The Website Design and Development team from BYU-Idaho won first place at the National Business Professionals of America Post-Secondary competition in Dallas, Texas on May 8.
The team consisted of Jennie Handy, Eleanor Barnum, Tyler Shellman and Cameron Fuller. These students individually completed certification exams in web fundamentals before competing in the event.
“Our team had to work together to design and develop and make a website,” Handy said. “We were given the subject of carbon footprint and improving that in your local area.”
Each team member focused on a section of the whole website. They began working on this project during the fall semester.
After completing their individual tasks, BYU-I’s team came together and combined their work to make a cohesive website. Then, at the competition, they were to present this website to a panel of judges.
“They just wanted to look mostly at design aspects rather than technical expertise,” Fuller said.
With this in mind, the students decided to go a step further.
“I think we did get a little bit of bonus points for building [the website] from scratch rather than using WordPress or something … that would build it for you. That really helped us,” Fuller said.
As it was the team’s first time competing, they weren’t expecting to win first place. Though they expected less, they worked hard on their website.
“I was really proud of our work, but I wasn’t expecting that we would win first, especially against a bunch of other colleges across the whole United States,” Barnum said.
Apart from winning as a team, Handy and Fuller placed top 10 in the web fundamentals individual competition.
“It was a multiple choice about web fundamentals, in general, and then you had to code following some directions and requirements … It’s all timed and in Notepad, meaning that we don’t have the help a code editor would give us. It was a little hard, so we had to memorize some things and know how to do it,” Handy said.
According to the BPA website, the organization’s mission is “to develop and empower student leaders to discover their passion and change the world by creating unmatched opportunities in learning, professional growth and service.”
This experience helped Barnum grow as a person, student and computer coder.
“I learned so many new things that my team taught me,” Barnum said. “It gave me more confidence in myself, like actually, which is kind of cool.”
Fuller expressed his hope for future students to compete.
“I think promoting these outside competitions and opportunities would not only help the students but also help the university gain notoriety and recognition. I hope they continue,” Fuller said.