After my first semester at Siena College, I went from undecided to History major. To this day, I still have no idea why I chose History. It was actually my worst subject in high school. Nevertheless, my decision to study History propelled me to rediscover my love for web design.
As a History major, I immersed myself in the Classics and Modern Languages. I studied Greek and Roman civilizations. I took several semesters of German, a few in Latin and Spanish. I loved my language classes. I enjoyed memorizing the words and trying to create sentences. Especially… German.
I love how the Germans put words together to create something beautiful. One of my favorite words, Glühbirne, means light bulb – very literally Glüh (glow) and birne (pear). A pear that glows – how gorgeously descriptive.
I applied to the Masters in Information Science (MSIS) program at the University at Albany my senior year. Becoming a librarian seemed to be right up my alley, having spent hours in the library and my knack for finding books and articles online. One of my first courses in the MSIS program, IST 523 Fundamentals of Information Technology, was the game changer. The core of the course was learning HTML and CSS.
Rewind 10 years. Around the age of 12, I was (and still) addicted to the internet. From my dad’s HTML Quickstart guide, I taught myself HTML. From searching around the internet, I taught myself CSS.
Why is a 12-year-old teaching herself HTML/CSS, you ask? To be perfectly honest, I was really into Neopets when I was 12. I only learned HTML/CSS to create really cool guilds so I could scam people into surrendering their neocoins and other made-up valuables. Yes, I am serious. Thankfully, I have left my scamming days in my tweens.
For the rest of my time in the MSIS, I geared myself toward the technology courses. I took web database programming, digital imaging and web, XML, and Information systems. For my internship, I was a design/development intern at Intellisites, a local web design company.
I love HTML and CSS. I find comfort in learning new ways to style the web, very much like learning German. It is a process that involves memorization and creativity. It takes determination, but when you make the right combinations you create something wonderful.
So that was my light bulb or Glühbirne moment. I hope that when I teach Web Development at the University at Albany in the Fall, I can help create the spark for someone else.
Katy DeCorah is 2011 Masters of Information Science graduate. She currently works for the College of Computing and Information as the CCI Student Center Manager and Social Media Specialist. In her spare time she is a freelance front-end web developer.