Thomas Rekem – Don’t Try This At Home

Thomas Rekem is a self-taught web designer who says that anyone who really puts his or her mind to it can learn to not just make simple websites, but sites that are as slick and cutting-edge as anything you’re likely to surf onto when navigating through the World Wide Web.

It’s more than a little ironic, he says, that he teaches web design at a local community college. “I don’t tell my students they can learn this stuff at home, on their own, if they were so inclined,” he laughs. “But it’s true. They could.”
When he teaches his entry-level classes, he always begins the first session by asking his students how many websites they have already visited that day. Not whether they’ve visit a site or two, but how many. “The answer is usually a cacophony. Everyone’s hand goes up – no one has not visited at least a few sites, in the course of an ordinary day.”

And that, he tells them, is the point. Everyone is using the Internet, and the sites we all visit are designed by people no smarter than his students. He spends most of the first session de-mystifying what makes a website, breaking a typical page down to the main components of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. As the term progresses he advises his students to pick an area of web development that really interests them. He assigns his students basic website development projects and urges them to build it without following a step-by-step tutorial.

The key, Thomas Rekem advises, is to get the students to commit to practicing for a specific amount of time each day. In addition to his teaching, he is a freelance web designer.


This entry was posted in Arts, Computers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.