Web Technologies

Web Technologies

Technology changes quickly. What seems cutting edge right now can seem downright historic months from now. 

To keep up with those technological changes, members of the JCCC web applications department have created a new associate’s degree: web technologies. 

James Hopper, professor and chair, web applications, said the new web technologies degree allows students to “cherry pick what you want to do, to pick and choose the skills you find most important.” 

The web technology program focuses on hands-on, interactive learning that students can use in the “real world.” 

After a foundation of introductory web application classes, the students can choose a specialty area that most appeals to them. Currently, three paths are available: mobile applications, rich media applications and web programming. 

By understanding the basics but specializing in an emerging field, students are even better prepared to find jobs in the technology sector, Hopper said. 

Mobile applications

One of the specialty areas is mobile applications, better known as making “apps” for smartphones. 

“Kansas City is a growing app market,” Hopper said, but the entire United States seems to want to know, “Is there an app for that?” 

For that reason, the demand for developers who know how to create is immense, Hopper said. 

The next Angry Birds or Instagram app could be waiting for a JCCC student’s big inspiration. The smartphone application track will give him or her the skills needed to make inspiration a reality. 

Rich media applications

With the advent of “cloud” computing, tech-savvy souls can work from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection and a working device. But someone has to make sure that the “cloud” is accessible and active, and that any application associated with the data works through the Internet browser. 

These types of applications – called rich media applications – have also enjoyed explosive growth as people begin to see the benefit of cloud computing. Hopper said some businesses have already turned to rudimentary desktop setups for their employees, preferring instead to “rent” the applications from software manufacturers on a per-use basis (as opposed to buying the software and installing it on a top-end computer).

“I think we’ll be seeing more of that in the future,” he said. Students who follow the rich media applications route will help businesses make the transition. 

Web programming

The various applications of the World Wide Web are limited only by human creativity. As the fields of commerce, communication and just about everything else makes an even deeper toehold on the Internet, someone has to make sure it all runs smoothly. 

Students who specialize in web programming learn a wealth of programming languages such HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but they also learn the concept of responsive design. 

Responsive design is a method by which programmers design for multiple devices, such as a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop computer. The design takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of each device and displays the best format for that particular screen. 

Hopper said learning responsive design is a must for today’s web programmers. 

For questions about the web technologies associate’s degree, contact Hopper at 913-469-8500 ext. 3168.