enough to never know it all, but not to worry “because someone has tried and succeeded to do what you want to”. Blasingame suggested that there is a sense of “problem solving” that comes from having to be a web developer and code proficiently.

“There will always be a problem, and there will always be a solution,” Hodge said.

The alumni warned students pursing the field of web development that there would always be problems, but that it could always be fixed. It was discussed that for every problem there would be a ready solution that you only need to find, and when you’re in doubt ask someone or talk yourself through it.

“It’s so nice knowing that you’re the source of the problem, so in a way you’re the only one who can fix the problem,” said Cook.

Also noted by Cook is that almost anything is possible in the field of web development, anything you want to do is possible you only need to find out how.

“I’m asked ‘can we do that?’ a lot and I’m always like ‘yeah, I just need to figure out how first’,” Cook said.

Panelists encouraged current students to keep learning, and to always question things when in doubt.

Hebler admitted to learning something new every day since she started working, and continues to expand her knowledge on the skills needed in web development and coding.

Hodge’s suggestion to students is very realistic, and admitted that’s how he got ahead in the coding game.

“Fake it till you make it. YouTube and Google everything,” Hodge said.

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