CIW AssociateI became a Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) in October 2002, making me a CIW Associate.

CIW is an Internet vendor-neutral certification that offers industry-wide recognition of an individual's Internet and web knowledge and skills. It provides tangible evidence of a person's competency as an Internet professional; holders of this certification can demonstrate that they have passed rigorous training and examination requirements that set them apart from noncertified competitors. All CIW certifications are endorsed by the International Webmasters Association (IWA) and the Association of Internet Professionals (AIP).

The first step toward CIW certification is the CIW Foundations series, which tests the following common core of Internet skills:

  • Describe infrastructure required to support an Internet connection, including hardware and software components.
  • Explain important Internet communications protocols and their roles in delivering basic Internet services.
  • Explain the basic principles of the Domain Name System (DNS).
  • Describe how Web browsers can be used to access the World Wide Web and other computer resources.
  • Explain how email clients can be used to send simple messages and files to other Internet users.
  • Describe Internet services, including but not limited to news, FTP, Gopher, Telnet, and network performance utilities such as ping and traceroute.
  • Explain user customization features in Web browsers, including preferences, caching, and cookies.
  • Describe security issues related to Web browsing and email, including certificates and viruses.
  • Explain how to use different types of Web search engines effectively.
  • Describe how to use the Web to obtain legal and international business information.
  • Describe issues in developing a corporate website, including but not limited to project management, testing, and legal issues.
  • Explain how HTML files are formatted to maintain compatibility with older Web browsers.
  • Explain how to include images and graphical formatting in HTML files.
  • Describe how to create a basic HTML form that accepts user input.
  • Describe how to test and analyze website performance issues.
  • Explain the features and appropriate use of XML.
  • Describe networking and its role in the Internet, including protocols, packets, and the OSI reference model.
  • Explain the role of networking hardware, and configure common PC hardware for operation.
  • Discuss the relationship between IP addresses and domain names, including assignment of IP addresses within a subnet.
  • Describe the function and components of the Web server.
    Discuss common Internet security issues, including user-level and enterprise-level concerns.
  • Describe common performance issues affecting Internet servers and resources, including analysis and diagnosis.
  • Describe how to transmit text and binary files using popular Internet services, including the Web and email.

Having passed the Foundations exam, I am working on becoming a Master CIW Designer; one of CIW's five tracks. The Master Designer track focuses on site and e-commerce design.

I have also received formal training in basic website development, earning certification in five WestLake Internet Training courses in April 2000:

Beginning HTML: Introduction to Web Publishing introduced me to building a Web page and taught me the basics of creating a page, adding color, graphics, and links.

Intermediate HTML: Columns, Frames, and Enhanced Layout taught me how to enhance my websites with frames, multicolumn layout, colors, advanced image placement, and JavaScript rollovers.

Advanced HTML: Introduction to CGI Scripting and JavaScript taught me all the core skills I need to have working forms on a site, including laying out forms, writing the JavaScript code that validates the user's submission, and writing the CGI Script that processes the valid submission.

Cascading Style Sheets: Taught me the skills to enhance sites with more sophisticated layouts and more elegant text formatting.

Designing Web Graphics: Taught me the Photoshop skills that I needed to make sites come alive with attractive, fast-loading graphics. I learned how to use Adobe Photoshop and ImageReady to design graphics from scratch, enhance scanned images, and create animations.