GBC Continuing Ed Web Design

Grading GBC Continuing Education Web Design Certificate program

I started in September 2016 and completed the GBC Continuing Education Web Design program in September 2017.  If you are thinking about taking the program, here are some my thoughts. I have my first commercial website up in February 2018.  It still a work in progress as I wait for better images to take it to a full blown immersive site. The site was built on WordPress using custom templates created by me. It took almost two years from first day of class to first commercial website built by me.

The key body of knowledge you need is HTML, CSS and some Javascript. You don’t need Javascript but if you want some cool stuff happening you should. Here are the courses and the star instructors:

COMP 9623, 9626, 9630 and 9631 are taught by Nida Khan who will ensure you will have no life because her workload is the biggest as these are the core knowledge base for html and css. You will appreciate the work she made you do as I did when I had to design, develop and launch my first web site.  The last two courses require a strong working knowledge of Photoshop, a pre-requisite that was not mentioned in the course descriptions.  If you are working full-time, I suspect the workload maybe overwhelming as I found for a number of my classmates.  Each course will take at least 5 to 10 hours of assignment work per week.  The last projects in these courses will take 20 to 40 hour or more.  Use Firefox development browser and it will be a little bit easier.

COMP 9629, 9634 and COMP 9633, are Javascript and because the instructor, Stephanie Celani, was so good I took an additional two extra Javascript development courses. This is the icing on the cake for frontend developers because you can literally make the web page sparkle.  These JavaScript courses exposed me to what boot camp must feel like.  The workload is not volume but small challenging applications that will also take up a lot of thoughtful time.  All the cool stuff Slider Revolution does like typewriter effect, parallax, sticky NAV and dynamic particle environments, you do it here.  The take away from these courses is Codepen, an amazing front-end development tool, which I will use for a long time.

COMP 9327 is an awesome course taught by Matt Humphrey on how a web site comes together. Matt loves what he does for a living and that is always a pleasure to learn from. Here you learn about how to design a website, create measurable goals to achieve website objectives, identifying target audience and focus on targeting website personas, heat maps and the 5S of building a website.

As a note, I have already design, develop and launch a website blogging my Around The World Trip running on Microsoft Publisher in 2001 with over 50k unique visitors a month. I took the GBC program to learn how to get a site up without any publishing tools. I want to hand code an entire website with total control. About 3 courses into it, I realized creating a full blow website with all the bells and whistles will take years. What I am learning is only the front-end and there is a back-end, duh? Back-end is all about PHP and Python and even more Javascript and JSON and AJAX and …. Not going to happen.

My first exposure to WordPress was in Responsive design, COMP 9632. It was a one day introduction and COMP 9676 plunged me head first into WordPress, which was not a fun experience. Instructor turmoil, change or lack of instructor made the quality of instructor challenging. Enough said here. But, I learned a lot on WordPress and my first commercial website was built on WordPress.

WordPress allows all level of skill to build a great website. Using templates, which I am learning right now, will allow anyone without programming skills to bring a website up. If you know html, css and JS you can develop custom templates and do whatever you want. All the back-end stuff you get by using plugins. To learn to create the social icon button is an entire course, or use the plugin.  Off course, this is a designer talking.

GBC web design certificate program is an excellent program to take if you want to learn how to build a website and work in the industry or just have fun like me. GBC equips you to learn more. I can now learn online because have a strong base in html, css and JS and is the place to go. It’s FREE if you have a library card in Toronto. I am continuing my learning of PHP at