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When one door closes, another one opens

We’ve been making changes again to our program. The web program in which I teach has been around since last century. It’s always been a child of a larger program. First it was a certificate in the Media Program, which ran for over 20 years. When Media closed 5 years ago, we moved our web certificate over to the CPW program. That kept it alive, but it wasn’t an ideal fit. The CPW program focuses more on pure programming, as in building computer applications that manage a bowling competition, or allows students to view  college classes for the current quarter, complete with searchable query strings by teacher, program, etc.

CPW focuses on programming logic like Python, Java, .NET, C+, with a little bit of HTML and CSS thrown in, but no Photoshop at all. We have had great luck putting our smart students to work in places like insurance agencies, and the State of Washington  maintaining websites and databases.

But our long running web program was  the wild child in the CPW program. We cater  towards programmers who also see the artistic side of web development…as in, web design. We still feel that Photoshop and Illustrator are important skills for a free lance web developer to master. Of course, we also try to graduate full stack developers who can a build a responsive website with a hand built shopping cart written in JavaScript, PHP and MySQL. It is quite a good skill set we’ve been developing over the last 19 years, with a number of different teachers contributing various classes, including myself. As with CPW, we’ve had great success putting our smart students into full time jobs.

But because we include artistic concepts in our classes, it wasn’t a good fit with CPW. Not to say anything bad about them. They simply feel that they can hire out the artistic stuff…and that the programming is more important. We feel that both are important, programming, and design.

To make a long story short, our dean advised us to get a divorce. We are going to move our web program out of CPW and become our own degree. We’ve been teaching out the last students in the old web program, and not allowing new students in, to keep the transition period cleaner. What this means for me is that until our new web program starts up…and we’re not sure exactly when that will be, I am unemployed.

As the title of this post reads: When one door closes, another one opens. I’m super excited to have next quarter off. I plan to apply for unemployment, then start hitting the books, preparing myself for both the new program we hope to teach, and/or for working full time again as a web developer. I’m not sure which will happen first. If I do get a full time job, I’m sure our program will survive without me. Everyone is replaceable. And if I don’t find a full time job, by studying hard for an entire quarter, I will be able to get up to speed with some of the stuff I’ve fallen behind on, like frameworks and version control. I’ve done and used both, but not consistently, and not the latest versions.

So, to wrap up, next quarter is going to be very interesting. It will be odd to be on unemployment. I’ve only been truly unemployed once, and that was just for 3 weeks last century back when I was a printer. I was under-employed a few years ago for one quarter…but this time I will be truly out of work, and hitting the books everyday to make myself more employable. I’m going to have to be rigorous about turning down invitations to go skiing or climbing. I’ve got a lot of friends and family with great jobs who have a ton of time off. They’ve gotten used to inviting me on adventure trips mid week. I love those…but now I need to keep my nose to the grindstone. It will be fun learning new stuff.