I’m team-teaching a course at Tri-C in the visual communications department this Fall. The class is for graphic designers, and we go through the experience of meeting with a client, building a prototype web site, revising it, then releasing it on the world, then going back and fixing any post-release issues.
The students all have excellent graphic design skills, but nothing in previous courses covers anything programming-related. The other instructor has the graphic design chops, and that’s really the meat of the course, but they do want to punch up the level of instruction beyond building static HTML into building simple web apps.
I need a short list of skills you wish all graphic designers have. Here’s what I plan to cover so far:
- How to use subversion. Probably we’ll use google code.
- How to use tools like Fiddler and Firebug to look at page weight and watch the requests go back and forth.
- How to check for valid HTML.
- How to do some simple AJAX (by hand at first and then later with jQuery).
- What’s the terminal in OS X for?
- HTTP gets versus posts and what the heck does caching mean?
- PHP fundamentals.
I think I’m going to use PHP rather than anything else, but I’d like to hear arguments against that.
Also, the class lab has a bunch of expensive Mac machines, so if there are really good tools out there, I’d love to hear about them.