Student Testimonials: Craig Palmer
Craig Palmer - Web Producer O'Reilly and Associates
|ADOBE CERTIFIED EXPERT IN PHOTOSHOP 5.0|
|ADOBE CERTIFICATION TRAINING IN PAGEMAKER||SPRING 2000|
|ADOBE CERTIFICATION TRAINING IN PHOTOSHOP||SPRING 2000|
|HTML WEB CONTENT DEVELOPER||SPRING 2001|
|ADOBE APPLICATIONS SPECIALIST||FALL 2001|
|WEB SITE DEVELOPMENT - WEB GRAPHIC DESIGN||FALL 2001|
|DREAMWEAVER WEB CONTENT DEVELOPER||FALL 2001|
|XML WEB DEVELOPER||SPRING 2003|
Course I found most useful:
I can’t name just one course that was most useful. It would be the combination of three; The Business of Web Development class, Principles of Screen Design, and Creating an On-Line Portfolio for the Web.
Business of Web Development
This class was instrumental in providing me with a clear idea of the web development process while working in a team environment. It was especially valuable to work with a real client. The customer service aspect of web development is extremely important and I have since worked very hard to maintain a high standard of service.
Principles of Screen Design
This class was all about crap – an acronym for contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. I think about these design principles every time I approach the “drawing board”. It was a very fun class.
Creating an On-Line Portfolio
This class was only offered online and I must say that I didn’t enjoy it very much. It was a lot of work for 1.5 units and I missed the classroom environment. BUT, it was very important to get it together because having a portfolio for a prospective employer to evaluate is essential.
Employment Experience During and After the Program
While taking the required classes toward the certificates I wanted, I worked part-time for a busy supermarket in Santa Rosa. I landed my first internship in 2001 at Outsource Resource Support Services through the help of the SRJC Student Employment Office. It was a great way to earn some credits while getting a “real world” experience of web design and development and it provided a way to build my portfolio. Once the internship was over, Outsource kept me on the payroll as their web designer for awhile and I still do some work for them occasionally. The work was not very steady, so I had to maintain my employment at the supermarket.
At one point, I decided that perhaps I should give it up because I couldn’t seem to find a steady job as a web designer/developer. During this period, I happened to run into Linda Hemenway and she told me about an H1B Technology Grant that was available to about 15 students. She encouraged me to interview for the grant program and I ended up working for the County of Sonoma as an intern. When the internship was over, I was hired by the County to stay on as a web developer on a part-time basis. I supplemented my income by taking on contract jobs on the side which helped tremendously in my professional development. Additionally, I continued to gain confidence through every project that I successfully managed from beginning to end while giving my clients a product that they were pleased with. I received some very good referrals from the SRJC Student Employment Office!
After 2½ years of part-time work with the County, I recently decided to pursue a full-time opportunity as Web Producer at O’Reilly & Associates in Sebastopol. Without the experience I attained through my internships, the part-time job at the County, and my Freelance projects, I would most likely not have been offered the job at O’Reilly. I’m ready for the challenge and I think that my perseverance has served me well.
The Ups and Downs – Did the Program Prepare Me for the Real Web World?
I had a teacher in elementary school that once asked me to put a pencil in an empty paper bag. She then asked me to take everything out of the bag that I could find. Of course, all I pulled out was the pencil. She said, “You only get out of it what you put into it.” The program at the SRJC gave me a solid foundation upon which I could build my career. I learned a great deal about the tools that were available, the challenges of working in teams, the importance of putting the customer first, and the value of setting goals. The certificate program was instrumental in helping me achieve my goals by setting forth a plan. Like the pencil in the bag, I had to take what I learned from the program and put my heart with it because the knowledge is not enough. There’s a certain amount of wisdom that needs to be fostered through the experience and the requirement for the job commands a high level of maturity and patience. I think one needs to have a passion for it to stick with it, especially with the current job market here in Sonoma County.
I have an incredible amount of respect for the teachers and counselors at SRJC that have helped guide me and countless other students on the path toward a more meaningful and successful life. What a tremendous resource we have!