Monday, May 16, 2011


Taking a break from teaching

Today I handed in my office keys at Webster University after proctoring the final exam on Web animation.

In 2004 I had started as adjunct professor in the computer science faculty, teaching Web scripting to a small group of business and IT students, which meant refreshing and formalizing my JavaScript knowledge (closures, anyone?) and learning the basics of VBScript, too. Following that I taught several rounds of design principles and Web animation, starting with the ancient Macromedia Flash and slowly upgrading to Adobe Flash CS3 and CS4.

Sharing what I know and learning what I didn't know has been a great experience. Not only did teaching give me reasons to explore various subjects in greater detail and develop new skills, did I gain a better understanding of the American educational system and students' expectations at a smaller private university campus, and get to attend a graduation ceremony at the Konzerthaus in formal academic regalia. Discussing with students and seeing them going from no knowledge to expert level in just a few weeks, then coming back for the next course and (sometimes) even having fun writing code or building Web animations was also highly rewarding. I am equally pleased to often find some of “my” graduates in good positions at companies and institutions around the world.

Now is a good time to take a break from teaching. Webster University no longer offers the full computer science curriculum in Vienna, resulting in fewer courses which I would like to teach, and balancing this with my other personal and professional activities has become increasingly difficult.

I would like to thank first and foremost my students, you have been a great crowd, and the faculty members and staff at Webster University in Vienna for their support, I have learned a lot from you all.

Thanks, and to my students, good luck with your remaining exams!


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