Countdown to Graduation

by Lance Williams
March 29, 2012 2:05 PM

Here I am, a senior who is just six weeks from graduating, and I cannot in words express how excited I am. My time at Freed-Hardeman has definitely been the most enjoyable and memorable four years of my life, but I feel that I am ready to move on. For the past two years I have been interning in our Information Technology department as a programmer and I feel that this was the best career decision I have ever made. My education, particularly in Computer Science, has set up a great foundation of both knowledge and the ability to learn new things quickly. This education, coupled with my experience in the IT department, has given me at least some confidence in my ability to find and maintain a job.

With all that said, with my excitement to finish school and my confidence in my education and work-experience, I still am quite nervous and almost frightened in the idea of working outside of the FHU world. In my internship I have had to accomplish different tasks that involved and utilized unrelated things, but I fear that if I were placed entirely out of my element that I could fail. I don't believe this is a reflection on Freed-Hardeman's ability to educate, or my boss's ability to assign realistic programming tasks, but rather my lack of knowledge on programming in the "real-world". This uncertainty, and I think it would be said for anyone entering a market they were unfamiliar with, is truly intimidating and frightening, but also a necessary step in life.

When I compare myself to my friends that have went on to get jobs, both from Freed-Hardeman and other Universities, I do consider myself to possess similar, if not perhaps better abilities than them. I believe that FHU is responsible for this in the education and opportunities I was offered while here. While slightly scared I am beyond excited to move on. I look forward to being challenged in my profession and having the ability and mentality to utilize my Freed-Hardeman experiences to accomplish my goals.

What I've Learned (2 of 4)

by Michael Clark
March 20, 2012 10:10 PM

A recent project I've been working on has been the Admissions Checklist - a site for prospective students to track what they've turned in, see deadlines, and get in touch with Admissions. This has been a fairly big project and there have been several things I've had to figure out through trial and error.

One of the first things that stands out to me involves CSS positioning. In the Checklist, we've got three sliding "panels" which the user can alternate between for their profile, FAQs, and contact information.

This is accomplished using postions absolute and relative. In the markup, I have a "container" div with its position set to relative with overflow set to hidden. Setting the container position to relative is necessary to position the panel absolute inside the container, and setting overflow to hidden hides the panel when it's out of view. The container div also gets a positive z-index.

My panel divs are then given an absolute position. By default, I then use Javascript to set the "profile" div to display on load by setting it's position (top, bottom, left, right) attributes and it's z-index to a value greater than the container's. The other two divs - "FAQs" and "Contact" - are then hidden by pushing them right and off the screen and a z-value less than the container's.

When the user clicks to move to a different panel, I use jQuery animate to switch the positions/z-indexes of my panel divs.

It might sound more complicated than it is, but in the end, it provides a nice little user experience.