Juan Manuel Maldonado

Instructor, Computer Information Systems

Portland Community College

PCC Sylvania Campus


Non-PCC folks: please read the FAQs before contacting me. If your intent is to sell your educational platform or software, I am not a decision maker so please do not email me with solicitations.

Office Hours - By appointment only

Upcoming Course Schedule

Please check in periodically for updates.

Fall 2021

  • TBD

    Distance Learning and Classroom, Sylvania Campus.

About Juan

I am a full-time instructor of web design & development courses at Portland Community College's beautiful Sylvania campus.

I have over 27 years of experience in web site design and development as an educator, user experience and user interface designer and consultant. I have years of work experience in the corporate sector which includes designing web-based outage monitoring and process automation for Charter/Spectrum and just before joining PCC, working as the Community Manager and as a Technical Lead at Janrain (acquired by Akamai). I strive to bring my professional experience into the classroom to prepare students for careers outside of PCC, by providing real-world examples in my coursework.

Read reviews from students of my courses at ratemyprofessors.com.


PCC Positions

  • Computer Information Systems Instructor, 2021-
  • Computer Applications & Web Technologies Instructor, 2014-2021
  • Computer Applications & Web Technologies SAC Co-Chair (Web Subcommittee), 2017-2019
  • Staff Advisor - PCC Web Club
  • High School Dual Credit Support, Web (Rock Creek Campus)
  • CTE Assessment Coach, 2018-2019

Philosophy of Teaching

As an instructor of web development in a career technical education program, my aim is to motivate students to become problem-solvers and life-long learners in web technologies.

I incorporate aspects of Case Method teaching in my courses. In short:

  • Industry-standard concepts are broken down and explored, then implemented in an environment that encourages risk-taking and independent thought.
  • Uncertainty in the learning environment is embraced. Our jobs are to make sense out of chaos.
  • The opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them is key to learning how to navigate ones way out of problems. Therefore, I strive to get students thinking on their feet as soon as possible.
  • Everyone works in a Case Method learning environment, including the instructor. Learning happens serendipitously while working and problem-solving.

Philosophy of Web Dev

  • Web development is a trade. Anyone who puts in the time and effort to become good at this can become so. But you can also make it your craft and life-long passion if you wish.
  • Trying very hard at something and failing at it should be celebrated as an opportunity to grow. People who don't fail some of the time aren't realizing their full potential. It's more important to learn how to recover from mistakes (which happen) as it is to just do things perfectly. This is how we learn to problem-solve.
  • Networking is crucial to professional success. Networking is about creating and cultivating relationships. Networking is not about who you know; it's about who knows you.
  • The end user is the final authority. The client is an important collaborator and pays the bills, but their influence ends there. Content is not king.
  • Unlearning bad habits and letting go of preconceived notions of how things must be done are both more important than picking up new skills.

Current/Upcoming Courses


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's the secret to becoming a great developer?

A: Create a project. When that's done, do another one. Repeat this process constantly until you're so good at this, people want to pay you to do this for a living and you do it for 40+ hours per week and you become even greater at it. Then, pass on this secret "work hard at something to become better at it" method to others.

Q: I see you use [technology] at PCC. Can we contact you regarding our amazing platform which does the same thing but differently? Signed, Account Manager at [company].

A: No.

I'm not a decision maker and I assure you, if we're shopping for technologies, we'll have heard of you and we'll call you. ;)

Q: How do I audit one of your courses?

A: PCC requires that all individuals auditing courses first apply to become a PCC student (why wait... start now!), and then register and pay for the course in question. In the first week of class, students then write to their instructor to let them know that they wish to take the course as an audit rather than as a letter grade. This is done for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is for the safety and the privacy of all the students (including audit students) in the course. Any requests I receive to circumvent this college requirement will be denied without exceptions, so please do not ask.

For anyone wishing to audit one of my courses which has prerequisite courses, write to me and we can discuss whether you have the skills necessary to receive an override.

Q: I got a prereq override! Does this mean I technically passed that course?

A: If you do receive an override of a prereq course, please understand that this is not the same as having received credit for the prerequisite course. If you do receive a prerequisite override and you decide later to complete a degree or certificate, you will most likely need to receive a course substitution to make up the credits or simply take that course to satisfy the requirements of the degree or certificate. Additionally, these overrides are at the discretion of that particular instructor, so if an instructor provides you with an override, there is no guarantee that a different instructor will honor the same overriden prereq course.