Interviewee

Josiah Roe

What skills and technologies should colleges and universities teach students who want to be web designers and/or developers? Why?

The particular conventions of Web Design vs. Print Design (web based fonts, interactivity, the cost/benefits of fixed-width & fixed height, etc.). This isn’t explicitly a CSS/CODE conversation, but is all about “what it’s like to draw/design a webpage as opposed to a poster.”

Further, a mastering of CSS/html/xhtml and some javascript would be great for students interested in being web developers.

Should students be educated in both web design and development or just one? Why?

They should be familiar with both, but it’s only the rare person who can come close to being a master of both. Someone who is a master of standards and CSS shouldn’t feel bad they aren’t the designer.

If you could create your dream curriculum for web design and development, what courses and information would you include? Why? What courses and information now in such programs would you eliminate? Why?

Introduction to web design (table based vs. css, the differences between web browsers and their rendering engines, what is a DOCTYPE? conventions of doing design for the web vs. print), Basic CSS, Intermediate CSS, Advanced CSS (possibly). Web Scripting & Content Management Systems. Basic Javascript. Intermediate Javascript. Intro to web databases. Basic Flash. Intermediate Flash. I think these courses cover just about everything a student needs to be a badass web developers. If they take all these classes they could be a badass web developer. If they take less, and take more pure design classes, they more of a web designer they could be.

What type of projects do you want to see in a recent graduate’s web design and/or development portfolio?

Content rich site, like a magazine or newspaper site using content management. A flash site. A basic site. A one-off sexy non-flash website.

How can colleges and universities keep web design and/or development curriculum current and relevant?

Good internship program. Professors given the time to spend doing the research and work they need to stay up to speed on contemporary web design/developmenet trends. I think this is a unique industry in that profs really need the time to do side work and research just to stay up to speed.