Location: Topeka, KS
Job title: Web analyst, Topeka Public Schools
Opportunity knocked for Melvin Ware, and he answered.
Two years ago, he was a computer repair technician for the Topeka Public Schools and the administration was having trouble filling a web applications position. His boss, the director of IT, asked Melvin if he’d be interested in learning how to be a web designer and maintain their website. At the time, Melvin didn’t know HTML or CSS or much of anything about web development. He hadn’t thought about becoming a web designer, but he also didn’t plan on being a repair tech forever. Melvin seized the opportunity and managed to teach himself enough by reading books, watching YouTube videos, and doing Google searches.
Fast forward to the present…
Melvin took an intensive, week-long PHP course in a classroom setting as well as an online course through an open source framework company, but he didn’t feel like he was gaining the in-depth understanding he wanted. He remembered watching YouTube videos made by Edwin Diaz on how to use Bootstrap back when he was first getting into web design. He appreciated Diaz’s down-to-earth style and sense of humor and felt like he really connected with Diaz. Melvin wanted to find more of his material, went to his website, and discovered Diaz offered more than a dozen courses on Udemy, including a “PHP for Beginners” course that was exactly what he needed.
Melvin’s school district uses a content management system (CMS) whose backend is coded in PHP. He was a bit intimidated when he first realized he’d need to learn about it, but after taking Diaz’s PHP course, “I feel like I could eventually design my own CMS. I’m not there yet, but that’s the goal.”
With a full-time job and two kids at home, “the only intimidating thing now is finding enough time to go through and take all of the courses I want.”