Spring 2015 Semester

A Long Overdue Entry

I suppose most college students have one semester where things didn’t go as planned, in life or in school. For me, I hope mine was this last semester (Spring 2015) because then I have more productive things ahead. Even though it was a rough semester, and months in life in general, many lessons were learned including the “honeymoon period” in things. I wish I could remember which blog mentioned the book called The Dip by Seth Godin. I haven’t read the book yet, though this semester felt like that “dip” period. One thing I can be proud of is that even though my motivation wasn’t spot on and other things beyond my own, my instructor’s control, I still continued to give it 100% effort.

Now, the semester has ended and I graduated on May 13th, 2015 with an AAS in Web Development. Technically, my summer Ethics class will end that degree but that is also the hand off, or transition, point where my next milestone will be finishing an AAS in Computer Programming. This degree won’t finish for some time yet, so more on that later.

To give a very brief overview, as much is covered in a clickable (thanks to jQuery) Academics page on my newest portfolio at brianwardwell.com, this semester included five web development courses and one elective:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • User Experience Design
  • Web Applications II
  • Web Portfolio
  • Web Projects (Project Management)
  • Professional and Technical Writing

Web Applications II had us working on technologies such as Git, UNIX commands, stepping into AJAX and JSON, node.js, SSH and virtual machines (Using Vagrant). I look forward to experimenting more with AJAX and JSON, as well as node.js, due to their increasing use among modern dynamic websites. Summer courses will include Ethics and Informatics. I’ve always been pretty interested in Philosophy, so I am looking forward to Ethics just as much as Informatics.

My final portfolio for Minnesota State Community and Technical College is actually the exact same that is on brianwardwell.com. However, in the next two months, I am hoping to build a solid foundation to a PHP based site, since there were problems with the schools server running PHP during the last semester. I’m hoping this will then allow me to include programming examples and other features.

More information to come….

-Brian Wardwell

(Not) Belly Up

I’d like to start off by declaring that I’m not complaining when I say that eighteen credits definitely keeps me moving. Actually, after being consistently busy the last two months with the help of the 18 credits, I don’t know if I could go back down to 12 unless filling up my time otherwise. I don’t really have any tech news to report or any college tips to suggest. I don’t even have a band in mind to review.

I did, however, start getting prepared to build a music blog that I dubbed MusicBytes and reserved the musicbytes.us domain. For now it simply just has a landing page saying that the site is being built. The reason for this is while I get deeper into Content Management Systems and now as we’ve hit on topics like child themes, it could help me make that site/blog better. I’d prefer to have it set up right the first time instead of having to take it down to fix it later and lose readers as I’m doing so. It wouldn’t surprise me if I started typing up some reviews on text files until that point though. That would give me a nice glob of content to already have pre-written so that all I would have to do is amend it and format it.

However, for informational purposes, I aim to have MusicBytes.us very open to where I can literally write about any musical artist, or “genre” if you prefer, without any lines or boundaries. I’m also looking to set it up to have more than one author which should give it a broader perspective of music and style. I realize the landing page isn’t visually spectacular, smiles, but am still brainstorming a visual theme and atmosphere.

Temporary Landing Page for MusicBytes.us

For now, I’m going to have to keep this blog running as is, as a free WordPress hosted blog at that, because school and other things have me pretty booked up, especially if doing the MusicBytes blog. I’m starting to learn moderation so I don’t start trying to do too many projects at once. A photography site is also on my agenda. I would rather start up a few websites on my own before starting out on developing for others.

Thank you for your time,