Letter from the President

Need Web Skills?

by Linda King, STC Houston President

This is such a busy time of year (holidays, employment reviews, taxes, an office move for my team, etc.) that my creative juices are running little low right now. Our newsletter editor’s email asking us all to recommend valuable training opportunities prompts me to share a training resource that I’ve been taking advantage of. Please note, however, that this is not a paid commercial advertisement!

A couple of years ago a coworker discovered that the International Association of Webmasters (IAW) offers online classes in programming and Web development. Members of IAW can take more than 40 instructor-led classes at half price. Through this online training, individuals can earn any of four IAW Web certifications.

IAW classes are typically six to eight weeks in duration. Instructors post weekly lessons and supplemental reading, short review quizzes, and assignments for students to practice by using the content of the lessons. They respond online to student questions and encourage online interaction among students. Class topics range from HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and development tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash to programming languages such as Java and SQL.

Since my formal education, training, and work experiences had left me woefully uneducated about the Web, I took my first IAW class (Introduction to HTML) primarily to gain some understanding of how the Internet works and how Web content is developed. In that class, I gained exactly that—plus a start at acquiring Web-development skills. I’ve continued to take classes (as frequently as I can manage them in my schedule) toward earning IAW Web certification.

Would I prefer to learn and practice these skills quickly in an intensive classroom environment? You bet. But because my schedule does not allow that, I’m glad to have this relatively inexpensive means of gaining valuable training that I can use professionally and personally.

If you are fortunate enough to have mastered programming languages or Web development, these classes are obviously not for you. However, you might be interested to know that IAW states on the Web Design Training Program page of their website (http://www.iwanet.org) that they are always looking for qualified instructors to lead online classes.