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Thread: Portfolios

  1. #11
    Senior Member jbagley's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Cape Town
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    Trico, I had that exact experience you were talking about. I went to a college here in Cape Town, they slapped me with a photocopied manual of dreamweaver and fireworks, sat me in front of a PC, and the lecturer just went through the motions. Big fat help that is. They just dont have a clue.

    Ive realised the best education Ive received is self-taught. Read blogs, post in forums, ask questions and have a thirst for knowledge because thats the only way you are going to be good at anything in life.

    Nothing will ever fall into your lap. You gotto work for it. blood, sweat and tears.

    In reply to Lord B, If you have a passion for something, do it. Half an effort results in half the outcome. Ask peoples opinion about your decisions you are facing and make sure that when you make that decision, that you are fully committed to it. Otherwise you probably will fail miserably. Lastly, this sounds so cliched, but dont give up, no matter what. Some of the most successful people in this world ahvent got degrees or even finished school. they worked their ***'s off and got to the top because they had the vision and wanted it bad enough.

    Ok, enough physco babble for now.. :classic:


  3. #12
    Senior Member Trico's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Nottingham, UK
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    5081 - Some useful information on presenting your portfolio. It applies more traditionally to Graphic Design but much of it still applies to Web Design.

    I know what I want to do, but I'm worried about failing, and I don't want to get a degree in something I'm not confident in doing, through fear of not being good enough and not finding work.
    If you want to do something bad enough, you'll do it; and that motivation should be enough to make sure you will succeed.
    • There's nothing in life that can't be learned. (please no stupid replies that contradict this.)
    • The more you do something the better you become at it, whatever this may be.

    I wouldn't get a degree in 'Web Design' as it seems pretty useless imo, by the time you reach that point; their teaching material will be hideously out of date as is the case now. The way I see it is you could aim for a degree in either the technical side such as Networking, Computing, Communication Systems etc. (BSC hons) or the design and creative side choosing Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Advertising etc. (Ba hons) or whatever equivalents. Personally I like the whole Digital Media scene because it lies in-between.

    Trico, I had that exact experience you were talking about.
    I can imagine other places being a lot worse, our current lecturer actually works in the industry, but teaches part time. Even so, the stuff we're fed is meant for the lowest common denominator.

    Example - A whole day of cutting and pasting:
    'Each page must have a <title>, function correctly and link back to the main page. Now do this 36 times...' This was in order to construct an image map. (not only does this kill brain cells, but it gives you added repetitive strain injury at the same time; . . .Bonus!)

    There’s no exception here, everything's done through wysiwyg and the use of tables. When I questioned the fact the material being taught was out dated, their response was to be that 'Style sheets are too difficult.' Surely if they remain ignorant to the use of tables modern methods will be so much easier to take in.

    There's a small bit of common usability thrown into lessons such as don't use images for text, you must be able to navigation without the use of a browser back button. etc.

    I also feel that a lot of the theory that is applied to print design is also extremely useful in web design (typography, colour, usability), and I am yet to find a decent book that covers the subject.
    I don't think you're going to find an one individual book out that that covers all three things. Unless of course someone has published 'The guide to typography, colour and usability' in which case I'll take it back. I found learning Typography and use of Colour much nicer to pick up through practical work. Just by posting what you do on forums and get feedback.

    Whilst the whole usability craze of the last year or so was absorbed almost entirely by reading ezines, blogs, newsletters etc, then going away and applying them to whatever project you may be working on at the time.

    • Asterik is a great read, not to mention I seem to pick up some great songs from there.
    • ALA is okay, tons of useful stuff, but it's so boring it makes my eyes want to bleed. If you're capable of forcing yourself, go for it.

    ...that's enough typing for now.

  4. #13
    Senior Member Eddy Bones's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Washington, USA
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    I was thinking rather norrowly when I posted, and I was only thinking about my own situation.

    You do present some good points, Trico, and I do agree with it. But for me, I don't want to work in the print business. I want strictly online work (databases, coding layouts, wahtever).

    I can agree that college education in web design is crap, and I'm not even in college yet. What my mom keeps saying is that the people that will make it in the web industry know more going into college (if they chose to go for whatever reason) than most people do coming out. I can only hope that's my case.

  5. #14
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2003
    Essex/Greater London
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    As far as I can gauge, I'm the best person at ICT in me entire college (about 2000 people), so I hope that's the case. I should point out that that's absolutely nothing to be proud of, you haven't seen my college.

    With regards to either doing the networking side of things, or the design side of things, I'd like to do both. I'm doing CCNA at college, but I don't want to be strictly limited to networking.

    Thank you kindly for your words of wisdom everyone, not only has my question been thoroughly answered, but I've been reassured over my ambition in the process. Thanks

  6. #15
    Senior Member Shani's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    Where I went to college, all Communications Majors were required to have a minor or second major. Why? Because Communications by itself is an almost useless major. You have to have an interest on how to apply communications skills... Business, Political Science, Graphic Design, Biology, whatever... If taking classes in web design bore you to tears, don't take them. I'm sure you have other interestes, even if it's "General Studies" that offer you opportunities to learn new things. And for all the money you put into paying for college, you may as well learn NEW things, instead of antiquated ways of doing things you already know.

    I have an eye for detail like you'd never believe.

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