DSL-Times.com – Web developer


DSL-Times is an online news journal providing many with the latest up-to-date news regarding the broadband industry. I was hired by Chris Setz (Managing Director, Publisher and Limelight Communications), during my work experience at the University of North London and worked along side Edward Akpata (web technical support).

My role within the company was to work as a web developer and help maintain a database driven site and weekly publications of the news. This was my first real appointment in the field of programming/ databases and Chris Setz played a major factor in my decision to pursue the role of web developing and gave me a big interest in the field.

Skills gained

DSL-times advanced my skills and also help me to realise my true potential in the large field of Information communication technology. The following are a list of fields which I had achieved and excelled in:

    • Active server programming – I was able to confidently develop web application packages using Microsoft’s server side programming language and work comfortably with the entire syntax to create functions, classes, loops and extract data. I also learned advanced techniques such as array storage of database content to reduce the duration of connections to database application while a user is visiting.
    • Microsoft Access – As the site is database driven, I learned to extract/access vital data and call it from within the server side scripting.
    • Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) – SMIL is a XML language which I had learned to use to describe video files which could be played on the Internet. Using various media files, I was able to create a online Internet presentation, allowing the user to select clips, size and view the logo and clip information.
    • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – Before I joined DSL-times, I was very familiar with HTML, however Chris helped me to learn to use CSS with my HTML templates to keep a consistent look in all my pages and reduce the need to use ‘‘ tags to describe styles of fonts.
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver – I was able to efficiently use many of Macromedia Dreamweaver’s features such as ‘live data view’ to preview database content while developing ASP templates and use templates and libraries to maintain repetitious code and maintain a library. I was also able to use Macromedia built in extensions to create templates such as login/ registration area’s in a matter of minutes.
  • Adobe Photoshop – Many of the photos received for the website had to be edited in a certain style for the website. I used cloning and other brush techniques to lighten and add background canvas to the images so they can match a certain height and width for the website.
  • Web site structure – Working in a real ‘information communication technology’ organisation helped me to keep my electronic files organised and I also learned to structure web sites accordingly. Also I learned to share vital code in libraries so that other members of my team may add and contribute.
  • Research – I learned to be responsible for my work and use sources to find solutions to problems I may face. Rather than asking, I was able to use books, Internet, forums to find solutions and at the same time learning from any mistakes I may make to become a better developer.
  • Experience and attitude – The experience I had gained from working with Chris was my most valuable. At the end of my duration with DSL-times I was extremely confident and gained a much experienced and wiser attitude in IT. I learnt not to be intimidated by developing applications and to really believe in myself. I am now excited at programming assignments and am able to use a large array of scripting languages such as Coldfusion, PHP, Java, ASP etc. I am able to spend more time on concept and structure of applications rather then a great amount of time reading tutorials and worry about syntax.


  • Login/ registration – This involved development of a login and registration panel for which the user can use to access extra services within the site. Other features included in this project were ‘forget a password’. This was my first project was developed using ASP and Macromedia Dreamweaver.
  • E-marketing system – The purpose of this project was to develop a software solution in which staff can email clients. The software searched through a list of email’s from a database and was able to email each user with important email campaigns. Other features included in the implementation were a automated unsubscribe service in which the user can cancel future DSL campaigns directly from the email they received.

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