Heather Hogan is a master with web design and computers. Her portfolio is impressive, as is the class she teaches as adjunct professor at Sacramento City College. Her bachelor of arts in digital media, along with her network certificates, cover a lot of ground. Her position with PMC demands vast expertise in all things digital on the web. The Sacramento area is home to PMC and its contributions to a vibrant web community.
Does your job require a degree related to technology or computer-related design?
“A degree is helpful but not always required if one has proven skills and experience. Sometimes a certificate or just classes are enough. A website showing and linking to your best work is a must if you want to gain employment in web design. Having a degree can put you ahead of those without one, but good work, happy clients and a positive and professional attitude can land you a job.”
Do you find the greater Sacramento area a good place for technology related jobs?
“There are a lot of different opportunities for a web designer. Many government agencies and firms need a person to help manage their website and social media. Freelancing is a good choice for those organized folks with motivation and an independent spirit. Working in an agency, one usually specializes in a part of the website process. It depends on the firm.”
What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your job?
“It is difficult to iterate my process for site creation and development: constantly trying to make the process more transparent for my clients, repeatable to save time in the future and fitting for the client, their internal editors and external audience. It’s no fun to churn out the same thing over and over, but it sure speeds up the process. My team and I reuse the things that work and tweak them for each project. Sometimes my head spins with all the various projects and different stages of development. That’s also what I like about this profession. Budgets, those get in the way of what I want to do often.”
What is the most fun part of your job?
“I like that I can work on lots of different projects at once. I like partnering with great clients, learning about another field and shaping how organizations present themselves. I love how fast this technology moves — that year to year things get better and easier. We also have to relearn many techniques — HTML5 and CSS3, mobile, tablets. It’s fun to see what others in ‘the community’ are doing and share tips and experiences. I really love preaching the power of the web to communicate and the democratization of information. Teaching others how to make websites and publish to the web is a joy.”
Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.