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Working at the University of Arizona for the bulk of my professional experience has been great. I really like working at a place that isn't just out to make money, but also has a loftier goal of trying to improve the lives of the students who attend here. I've always enjoed teaching. So when the opportunity came to teach a course in web programming for the University's Computer Science department, I jumped on it. I taught CS 337 to 80 students in the fall of 2014, and to 100 students in the spring of 2016.

I've taught workshops and other technical training a lot over the years. I taught multi-day workshops in Photoshop and Illustrator back in the 2000s. I've given talks at conferences, and developed a lot of in-house training materials for co-workers and customers. But I had never taught a semester long university level course before, and it was a little scary!

Fortunately, I had been a professional web developer for over 15 years at this point, and felt I definitely had a lot to bring to students who were just getting started.

If you want to just jump into what the course website and the course slides, you can see a timecapsule of the site or look at the repository on Github.

Picture of an slide showing relationship between web browser and server.
I developed new slides for the whole curriculum as there wasn't much provided by the department.
I was given a basic set of course objectives by the department, but largely left on my own to develop the course curriculum, assignments, and assessments. I focused on a strong foundation of the HTTP protocol, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The department required the backend programming language be PHP at the time.

I thourghouly enjoyed teaching this class the two semesters I did. I have nothing but respect for full-time teachers who make this their living! It is a ton of work, but definitely worth it. Having the opportunity to introduce nearly two hundred students to the world of web development that I love was increadibly rewarding.

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