Q&A with Course Creator, Mark Lassoff, on the importance of HTML5 in the career of a modern-day developer.
HTML5 is one of the many programming languages developers need to know in order to be marketable, knowledgeable, and successful in their work. In July, we’ll be offering an HTML5 certification course as part of our Course of the Month program. Premium Members, Team Accounts, and Qualified Experts will gain a complimentary, high-value course each month as part of their membership. For free members, upgrading to a paid membership will give them access to this course.
For more information on what this course entails and why HTML5 is important to web developers today, we spoke with course creator, Mark Lassoff, president and CEO of LearnToProgram LLC.
Experts Exchange: Can you tell us about your background in development and programming?
Mark Lasoff: I actually started coding on a Commodore 64 when I was 12. I learned the basic programming language back in the late ’80s and did some interesting things with it as a kid. My interest continued through college and my initial jobs. As life went on, my interest grew from coding to teaching coding—so I now teach full time. Over the years, I’ve had more than 1M students take my courses online and I taught 1,500 people (at one time) how to program live at a conference a couple years ago. I really really enjoy coding; now I really really enjoy helping others learn the skills—especially beginners.
EE: How did you discover your passion for educating up-and-coming developers on the latest technology?
ML: There is a lot of satisfaction helping people with their careers. For me, though, it’s that moment where you know it just clicks with someone. Where someone who before was just a regular person now becomes a coder; where all of a sudden they really do understand what they’re doing. To me, that’s a really exciting moment and one I like to help make happen.
I get to see this firsthand a lot. My company produces online courses and it’s a full-time job. I run the company and we have 8-9 employees.
EE: How did you develop your certification programs to capitalize on all aspects of HTML5 a user would need to be seen as proficient?
EE: How does HTML5 make a difference on a resume?
ML: I would argue that HTML is really a part of digital literacy. There are so many places where you can encounter HTML5 and you might need those skills. There are all sorts of jobs in which it’s important to have that on your resume—everything from administrative positions, where you may need to edit a website or a blog, to a full-on software developer, where you’re going to need to know HTML because it’s in the display layer of just about everything a developer does.
EE: How can HTML5 knowledge benefit developers who already have jobs?
ML: It’s one of those skills that opens the door to a lot of modern development and design positions. Anything that appears on the web or hybrid mobile applications have HTML5 as the scaffolding. So it’s a critical skill for developers to have and many developers who’ve worked in more traditional environments may not have encountered HTML5 directly. Understanding HTML5 allows you to create a more maintainable web or mobile application. Many people are deficient because they’ve learned HTML5 informally, making courses like this of great importance.
EE: In your opinion, what industries are most lucrative for developers and where does HTML5 knowledge pay off the most?
ML: Right now, hybrid mobile is probably the most important place for HTML5. More and more development shops are moving to the hybrid environment where they can create apps based on web standards that work on iOS or Android. I think that’s a huge area for growth. HTML5 and the web skill set is critical to that.
EE: Can you please explain your course path for HTML5 certification?
ML: It’s pretty straightforward. Complete the course and then take an online exam. It’s a 50-question exam. If participants pass with 80% or better, they’ll earn the certification. The certification is authenticated by credentials.net. Each person will have their own certification page which will show certifications earned as well as direct links for their LinkedIn account so they can display it there.
EE: How would you describe a typical day as a web developer for those considering it for their career?
ML: Web development is immensely flexible, so the day-to-day of a typical web developer is going to include meeting with clients, working with project members, working with other members of their teams to either maintain an application or create a new application. That’s going to include writing lines of code, maintaining old code, and updating old code. The thing a lot of people in this field need to be prepared for is the exciting innovations in development that are occurring in the web layer. People now often have the opportunity to learn and work with the latest and greatest if they have the underpinning of fundamental skills—which includes HTML5.
Typically, web developers can work either solo in their own small business, or part of a large team working for marketing and advertising firms, and even maintaining websites at Fortune 500 companies. So the day-to-day really varies according to the type of environment they choose to work in.
It’s a great career choice. Consider that in the United States in the next 10 years, we’ll be graduating about 425,000 computer science folks and we’re going to need 1.4 million developers. That leaves us about 1M developers short. Having this training is something that’s going to put you ahead and allow you to compete for the million jobs that’ll be out there for people with development skills.
EE: How is HTML5 different from its preceding versions?
EE: Why is this course and its certification path an important part of a developer’s toolkit?