This summer at DLINQ has been full of exciting and diverse work, but I’ve found that the majority of my consultations have tied back to some type of web development. Two projects I have embarked on this summer are working within the official Middlebury site to update the First Year Seminar pages and helping create a WordPress site with a few other interns and members of DLINQ. As I find myself occasionally going into the HTML (text editing) and CSS (style formatting) of the websites, my mind drifts back to my younger days on Anatheria. Who knew that raising virtual pets would come in handy one day!
The most exciting aspects of web development support are getting to see changes in real-time and being able to help people. Although my personal inquiry has focused a lot on my own personal development and skills, getting to use these interests in my consultations with other people has honestly felt great. With the First Year Seminar website, a lot of changes needed to be made quickly as first-year students flocked to the site to find out information about the upcoming school year and registration. It was important to work quickly and efficiently in order to keep up with registration updates. In contrast, the wordpress site has a bit of a less urgent pace, but it has been really interesting to try and recreate the vision of students who don’t have as much experience with website design. Using their google docs and google slides, two other DLINQ interns and I have been piecing together the structure and format of the WordPress website.
As we go into Fall 20/21, I’m excited to continue working with DLINQ to support members of the Middlebury community and also pursue my own passions in computer science. I’ve always strived to find work that combines my personal interests with a larger goal of helping people, and I’ve found that my internship at DLINQ has struck the perfect balance between these two principles. I tend to care about the applicability and the usefulness of the work I produce, so it’s super exciting to create work that lives on the web for other people to view, use, and provide feedback on. However, there’s also something special about learning new things just for personal enrichment and because it fascinates you.
In the end, my summer journey at DLINQ has truly helped me realize and clarify what I want to do with my newfound computer science skills. I want my work to feel useful while still evoking some of the same wondrous joy I once experienced on Anatheria, which is a big reason why I’m pursuing web development and design. I used to build my own custom Anatheria profiles for fun, and now as an “adult” I help Middlebury community members with their web projects. I think my twelve year old self would be proud of what I do (actually she’s definitely too busy on Anatheria to care).
To all others interested in web development or learning HTML/CSS: take the leap! You’ll never know when you can use those skills down the road, and they can certainly bring you happiness in unexpected ways.
Feature photo by Marcus Spiske on Unsplash