Blog Post

Pixel art of Lana Boyle being interviewed

Interview with Lana Boyle

Job Title:

Web Developer

Place of Work:

University of Virginia

Industry or specialization: 

Higher Education

What got you into Web Design/Development/working on the web?

Finished my degree in Graphic Design and found it difficult to find work in the field. Applied those skills to web design and found web development was a good fit for me with creative and technical aspects as a career.

What does a typical day or week look like for you? What sort of things do you do?

It is always varied. I do a lot of project management so staying on top of several projects at a time is always in the mix. I typically am involved in every aspect of site builds from discovery, to design, development and execution. I also maintain all the sites I have built so there are often random questions for maintenance or issues along the way in general.

What types of web technologies do you work with most often?

I would consider myself a Drupal specialist at this point (I am actually certified!). I am proficient enough with languages such as php and twig to fix small things, but in general I develop sites almost entirely from Drupals built in framework, the use of SCSS and added modules with occasional customizations.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

It is always changing. But that means I am always learning and it is really fun to learn something cool that can be applied to the next thing, or to apply to something older that could be done better.

What do you wish you could change about your job?

I would love to collaborate with more people on projects to really elevate user experiences and find unique ways to make boring content more….better.

Where do you see your section of the web development/design/etc industry going?

It is constantly evolving. Moving to headless designs and technology that expands far beyond laptops and phone screen. The possibilities are endless. 

What technology and/or skill do you wish you learned before you entered the industry?

Computer Science

What are you looking to learn or what skill are you looking to build next?

Becoming more fluid with actual programming and debugging. Would like to start writing my own modules to package up the things I do on a regular basis that aren’t already available.

What questions should I have asked that I didn’t? (Please also answer it)

Have you considered changing your career?

My answer would be “NO” – I really do love my job even when an entire week of frustration goes by – it always ends with a resolution and sense of accomplishment

What would you tell someone to do who’s looking to get into the industry? How should they best prepare themselves?

Learn a good amount of the basics like HTML/CSS/SCSS/JavaScript. Learn git really well and play a lot with sandbox projects. Do fake (or real) projects for people or yourself. Be open to constructive criticism and ask for it as often as possible.

Anything else you’d like to tell future designers, developers and web people?

This is one of those jobs that will never go away in some form or another. If you enjoy it, dive in and you won’t regret it.

Last Question: If you had to be a zombie and you had to eat someone’s brains, whose would it be and why?

Yoda. You know why.