Degree Spotlight: Web Development at Full Sail University
Published on Sep 10, 2020 by Bridgette Cude
The Web Development degree at Full Sail helps students learn the skills they need in full-stack web development.
The Web Development bachelor of science degree at Full Sail University teaches students the comprehensive skills they need to understand web development from front to back. Full Sail's Web Development Program Director, Jay Bunner-Sorg, shares how the degree program prepares students with not only the technical skills they need, but also with marketable, real-world experiences.
Front-end design is the first topic students explore in this program. That includes looking at design and usability aspects to build interactive, browser-based experiences.
"If you think about modern web browsers, there are some types of interactivity to it and there's a lot of programming that happens behind the scenes with that," says Jay. "So, what we're looking to do is to build really strong front-end developers that can create that interactive side of things through programming."
Then, students learn the server side of the web: back-end development. This includes learning different frameworks and server-side languages that help them create scalable, easy-to-deploy web applications. From there, the program dives deep into what is becoming an increasingly critical role of web development: learning how to work with APIs, which determine how multiple software applications interact.
"Developers are creating a lot of the back-end data architecture and information architecture that is really servicing everything from mobile applications to devices such as everything from smart light bulbs to smart vacuum cleaners to everything else," says Jay. He explains that things like embedded devices, wearables, and other smart technology relies on web application architecture.
Jay also helps clear up a common misconception about the Web Development degree. He explains that as the industry evolves, web design doesn't necessarily mean visual, graphic design, HTML, or CSS design anymore. "When they say, 'design,' they mean, 'Can you construct information architectures? Can you design the way the data's handled? Can you design an application that's scalable or use a certain tool sets that are prebuilt?' That's their definition when it comes to web design; it's really more about design patterns as opposed to seeing something visual on the screen."
According to Jay, most employers are looking for strong web developers who know how to work with a lot of prebuilt frameworks and tools sets. Students in this program learn how to design solutions behind the scenes that connect to these existing technologies in a smooth, scalable way.
This program is also unique because of the way it emulates an actual work environment. With stand-up meetings and Agile workflows, classes give students an understanding of communication expectations, documentation processes, and team dynamics.
In the last three months of the program, students pitch a concept for a web application and build the front-end, back-end, and server resources it needs. These portfolio classes give them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as a full-stack developer by integrating all of these pieces together.
"They get a chance to really build that and then they have a chance to be able to demonstrate that to an employer and be able to talk about that. Say, 'This is what I built. This is what I did.' They're very applicable skill sets to what employers are looking for, and it's a good confidence builder for the students as well, to be able to say, 'This is something that I built.'"
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