Associate Professor, Computer & Office Studies
Dena Laney has been a faculty member at LBCC since 2007. She began her career with LBCC as a Systems Librarian where she managed the library website, the database system that ran the entire library operations, ensured access to the electronic databases and other resources, managed LibGuides and provided general library technology support.
In 2012, she brought her love for database and web applications programming to the COS department. She began teaching database courses, PHP/MySQL, and web design. Ultimately she decided she wanted to transfer from her Systems Librarian role and follow her passion for teaching technology by becoming a full-time instructor within COS.
Other than teaching, she spends her time with her family including her two young children. She loves traveling, photography, exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family, learning new web programming skills, thinking about usability and information architecture, and reading e-books.
Computer Experience – The Early Years
Dena has been programming since she was 9 years old, when her father brought home the TRS-80 computer and a really awesome teach yourself BASIC programming language book. Remember those? By the time she was 10, she had designed a database that printed mailing labels and customer lists for a local art gallery. She and her father encouraged her elementary school to purchase a few computers and began teaching special sessions on computer programming and using computers in the early 1980’s.
Frustrated by the lack of current educational opportunities at the University level, Dena created her own Bachelor’s Degree at Florida Atlantic University and combined a large amount of computer science, information science, and graphic arts courses together. Some of her favorite courses were those taught about Oracle databases and one course that had them create their own flat file database system in the C programming language. Through her college experiences, she was fortunate to land an internship where she worked one-on-one with the owner/programmer of multi-state database application system using Microsoft Visual Studio.
The Real World Programming Experience
In 2000, she decided to create her own social networking website for youth that eventually had as many as 25,000 members. This was a way to give back to young adults and also provide an opportunity to teach herself database web applications. She started learning Coldfusion web programming and created the site from scratch. A few months later, she got a job as a Junior Web Programmer for a database consulting company. Eventually, she worked her way up and became the lead programmer on an online course management system. Her interest in online learning was sparked and she quickly went on to get a fully online degree from Florida State University in Information Science with a concentration in Information Architecture.
Transitioning into Higher Education
She began working in the higher education environment back in 2002 and completely fell in love with the non-profit nature of education. She worked remotely as an intern supporting the Florida State University online learning program, consulted on and created several higher education websites for various colleges and created a content management system for Florida Atlantic University’s Student Health Services department. After graduation, she was fortunate enough to land at LBCC!