Students: Are you going to be employable?

Andy Rutledge's article The Employable Web Designer is about how schools may not be properly preparing students with actually employable web skills:

These students are worried that they’ll emerge from school without marketable skills, unprepared for what agencies and clients will expect or demand of them. Unfortunately, I think most of them are right to be worried.

I think Andy is dead-on with most of this, but perhaps a bit extreme. He puts forth quite a laundry list of things students should be being taught, and specifically excludes specific tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. I agree that training students in the fundamentals is far more important than specific tools, but you need a tool of some kind in order to practice your fundamentals so why not these.

Most design programs are 4 year BA degrees, less if you are just getting a technical degree. Maybe half of that time is taken up by generic requirements. Now you have 2 years left. At least one of those needs to be purely dedicated to artistic fundamentals. Things Andy mentions like drawing skills and artistic fundamentals. Now we have one year left to start honing those real world design skills. By the time you get people up to speed with the tools needed in real world web design, you are getting shoved out the door with a degree.

The point? There just isn't enough time in school to craft a human being into a fully-employable design employee. Your business sense, communication skills, and technological skills are going to come from your own time, and hope that you have the fundamentals solid enough to carry you through. That is sure as heck what happened for me.


Custom MooTool-Tips

David shows us how to make non-boring tooltips.



I did a couple of interviews recently. One on Berriart where I talk mostly about CSS-Tricks. Another on ScrnShots as a "featured user", where I talk a bit about my career generically and how I user ScrnShots.


jQuery Explained (by 12 year old Dmitri Gaskin)

This kid will probably be one of our bosses in like 3 years.


Live Search

Making search more helpful is going to be big on the web in the coming years. Try using the search on, now those are quality results. Another way to make search more useful is by paring down results in real time. Steve Smith is calling it "Quicksilver Style" and he has an example written up using Prototype. [jQuery port]