Students Design App for Board Gamers
Students in our Web Development & Interactive Design program merged their skills to create an app for organizing board game meet-ups. Board Buddies was born out of a desire to create a free and interactive web app for iOS and Android that would allow users to host and join in on board gaming events in their community.
The ambitious nature of this project is an extension of the entrepreneurial mindset that is taught and encouraged in the program, under the guidance of our industry-pro faculty.
Meet Tammy Duarte
Tammy came from Brazil with a Bachelor in Publicity & Advertising, plus 4 years of marketing experience. Upon moving to Canada to study English, she discovered our Web Development & Design program. After taking a school tour and auditing a class, she couldn’t wait to get started!
In her own words, “The environment at VanArts is great; you meet people from all over the world, the instructors are all from the industry, and besides your own work station, they provide any kind of equipment you can imagine. As an international student, it was also important for me to have people I could count on, and VanArts helped me with everything from housing to other issues that come from living far away.”
Hired Before Graduation
With only two weeks left to go in our one-year program, thanks to the recommendation of her instructors, Tammy landed a design internship here in Vancouver at York & Chapel. She is now there full-time and loving every minute of it.
“It’s been an amazing journey. Thank you, VanArts!” -Tammy Duarte, Design Intern – York & Chapel
Meet Wolff Podzun
After graduation, Wolff started his own company called Lobo Media Solutions where he began his freelance career doing web development, graphic design, and online marketing and SEO. Before too long, he landed a golden opportunity to design the website for Sprott Shaw‘s new language college here in Vancouver.
“When my classmates and I first started the one-year course at VanArts, we were all strangers and barely spoke to each other…but by the time graduation came around we were like family. We had finally made it and we were one step closer to making our dreams of becoming Web Developers a reality.”
Basics and Fundamentals of Commercial Website Development
At VanArts we start from the beginning with design basics and how to write code so candidates with no experience will not be overwhelmed. At the same time our industry-professional instructors pass on instrumental skills and principles which are often lost or overlooked by individuals with more experience in the related fields. Term 1 at VanArts sees you introduced to the industry standard tools for art and design. You will build a solid foundation in the area of design after learning the core concepts and key principles that make up the industry. The fundamentals of programming as well as how to effectively plan and develop your own scripts are taught. You will learn to code and design your own functional static websites from scratch. In the first term your introduction to project management sees you develop interpersonal and communication skills for dealing with clients. You will be exposed to key business trends such as online promotion and Search Engine Optimisation that will lead to improving your websites’ popularity, visibility and relevance.
HTML5 CSS SEO Programming Fundamentals Flow Charts Photoshop Illustrator Mock-Up Development Blogging & Content Development Latest Design Trends Online Promotion
Refining Your Skills
Term 2 is all about refining your design and coding skills. You graduate from creating static sites to highly dynamic, interactive and enriched websites. Responsive design and adopting a mobile first approach to development are key areas of note in this term. The business concepts of online web analytics and how to increase conversion rates to maximise monetization and business exposure are taught. In programming you will learn the world’s most popular web development languages. You will develop your critical thinking skills to the point where you will write code that will not only improve user experience but also solve complex problems. Design-wise, you will become highly proficient in Photoshop and Illustrator developing detailed mock ups not only for the digital world but for print media as well. By the end of this second term, you will be able to build and design a custom-programmed Content Management System (CMS).
Real Life Client Interaction and Team-Based Project Management
In Term 3 a big emphasis is placed on learning the industry’s most highly sought after Front-End development frameworks. These modern advances in web technology are incredibly important industry skills to have in today’s market and will allow you to vastly increase the interactive capabilities of your projects. Students learn how to design compelling user interfaces for eCommerce applications and how to improve overall design usability across a wide range of web development disciplines. You will study the history and trends of typography and will employ these new skills to develop your own personal font. Students will embark on a major team project that sees them adopt the highly popular Agile Scrum software development methodology. This will prepare you for working in technology start-ups, big web/software companies and design agencies. You will put your skills in project management to the test as Term 3 sees you develop live projects for real clients.
Angular.js Node.js Font Pairing Expressive Typography UI Typography Wordpress Development Monogram Design Agile Scrum Project Management XML Git & GitHub AJAX 3D WebGL User Experience (UX) Design Creative Planning Strategy Resume/Interview Preparation
Developing Entrepreneurship and Preparing for Industry
The goal of Term 4 is to finish and polish, to inspire, and to allow your creativity to emerge in a more powerful, meaningful and professional way. Your key focus is on creating your portfolio and preparing intensively for your new career. In addition to setting you up for the rigors of a freelance, agency or industry career, Term 4 seeks to spark your entrepreneurial persona by taking you through the process of developing your own viable business venture and seeing it through to test launch. As a student you will learn to develop cross platform mobile applications for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Throughout this process, emphasis is placed on keeping usability and user experience at the forefront and staying in-line with best design practices. You will learn to develop useful plugins for the lucrative WordPress market and will perfect your overall design planning, presenting and artistic skill set. Your programming skills will be honed to allow you to interface with the biggest platform APIs in the world such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Ultimately as Term 4 draws to a close, as a VanArts graduate you will have become a very versatile and competent professional that is fit, prepared and excited for the thriving web industry.
PhoneGap jQuery Mobile InDesign MongoDB Adobe Premiere Pro Video Production & Editing Business Planning & Strategy APIs for Facebook, Twitter & YouTube React.js Angular 4 Typescript UX Personas Wordpress Theme Development
Nathan LeggattDepartment Head
Working in technology for almost 20 years, Nathan has founded a number of companies including Abendago, an international online software firm which produces back-end web services for small to medium sized businesses. At Abendago Nathan set the technical direction of the company, worked with developers, managed projects and oversaw a team of developers. In 2008 Nathan founded a startup, raised money, secured patents, and networked with influential tech leaders from Facebook, Yahoo, Dropbox, Twitter, and Microsoft. Nathan was also invited to present at some of the largest technology conferences in North America, including DEMO, MetaBridge, and SXSW. Along with other affiliations and accolades, Nathan is an alumni of the invite-only C100 in the Valley, and has been covered in TechVibes, Startup North, Startup America, The Globe and Mail, Business in Vancouver and Yahoo Finance for his technical accomplishments. Producing over 500 software projects during his career, many of which he was directly responsible for the entire coding stack, makes Nathan an ideal member of the VanArts Interactive Design Program. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys hiking, backpacking and having coffee with other entrepreneurial individuals.
Alicia Carvalho is a certified graphic designer with a number of years of experience, working both with in-house teams and running her own design studio. Formally trained as a print designer with a keen eye for composition she excels in all things layout design and typography. However, worked closely with both marketing teams and web developers she has a deep understanding of how design can work across a variety of on and offline mediums. In her studio Alicia works with a variety of small to medium-sized businesses, specializing in branding and custom type projects.
Anup has worked in software for over 15 years in customer facing software roles developing websites, mobile apps, API’s and integrations. He founded a web design business named InSkyDesign which he ran for 10 years. In 2015 he founded a start-up named gitSQL which brought him over to Vancouver on a business trip. He fell in love with the city and moved to Vancouver in 2019 from Great Britain. He now works at PAI Health as a Lead Software Engineer as well as directing technical development of gitSQL as CTO. In his spare time he loves spend time with his wife and two young boys, exploring Canada.
Dan has been teaching web technologies for 10 years while maintaining full-time employment at various high tech companies in Vancouver. He has worked in a small web studio using Microsoft’s stack, a large enterprise company releasing every two days with low downtime to over a million unique visitors daily, and is currently working for a CCTV security company interfacing with HD cameras. His current project is building a travel app: PlanLazy.
Marijan (Mack) Raicevic is a Web Developer with a number of years of experience in the web industry. Mack started his career as a Web/Dev VanArts student and before graduating secured his first Developer job in Vancouver’s digital industry. Since then Mack has been working with the best digital agencies in Vancouver, servicing clients from Canada, USA and Europe. Mack is also the Principal and Lead Developer for his startup design agency MaivDesign.com, working with small to mid-sized businesses, providing customized web and digital solutions.
Mustafa is a Full Stack Web Developer with over 10 years’ experience working at companies like Oracle, Foresee, Bitstew Systems, DNN, etc. He began his career as a Web Designer and then went on to work on various platforms and technologies. He is working on his current startup, a maker/retail sharing app called Coshelf, and is also assisting various startups in Vancouver and Canada, He is an expert on front-end frameworks, which he sees as a mix of logic and visualization, and a new medium for thinking and communicating.
Patrick is the Executive Director for DigiBC, a non-profit organziation that represents BC’s diverse digital industries, such as video games, digital marketing, wireless technologies and digital visual effects. Previous to his time at DigiBC, Patrick served for five years as the Creative Director and Senior Copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Before that, he created a popular movie news website called Coming Attractions that broke hundreds of scoops about blockbuster Hollywood films. He is an experienced digital leader in the areas of: creative direction, team leadership, copywriting, ideation, eCommerce strategy, growth hacking, social media, gamification and world-building. He has received a Top Entertainment Website Award from IGN (2000), was nominated for a Webby Award (1999), and has been interviewed by the New York Times, Vanity Fair, People, Entertainment Weekly & others about online subjects. Patrick has created, supervised and launched successful strategies for websites, e-mail campaigns, social media and viral campaigns for over 60+ companies working for digital marketing agencies. His focus is on delivering a positive return on investment, be it for a VanArts graduate just launching their new online business, or an established bricks-and-mortar business seeking to up their digital results.
Scott has been a media producer, consultant and instructor since 1997. Most recently he has worked with Identify Photo on a number of video productions as a producer and sound engineer for non-profit organizations and is an active musician and entertainer. Scott’s work experience also includes many years with the Gulf Islands Film & Television School as 3D Animation program manager, soundtrack composer, video mentor and co-producer of the school’s official YouTube Channel launch. He has developed websites, print materials and produced animation for his award-winning short Frog Song, the documentary Contact the People (2002 Sundance Film Festival premiere), plus sound design for Lisa Jackson’s NFB short Suckerfish and Richard Reeves’ camera-less animated film 1:1
Sophie Davari is a web (UX/UI) designer graduated from fine art school in 2009 and in web design from BCIT in 2015. Founder of Sophina Design, she has worked as an art instructor, web designer, and freelance surface pattern designer, caring deeply about creating new and simple designs that help people and make a difference. She is involved with challenging design projects to create an attractive and simple design from the seed of the idea, through to sketches, design, with strong attention to detail.
Shu-Wen is a UX and Visual Design veteran who has engaged users with inspiring creative work across all communication platforms for over 15 years. Shu-Wen began her design career as a Graphic Designer at EURO RSCG Worldwide (now Havas Worldwide) before she entered the Graphic Design program at California Institute of the Arts. Since receiving her MFA degree in 1999, Shu-Wen has leveraged her award-winning creative capabilities for nearly 70 corporate and entertainment brands ranging from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, MGM Resorts International, and The WB Television Network to Jack in the Box, BMW, and Curves International. Shu-Wen possesses broad knowledge and in-depth experience in strategic digital planning which includes brand-based online advertising, social media campaign management, lead generation website design, and cross-media responsive experience. With a solid understanding in visual communications and traditional advertisement, Shu-Wen has also developed successful campaign-based visual identity systems to leverage clients’ corporate brand imagery. Shu-Wen currently resides in Vancouver and runs her own design studio.
Program Duration12 Months
Next Start DatesSeptember 3, 2019 March 9, 2020 September 8, 2020 March 15, 2021
As a leading centre for new digital media, Vancouver is the ideal place to study Web Development and Interactive Design. At VanArts, you will receive the city's only program which offers a 40-40-20 split between web design, programming and business development, all under the guidance of working professionals in the field. Through hands-on classes based on current and future trends for web and mobile development and design, you emerge fully equipped with the necessary skills and industry contacts to launch your career in this thriving industry.
Here at VanArts we are proud to watch our graduates become fully-fledged developers over the course of the program. Our students work as UX designers for creative agencies, as front-end developers for tech companies and have gone on to launch their own successful freelance businesses.
This program has been approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
VanArts has articulation agreements in place with several well established universities/colleges in Canada, the USA, Australia, and the UK. These degree pathways allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as one year after your studies at VanArts. This gives you the advantage of two credentials; a professional diploma and an undergraduate degree. These partnerships may not only save you money in tuition cost, but allows you to transition easily from VanArts to the partner institution while continuing your educational pathway in your chosen field of study. For international students, completing your BA degree in as little as two years of additional study with our local university partners provides you with the option to apply for a Canadian work permit, which may lead to permanent residency or Canadian citizenship. This list represents the pathways, universities and specific degrees available for graduates of Web Development & Interactive Design at VanArts:
10% deposit upon acceptance to hold your seat 40% six weeks prior to start date 50% by end of Term 1 (3 months into studies)