Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Brandon Waltz

While attending Wheaton’s January Technology Immersion Program, Brandon Waltz helped design a web page that highlights “The Art and Life of Jessica Park: Windows on the World of Autism” exhibit (on display from March 1 to April 11).

Why  web design. I have always had an interest in the interactive, visual part of computing. When I explore the web and stumble upon a website that is well designed with interaction, visual special effects, and other bells and whistles, I always tell myself “I want to do that. I want to be the one who produces something like this.” So, taking this class was a good way to get experience in something that I have thought about doing for a career.

No break. It was easy to sacrifice my break in order to get some good experience, sharpen my resume, and gain another skill to potentially get a leg up on others graduating with computer science degrees.

My role. I was basically the chief engineer. I had a good understanding of what the client wanted, and a good arsenal of skills, which I have gained through my major, to get it done. Our group was constrained from the start because we knew that we were essentially constructing a prototype/suggestion site that needed to fall within the recently redesigned Wheaton web site. We knew that Wheaton’s real web team might not want to use it. So design-wise we didn’t have much leeway. The biggest challenge that I had to work through was trying to use the template that was given to us, decipher all the professional HTML and CSS code to make our changes, to make the site more or less the way we wanted it to be. So my overall goal was to make it as close to the Wheaton site as possible and good enough.

Major lesson. The basics of how to use JavaScript. Since JavaScript is another programming language, I could see myself writing web applications to enhance any web site in the future.

Getting satisfaction. The skills and confidence needed to be able to construct a web site for a client, in a field in which I had no previous knowledge.