Personal Narrative: My Internship At Data To Insight Center

1408 Words 6 Pages
During my internship as a web developer at Data to Insight (D2I) center, I did many different types of work from trivial tasks like organizing assets to substantial technology-based project like building a full function website from scratch. I got started my job with simple static websites, and then began to maintain and improve websites built on different Web Content Management Systems, and tried to create brand new websites using CMSs later. Occasionally I also needed to help on some less-technical jobs between projects. Overall, those main projects I worked on were fulfilling and meaningful.
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After a practice project for me to get familiar with the working environment and colleagues, my first real page was to build a website for an
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The first and foremost requirement for the website was that they wanted to use it as a platform to post regular updates of the fellowship program. I thought developing a WordPress site would be a good idea since it is very suitable for dynamic content. Then I started the development on my local host at first. I wanted the home page to be mostly static with one section of dynamic content but I did not find any existing themes that fulfill my needs, so I tried to customize the theme and created a subtheme. The hardest part was to adjust the template PHP files. I had no experience with theming before and I had to muddle through it due to lack of mentor. What I did was going through some online tutorials and kept trying, and luckily it worked out. After I finished on my local host, I moved the site on our own server. It was supposed to be a simple step but without tools like cPanel and FTP client the process was a little rough as well. That said, I had to use command line in a Linux environment to set up the database and to install the site. However, after I redirect the site to a subfolder of our server using .htacess file, our leadership deicide not to use it since the RDA organization had a new US website and they thought it makes more sense to have the fellowship program information as a part of the RDA/US site. In general, I …show more content…
The old D2I site was built on Drupal 6, which was indeed outdated for lots of reasons. Thus the goal was to renovate the site and make it in line with modern requirements. At first I thought it would be easier to simply migrate the site to Drupal 7 so that I could avoid recreating the structure, content, users, and such. However, it turned out that Drupal migration was not an easy process for me, a zero-experience beginner for Drupal. While I was struggling with identifying which modules do I need to keep, my leadership suggested me to look at IU WCMS since lots of IU-related websites are using IU WCMS and they liked the IU style looking. They wanted me to compare different CMSs and propose a new plan, which could help the center find a clearer direction. After some researches on IU WCMS, WordPress and Drupal, I believed IU WCMS would suffice our needs thanks to its rich features and relatively easier learning curve. So I started to think about how to redesign the information architecture, what content are irrelevant and should be removed, what functionalities are suitable for our needs, and other relevant questions. To compile those design ideas into one design proposal document, I drew out a site map, sketched the layout, and made some effect drawing. After presenting my design proposal to our leadership, they liked it and preferred to proceed with IU WCMS. However,

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