As I write this, students in my full-time and night courses are winding up their classes in the final two weeks of the winter semester, working to complete their assignments. The temperature in the sunshine is 20°C, and everyone is eager to be outside.
I do not teach over summer: I need to retain (or recover) what sanity I have left. Instead, I travel, work in my shop, take in conferences, seminars and courses; and study. I will continue to update this site, not only with the best of these experiences, but with content that was either covered in class and did not have a matching article, or new content that will get the blog ahead of the demands of the fall semester. I also hope to add a few new features to the site, and (with luck and perseverance) a design refresh.
This means that there is a break of four months between courses for students. For those who are new to web development, that discontinuity creates a gap in which the skills and knowledge you have developed may become creaky, rusty and forgotten with disuse.
To counter this, I would encourage students, both full and part-time, to make three resolutions for the summer:
Check back often here for new articles, or information that you might have missed in class.
Work on something web-related over the summer. This does not have to be anything serious – I don’t expect you to sit inside for eight hours a day while the weather in Calgary is warm, the sun is out, and flowers bloom – but something you can come back to for a few hours a week, just to keep your skills sharp. A personal blog is a good project; a portfolio site is another popular suggestion. I’d love to have a “what I created over summer vacation” showing on the first day of class next semester.
Make a habit of reading a few articles a week on web development and/or design – not just here, but from other sites. A few suggestions:
Sticking to these resolutions will make your life far easier in the fall semester – not only will our review period be shorter and less demanding when classes restart, but we’ll also get to new, exciting material faster.
If you discover new resources that you’d like to share with other students over the summer, feel free to contact me so I may add them to this list. Most of all, have a good, safe vacation, and I look forward to seeing you in September.