May 21, 2014
Ryan Herman

WebLab: How to Get Trained and Hired as a Web Developer

Ryan Herman was heading back to Korea to teach English when a friend reminded him of an earlier love – web development and computer coding.

“I’ve always had interests in a wide variety of areas,” Ryan says. “When I went to college I was a computer science major. Then I switched to biochemistry before ending up in English literature.”

Ryan graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder in English literature. Then it was off to Korea for 18 months to teach English in a city about an hour south of Seoul.

Even with the opportunity to return to Korea, web development was pulling at Ryan.

“I wanted a way to get back into coding,” he says. “In web development, they don’t care what your degree is in. All they care about is that you can code.”

Good Experience to Learn Web Coding

His mother saw an announcement about WebLab, a 12-week web development “boot camp” offered at Front Range Community College. It offered him an opportunity to get back into coding and to make connections in the industry.

“WebLab was definitely a good experience,” Ryan says.

From Internship to Web Applications Developer

One of those connections turned into an internship with DigitalGlobe, and the internship turned into a job. DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution earth imagery products and services. It’s been in the news lately with the impending launch of its latest satellite.

“We need to hire web developers,” says Luke Barrington, a senior manager for production development at DigitalGlobe. “WebLab is one way of finding people who are motivated to become web developers.”

High Profile Opportunities

As an intern, Ryan worked on landing pages and profile pages for some of DigitalGlobe’s public-facing pages. One of the projects Ryan was involved with was related to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

“It was a really crazy time,” Ryan says. There was and remains great interest in the mystery. Because of DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution satellite imagery of Earth, traffic to its sites was massive. The site went from 20,000 registered users to more than a million.

Today, Ryan is a web applications developer for Team Tomnod at Digital Globe. His latest project is working on the front end of DigitalGlobe’s image distribution and delivery service.

 

About the author:

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College. He’s a retired soccer referee and newspaper editor whose subscription ran out.

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