Alumnus Jonathan Bulava gave students a first-hand account of succeeding in the web development industry and offered advice as part of the Young Alumni Series on Wednesday, April 4.
His presentation, titled “Real Time Web Development and Social Media Analysis in the Entertainment Industry,” described his education at the College and the evolution of his career from web developer to senior application engineer at WiredSet in New York City.
Bulava, who graduated in 2005 with a degree in computer science and a minor in interactive multimedia, began the presentation by showing the audience his first website. He juxtaposed his first site with his more recent work, demonstrating how far he’s come since his original site.
“I had no idea about anything like webhosting … I had no idea how it worked,” Bulava said. “This is what I’m drawn to. I could create something and then everyone could see it. I like visuals. I’m a visual learner. I like to create things that people actually see.”
Bulava now works almost exclusively with Trendrr, a branch of WiredSet, which tracks and analyzes the progress of social media campaigns for clients. He has designed apps, widgets and other multimedia for clients, including MTV, VH1, ABC and Oxygen.
Bulava explained some of the projects he has done, including one that taught him that making mistakes can be a good thing.
“What I have learned in this industry is that failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” he said. “You can run with it and come out stronger.”
After graduating from the College, Bulava earned his Master’s Degree from Villanova University. He gave the attendees advice on education and graduating from school.
“College is really what you make of it,” he said. “You can take classes and you can learn what’s in front of you. But if there’s something else you are interested, take the time to learn it.”
Bulava also stressed the importance of learning new things everyday.
“Always be on the lookout for what’s out there,” he said. “Don’t just stick to what you know. This industry changes fast, and you never know what’s going to be more efficient and faster.”