On behalf of the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum, I am writing to thank Q College and, in particular, Denis Eve and web developer Joseph Kotopski, for helping us to totally revamp and mightily improve our website.
I first contacted Denis Eve, the College’s Practical Skills Web Development Program instructor, in July 2013, having read about—and seen—the great results his students achieved for organizations in need of a website overhaul and update.
With experience of working as the Museum’s webmaster for more than a decade, I was very conscious that our site’s design could use a thorough shake-up, and was also keen to expand its reach and range of online projects. Normally, comprehensive redesigns of this nature are very costly, into many thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. And so we jumped at the chance to get such significant outside help and expertise at no cost.
Q College allowed us to have free access to the valuable web development talents of graduate student Joseph Kotopski, who created a theme and layout for the revised website that is both elegant and functional.
It took many months of behind the scenes work on Joseph’s part to follow-up on his initial design, and work with me to adapt existing content and add in new projects, ideas and articles. I received excellent training and support from Denis Eve in the Drupal content management system in order to administer and implement the revised site, and have been fortunate enough to have the ongoing guidance and help of web developer Stephanie Mann, another Q College graduate.
I’d like to personally thank Joseph and Denis for all their hard work on this very complex project, and praise their patience, good humor and sustained enthusiasm throughout the process.
The museum’s redesigned website now features new content, new resources for researchers, and a brand new look and feel. The site is thoroughly accessible for laptops, smartphones and tablets, as well as personal computers—a major step forward in sharing our museum and archives with a wider online community.
Thanks to everyone involved for their outstanding work, and thank you Q College for this great opportunity. Yours truly,
Museum exhibit designer/Webmaster
From the beginning and throughout the life of the project, you researched with a keen eye to detail; displayed practical intelligence and problem-solving skills; developed and designed effective measures and structured elements; responded quickly and effectively to all of our requests; and were truly intuitive and innovative in coming up with workable solutions.
The result is a brand new website that is effective, appealing, and maximizes our potential as a new organization. The website is reliable and responsive to our requirements.
Working with you has been a positive and valuable experience, and we welcome the opportunity to continue to partner with you on sustained collaborative work. Your contribution makes it possible for us to engage, promote, and support the arts!
Your work has been exemplary, and on behalf of the Township Community Arts Council, our members, volunteers, partners, and sponsors, we extend our greatest appreciation for your efforts.
Township Community Arts Council
I have been thrilled with the level of support provided by Q College and the student assigned to our website. It has been a pleasure to work with both. The level of creativity, knowledge of websites, and the needs of our program were unsurpassed.
We now have a wonderful and interactive website that works for both our clients and the general public.
Thank you, Q College for this amazing opportunity!
Beacon Community Services
Coordinator, Out of the Rain
Both the instructor and student who worked with us were knowledgeable, personable, and helpful. They made sure the website is user-friendly, accessible, and effectively communicates what our organization does and what our mission is.
The website was designed to leave us with a lot of control of the content, allowing us to change content as needed in the future. We were provided with excellent training and support in how to manage the content ourselves. We are very pleased that Q College made itself available after the conclusion of the project for any questions and support that we may need.
Together Against Poverty Society
Our society had struggles for many years regarding how to best present our complicated message. We have several programs operating under different systems (i.e. an independent alternative school as well as different programs where we work in partnership with the local school district). Our programs have different clientele, and work with different community partners. As well, our vision for the future includes bringing our programs under one roof and one model. This has all led to confusion from funders and the general public, impacting our ability to garner support. We know our website is key to mitigating this confusion.
Our dated website needed a complete remake. As a small non-profit, we do not have an IT or a communications professional. As the executive director, I wear many hats, including overseeing communications. I am very busy, and although I know the importance of the website, I also worried about how much of my time it would take to create a new website.
Q College, Denis Eve, and the assigned student were all wonderful to work with. From the beginning, the student immersed herself in the information that was available, from our website, documentation, and consultation. Before we even started, she had a clear idea of our society, programs, needs, and the philosophical approach. She came up with clear ways to organize the information to make sense of the different programs and target audiences while creating a unified site.
The new layout is appealing, and the graphics, which she arranged to be created, are beautiful and well-thought out. This site is easy and intuitive to navigate. We have had a lot of great feedback.
The now-graduated student has been very generous in helping us to learn how to use our website to maximize our messaging and usefulness. Throughout the entire experience, I always felt that we had the enthusiastic support from the professionals at Q College. Working with Q College was an extremely positive, helpful and valuable experience, and I am extremely grateful for our website and for the chance to work with the people at Q College. Sincerely,
Artemis Place Society
Our website needed to convey the professionalism of the organization without being stuffy or overly formal. It also needed to be easy to navigate so that our audience could easily find our concert information, our recordings, and other information. In addition, lacking paid staff, we needed the ability to update the site ourselves. Lastly, our look was a bit outdated and needed a fresh face. The task seemed daunting to us as we had so much information to manage, not to mention photos, sound clips, and video. It was difficult for us to imagine how we would be able to get everything into a website without it being crowded and complicated.
Denis Eve and his team at Q College were fantastic. Despite the distance between us, they made great use of modern technologies to meet with us virtually. They were able to show us mock-ups, designs, and functionality even though we are based in Vancouver.
The team quickly understood the goals and needs of our organization and the solutions they came up with were spot on. Additionally, their input and suggestions helped to bring us into better communication with our audience by incorporating social media into our site. Olivia Hernandez came up with a stunning new logo design for us while keeping the familiarity of our colors. The finished site was delivered right on time and our artistic director received training on making updates. The site is easy to use and easy to update. The Board is very happy with the results and we have received many compliments from audience members and musicians alike. I would highly recommend Denis Eve and his team at Q College.
The site Chris developed was exactly what our society was looking for. As a person unfamiliar with things such as websites, Chris walked me through the process in a professional but not too professional way. By this, I meant he understood my lack of understanding and he took the time to educate me in the basics of web design and development.
I now understand that it is not just putting in the information into the site but putting in the right information which is the key to a successful website. Chris took the time to attend our program many times to get the feel of what we do. This time was critical in order for him to best get the "feel" of our event and to pass that feel on to those who visit the site.
It was a pleasure to work with Chris, even though he did 99 percent of the work, he made sure I was a part of all that was done. I would recommend Chris for a person, business or society looking to develop a web site or an upgrade an existing site.
From the very first meeting, I was delighted with Joseph’s enthusiasm for the project and the degree to which he had gone to make himself familiar with the issues related to our cause. At subsequent meetings, Joseph always went above and beyond, bringing more to the table than I expected.
It was clear he had spent a significant amount of his own time problem solving various issues, and was a very creative thinker. Joseph’s in-depth knowledge of the development and design process was very evident throughout the meetings, and was also very reassuring.
It was a great moment when I realized that the website was quite likely going to surpass our expectations, in terms of fundraising!
The Board of the Help the Howler Monkeys Society is grateful that Joseph will be staying onboard as our webmaster and will be there to guide the process as it grows. We would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone in need of a website.
Raphael structures the program beautifully. Each exercise builds upon the last and into the next. His humor, patience, and enthusiasm are exemplary. His knowledge of the software teaches the full potential of the tool. A fantastic experience—to learn so much, so fast. I’m so happy.
I have recently had the pleasure of working with Q College on the design of a website. I am a member of a non-profit organization, and we turned to Q College after deciding our previous website was no longer effective. Instructor Denis Eve facilitated the creation of our new website, but it was evident that he provided the students in the program with both his experienced guidance as well as the opportunity to learn to work independently.
I would like to provide a description of the skills I saw evident and how they translated into a website that exceeded our expectations.
I will begin with the staff’s level of professionalism. There was clarity of expectations from the beginning, and the design occurred all in a timely, organized and well-communicated manner. Representatives from my organization were included at regular intervals, and Denis and the students were always flexible to work within our schedules. It was a collaborative process, but Denis and his students put in most of the hard work. They did extensive research as to the statistics of our previous website, its content, and the designs of other related websites. This research was the foundation of the new website, and consequently our new website is effective, user-friendly and is something our organization can feel proud of.
Denis taught his students the importance of design, and together, they came up with a visually appealing and sensitive website. My organization’s requests were always taken seriously and were the base of the design, but Denis and the students were able to translate it beautifully into a user-friendly and aesthetically appealing website. They even took it upon themselves to create some of the images used on the website. Furthermore, Denis and his students addressed the sensitive nature of the content of our website in a very respectful and thoughtful way. I am also confident that the website will be easy to maintain and add onto in the future; some initial training was provided. Though, because of the quality of our service, my organization is hoping to employ one of the students to help us with the growth and maintenance of the site.
As a result of this highly positive experience, I recommend Q College to anyone in need of a new or improved website. We are very satisfied with our new website and have no doubt it helps us to publicize our mandate and events more effectively.
Check out our new site Victoria Holocaust Remembrance & Educational Society
I would easily recommend the training I received through Q College!
In my opinion, the instructors I experienced go above and beyond with student support and were always very prompt in answering my technical queries and directing me to the correct course of action for the given situation.
I graduated from the PSWD program with more skills and confidence than I expected to gain. Perhaps this is because of the instructor’s friendly and ever-helpful demeanor. Maybe it has something to do with his obvious love of web development and his eagerness to share his knowledge with those that are striving to excel in the industry.
Whatever the case may be, I have zero hesitation in recommending Denis and the PSWD program to any person seeking a well-rounded and realistic experience of producing quality websites in a real-world, team-based environment.
Thank you, Denis for all the time that you spent on teaching me how to capitalize on the skills that I have and how to hone the ones that I wish to improve upon. Sincerely,
I'd like to take a few more tutorials (probably WordPress) from Q College in about six months. This, I think, will give me enough time to progress through my tasks that I have set for myself since doing all that learning, thanks to your wonderful instructors.
I really appreciate how organized, helpful, and cheerful you all have been through all my contacts with you.
Thanks again! And say hi to Jordan for me. I hope he's doing well. He's really such a good instructor.
Andrew is an excellent leader for the course. It became obvious that he is both an expert designer and an expert instructor, which must be an incredibly rare combination. He has delivered similar training courses so many times before that he could anticipate problems and questions we had before we actually had them.
Andrew had a lot of respect for our individual learning processes and allowed us to succeed and fail at tasks on our own, yet he was still available for feedback.
Before this course, I had tried to teach myself web development using online resources. While I learned a lot, I didn't turn out a lot of commercially viable web properties. The real educational value that Andrew provided me with was expert, focused feedback on my designs and code, and also a structured environment to practice my skills. Those are not things I found online or through my social circle.
I consider the WDDM course to be money well spent.
I believe that understanding the basic building blocks of website development is crucial to understanding the whole picture, and Q College was able to ensure that their courses were geared toward this type of learning.
Start with the basics and work up from there. After learning the basics, you can go onto learning a CMS platform and other cutting edge software which will put you above the competition in knowledge and skill set.
I was also very comfortable in the fact that their classes were quite small which offered lots of time to ask questions and enabled necessary one-on-one time with each of the instructors.
Coming from a completely different working/job background, I truly believe that I now have the skill set to be able to either work for a web development studio or succeed as an independent self-employed web developer. The freedom of working from home and being my own boss really appeals to me. Thanks for the leg up, Q College!
PSWD gives web developers the real world, team-oriented experience of building websites that aren’t designed for abstract classroom assignments; they’re for actual clients.
Students in PSWD learn up-to-date skills, work on a deadline, and gain practical experience. Denis’ long and successful career as a freelancer, a great curriculum, and the client-centered approach were all decisive in me finding a place in an industry I love.
Whether you want to work as a freelancer or as a studio team member, PSWD prepares young developers like few other programs.
Like many of us, Broad used his computer for email, Facebook, surfing the web, word processing etc., and assessed his computer skills as “nothing special.” All that changed after reading Head First HTML/XHTML and CSS, a book his roommate gave him.
“By the end of the book, I had the basic knowledge needed to build a simple website. It was a terrible, terrible website; however I was intrigued and eager to learn more.”
When asked why choose Q, Broad replied: “I chose Q College because it offered the cutting edge training I was looking for, it gave me the skill set needed in a timeline that worked for me, the student/teacher ratio and small intimate class sizes were conducive to my learning style, and the fact that all my instructors also had their own clients confirmed for me that they were up-to-date with current technologies.”
“Not to mention the equipment and software was all new, and I could work on my own laptop if I preferred.”
The first course Broad took (Practical Skills Web Development Program) awarded him the ability to build professional-grade, static websites.
“I was able to take on my own clients and work under my rules, which is freedom. I can choose my clients, set my prices and work when it suits me. I wanted right out of the hospitality industry, so I headed back for the Drupal course.”
“I decided to do the course one-on-one with an instructor instead of the full time class. One-on-one offered more flexibility in scheduling and even though it is only 100 hours as opposed to 300 hours, I knew that the instructor was focused on me and my needs 100 percent of the time. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Drupal course going in, but it blew me away! I set my schedule with my instructor and was able to work in a very quiet classroom one-on-one. Any problems I ran into were addressed right away and in a way that I understood."
“I honestly can’t say enough about the training I received at Q!”
Since attending Q, Broad has been able to take on larger clients, build membership websites, e-Commerce websites, learning management websites, and upgrade previous client’s websites.
“I’m swamped with freelance work at the moment which is a problem I like having. Best of all, it got me a well-paying, full time job at Royal Roads University as a web support analyst.”
Broad works at RRU with a team of seven; building, upgrading, training, and supporting 20-30 Royal Roads websites ranging from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7. “It’s a little bit of nerd paradise.”
”I would say the two key things that set me apart from the other applicants for this significant position are my Drupal training and my experience dealing with clients.”
“My expectations in the training and level of instructors were exceeded in both the first and second course I took. The final outcome of my Q College experience was exactly what I set out to do. I became my own boss through my freelance work, and landed a great full time job in the web industry.” Thanks, Q!