University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Hello there.

I was wondering what qualifications you look for in a Web Developer/Designer. I have been working in the private sector for almost a year and I want to be a full time developer for a university. I want to spend the next few months obtaining whatever qualifications are desirable to a university.

I feel that I have a pretty good understanding with the web technologies: HTML, CSS, Javascript, various javascript libraries, asp, php, xml, sql, and the Adobe products. Are there other technologies I should focus on?

Would it be important to have a personal website with a portfolio?

Since I come from a computer science background should I develop my backend and programming skills or should I diversify and work more on my design work? Are there more positions for a Web Developer, or a position that has both jobs merged: Web Developer/Designer?

Are there other job boards for university developers? I currently follow this site as well as higheredexperts.com.

I would appreciate any advice you can give me. If you can give me some of your own experiences hiring or being hired that would be helpful.

Thanks

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If I were looking, I don't want you to tell me what you can do, show me. Your portfolio is what is going to get you hired almost anywhere in web, and it needs to show diversity, flexibility, and creativity. If all you can do is tell me what you know, that only tells me you've never produced anything, which means you're probably also behind the curve. Remember, the web is about more than web pages, it's about the people that interact with them, so show me how you address that. I don't care where you got your degree or what you studied (I was a Comm major with an emphasis in theatre, and I'm not likely to take the time to research how good a given school's "tech" program is). I'll care that you have a degree of some kind, mainly to show your ability to stick to and complete something like that. Web is a highly visible, highly mobile (as in moving, not a reference to mobile platforms, even though that's also true), highly product driven field. I want to know that you pay attention to the big players, I want to know that you actively keep up with trends and technologies, even when you aren't in the office, I want to know that you read a lot, and I need to know if you're flexible and can deal with the politics that come with working in higher ed.

You're going to need to know as much as you can cram into your brain. I got my job 4 years ago as a position meant to simply compliment the only web guy that was on staff at the time and do what he couldn't and help with splitting the general workload. Now I'm the only web guy, and I manage our search server, CMS, linux web server, do training, development, monitor accessibility, social media, design, photography, writing, interface with IT, write HTML/CSS, and plenty more. My point being that regardless of the job "description," in web you can't likely predict what you'll ultimately be required to do, especially in an industry that doesn't entirely *get* the web yet and tends to consolidate and lump responsibilities in ways that don't make sense, and you can always expect it to be more than you plan on. And from school to school, the expectation of "similar" jobs can be completely different.

So, learn it all and show it all. Then do more.

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