Tuesday, March 17, 2009

HTML Level 2

When I showed up for my HTML Level 2 class yesterday morning, I was already being a Debbie Downer thinking I was going to be in completely over my head. But, you know what? I was ready for it! I was going to follow along as best as I could. What the hell did I have to lose? My company was paying for it, and they really had no expectations of me other than showing up for the class.

It's not like the time I took out a student loan for thousands of dollars to find out I was not smart enough to get A+ certification, right? Yeah, I totally felt like it was.

Anyway, the first thing they told us was that there had been a death in the company over the weekend and classes were only going to go until noon. What they proposed was they would get through as much content as possible, and everyone had the option of retaking the class for free. Which is their policy, anyway, and a pretty damn good one at that.

The class instructor for Level 1 last week was great, he brought everything down to my level. While he didn't follow the book word for word, he followed along in the same sequence so I could make notes in my book and highlight or asterisk parts I felt were important. Yesterday's Level 2 instructor did not do any of that.

I had the same problem with him last year with an Excel course. He's not only too smart - he's cocky about it. His philosophy was that he would cover everything in the book, and more, but he would give it to us in a "real world environment", in other words what HE thought we needed to know to do our jobs. One of his favorite things to say was, "trust me, this will make sense in five minutes". Dude, we don't have an extra five minutes, make it make sense to me NOW..

Another thing that bugs me about this school is they are constantly trying to teach you stuff about other programs and classes they think you should take in the future, or get you to sign up for a package. Both HTML instructors were pushing CSS, Javascript, Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop. I had no intention at the time of taking anything other than the two HTML classes - teach me some freakin' HTML. Especially yesterday, as so much was being shoved into my tiny little brain in a 3-1/2 hour period.

The instructor yesterday was all over the place, and didn't follow the sequence in the book at all. So I was trying to copy his code on the screen, as he kept switching back and forth from Notepad to the finished image on IE, and I was trying to write it down at the same time. Then he decided he was going to teach us a Javascript code that would impress our instructor "when we took Javascript". He wasted a precious half hour on it. Sure, like a monkey, I can copy what he typed, but I doubt I understood it enough to actually apply it. Nor do I need to for work, if all I'm going to be doing is updating the company website...

Quite honestly, I can't see that I would have much need for it for this blog, either. Blogger makes it easy to use their functionality for fonts and colors and links and such, and there are plenty of places I can go to get backgrounds and themes and headers for free.

The Prez asked me today how my class went, and I gave him the honest critique from above. The thing with he and I is that we are always straight with each other - he is just one of the coolest employers I've ever had. I went a little further and told him that I think taking the CSS class would be helpful to me with updating the website. He asked what I thought about the rest of it. I decided I would go out on a limb and see what happened. I told him that the school suggested Dreamweaver and Java and Flash but that I couldn't justify the company paying for me to take those classes unless they were going to have me take over the website completely. If they did that, they would have to pay at least $900 to buy the Dreamweaver software.

BUT, we're thinking about redesigning the website entirely in the near future. We have a new logo we're starting to go live with, and new colors. The company that handles our IT issues and hosts our domain designed our current cookie cutter website for free as an incentive to get our business. They have been under contract for a flat fee since then, but I'm under the impression that at some point in the near future they are going to start charging us by the hour. When I suggested to the Prez that hourly rate would probably be somewhere in the range of $100, he said it would probably be more like $125, at the very least. He also said that he would have a hard time with the idea of paying upwards of $900 for software only I would be able to use.

Then he floored me by saying that if I was interested in this training, the company would pay for it if I took it on my own time. I said I would have to weigh it against taking vacation time for something I wasn't sure I would be able to use at work or in my personal life. He didn't realize the school doesn't offer night or weekend classes. We left it at both of us thinking about it.

The more I think about it, the more I realize I would be stupid not to take him up on the offer, even if I had to use vacation/personal time. And then I think I would be Really Stupid if I didn't figure out how to show The Prez that having me take over the design of the new site and updates would equal a savings somehow to the company.

I need your help, internet and blogger friends. Help me figure out a way to explain that taking these classes that run $300-$500 each, and the software associated (Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop) would be a cost savings in the long run from paying an already experienced team of experts upward of $125 an hour.

Am I out of my mind?


Candy's daily Dandy said...

Wow Fance, that sounds like a lot to think about and handle.

Kudos-cuz your boss thinks you are worthy.
Is this something that will benefit you in the long run? ie-a great resume piece. Will you gain more experience with these classes? as it sounds like much more responsibility at work.

Take the emotion out of the equation and be selfish for a moment. How does this class benefit Fancy in the long run? Then, how does it benefit Fancy in her current position or possible future positions?

I think you know never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Jodi said...

I think this opportunity has come along for a reason - take it! Your boss would probably love to replace that $125/hr company with someone within, sounds like you'd be saving him a ton of money!

Angie said...

So...do you get the opportunity to improve your skill set *for free* on a regular basis? Because...this really sounds like a win-win. You learn more (and therefore, you are worth more) and the company gets one of their own doing the same work that someone outside would charge $125/hr for. The no nights or weekends classes kinda stinks, but I'm sure you can fit it in somehow. Good luck! :)