Thomas Cleary

tjcleary

Class of 2015
Senior Project Manager / Web Development

Network assistants, the elite of CAT, specially selected by Mr. Zulli; the day that I got the email telling me that I had been chosen is one of the most important of my high school career. Working in the CNSAP program completely changed my career aspirations, and has been one of the best learning experiences of high school.

When I started my career as a Network Assistant, I had no idea what I was doing. I had a vague idea of what HTML was, but I had never heard of CSS, and while I knew JavaScript was used to make some browser games, I had zero clue how it worked. I had done really well in my C# programming class, but nothing had challenged me, and while I enjoyed programming, nothing that I had done in that class really interested me except for the work that I had done outside of the class with friends.

I was chosen to take on the Campus Hall Pass System. This system had been created by earlier network assistants, but needed a complete overhaul to the entire look and feel to update it for the new Lakewood website that was being created. Working on this project, I had to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript inside and out. When the overhaul started, there was about 2000 lines of JavaScript to decipher, comment, and troubleshoot to work with the new design. This project threw me right into the middle of JavaScript, and I had to learn quickly how to program in a way that I’ve never done before.

The Hall Pass System was unlike anything that I had ever done before, and because of that, it has taught me more than any other project I’ve done, before or since. I had to learn quickly, or else, and because of that, I was able to learn more than I had ever thought I would in a relatively short time period. I learned through experience the importance of good coding practices, and especially of commenting your code. I am very proud of how far the Hall Pass System has come, and I hope that it continues to improve with each generation of Network assistant to come.

I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been chosen as a Network Assistant, and the experiences that I have had during my time with Mr. Zulli are something that I treasure. I will take the lessons that I have learned as a Net Assistant with me wherever I go.

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