The goal of the apprenticeship program is to strengthen the competitive employment position of YW Tech Lab graduates by building student’s confidence and technical proficiencies by engaging them in the development of real-world websites
Participants work collaboratively on website development in partnership with other graduates and Northwestern’s Computer Science Department. Participants earn a small stipend for their work and build work for their portfolios.
Who are our clients?
We work with small, woman and/or minority-owned local businesses. Click here to see a site that our students created!
Who participates in the Web Development Apprenticeship Program?
- YW Tech Lab Graduates
- Northwestern Computer Science Department’s students and professors (link here to department and NU staff and students who support us?)
- YWCA’s Women in Tech Council
What our participants gain
- Interview perspective clients
- Translate interview findings into a needs / requirements document
- Design and prototype a website using industry software (e.g., Sketch, Figma)
- Work with the client to get feedback on the design
- Use industry project management software (e.g., Slack, Trello, and Jira)
- Use collaborative version control software (e.g., GitHub)
- Test the website (e.g., acceptance, usability, and accessibility testing)
- Describe their experience with the software development lifecycle process to prospective employers
What to expect
in the first 10 weeks apprentices will learn and review
- HTML & CSS
- Intro to the software development lifecycle
- Intro to Design
- Project management
in the second 10 weeks apprentices will
- Design and build a real website with a real client
- Experience with the entire software development lifecycle, including:
- User research, needs assessment, requirements gathering
- Low- and High-Fidelity Prototyping
- Engineering the website (coding + working with collaborative software development tools).
- Working as a team, setting goals, revising them, and ultimately achieving them
- Communicating with the client and getting feedback
Meet our apprentices
I joined the YW Tech Lab after a career in banking to learn more about technology — computers, cell phones, tablets, and websites that make the world go ’round. Since joining the program, I have completed two Oakton web development courses, built a real-world website, and have been working for 7 months in a tech career training program sponsored by Google. Building websites and bringing them to life for the entire world to see brings great joy and excitement to my life. Technology is ever evolving… it never stops growing, you never stop learning, and there are so many directions to pursue. I am interested in learning all there is to know about front-end web development, continuing my education, and exploring other directions in the tech industry.
I am presently employed in the Finance field as a Commercial Credit and Collections Specialist. Due to my recent experience with the YW-Tech Portfolio Team, I now have an interest in exploring a career in the Tech Industry as a Web Development and Design Consultant. Working on Answer the Moment helped me discover that I enjoy helping people to identify their needs and communicate their ideas to make their offerings more marketable using web design and coding. I love puzzles and it is fascinating to me that I can enter a series of codes to create a picture on the web. I am looking forward to a role which will enable me to further cultivate my natural creativity, and to see the results of my design renderings coming to life in the virtual space.
I am currently seeking full-time
employment. I would like an entry-level position in educational technology or a position at a library or school that could put to use my experience in education and
technology. I am also interested in a career in healthcare, but have no previous experience in the field, so I am open to any apprenticeship positions. I currently work in retail and have 10+ years of experience in customer service. I completed YWeb Tech Lab and earned 7 credits at Oakton Community College in Web. I have skills in website design and development (collaborated on Answer the Moment, LLC, website), education applications (Seesaw, Unique n2y, Boardmaker, Schoology, Notability, Powerschool), customer service, lesson planning, and de-escalation skills.
I am a Web Developer Consultant who enjoys the design aspects of building websites.
I was working in the medical field, but my passion was always in technology. My goal is to pursue a certificate in Web Development, my dream job is to work as a front-end consultant in the tech industry. My biggest achievement is when I participate in building a website with a team from the Y Tech Lab, my contribution was to work on the contact form enabling the user to interact with text area and to submit forms. I also work on the speaking engagements that allow clients to click on a link that would take them to YOUTUBE to watch the speech. I create images as placeholders to display the speeches’ by using (image source, and alt attribute.)
In July 2022, I started as an associate in the CI Business/Digital Unit at Bosch. Before starting at Bosch, my professional career consisted of 12+ years of experience in the insurance industry, ranging from Claim Resolution to Customer Service. I wanted a career change and to explore my creative interests.
In January 2021, I enrolled in two courses at Oakton Community College: Introduction to Web Development and Advanced Web Development. I also felt encouraged by the presence of other women within my age range and education level (Bachelor and master’s degrees).
Within eighteen months, I accomplished the following:
- Design Consultant for Answer the Moment website (1st client)
- Graduated from YWeb Technology Group as Design Consultant
- Earned my Website Development Certificate
- Created responsive websites databases
- Designed my own blog
I enjoyed learning front-end/back-end development, managing the complete lifecycle of web/interactive experience, implementing/launching the site and accomplishing my goal for a new and career.
Meet our Instructors
Sarah Van Wart
Sarah Van Wart is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina Asheville, and adjunct faculty at Northwestern University. As an educator, she develops and teaches courses in human-computer interaction, web development, introductory programming, and tech ethics. As a researcher, she (a) designs and studies educational initiatives that aim to broaden participation in computing, and (b) helps emerging computer scientists (students) recognize and engage with the societal and ethical implications of their work.
Sarah has been working with the creative and talented YW Tech Lab students for two years. She enjoys learning alongside them, and watching their amazing web applications come to life.
Esther Whang started working with the YW Tech Lab as a volunteer tutor in her?junior year. She has since become a program assistant, creating and co-teaching an intensive 10-week web development technical training curriculum. She also acts as a project manager for the Portfolio Group members as they design and implement websites for clients. After receiving her BA in computer science at Northwestern University, she is also a web developer and consultant, designing and developing websites for businesses.
Beck Mallwitz is a first year PhD student the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI). They graduated from Northwestern University in June 2022 with a self-designed degree that investigated the intersections of humans, technology, and learning. They care a lot about education, especially related to computer science and technology, and they plan on pursuing that interest in their PhD program. At Northwestern, they were involved in mental health programming, computer science research, mentoring and student teaching, and the student tabletop club. They also got a minor in art theory and practice. You can usually find them crocheting in lecture or playing video games with friends.