One of my resolutions for this year was to be open for any opportunity “knocking on my door”. So when I got an email from my course leader about ‘Work in the web’ workshop, I didn’t hesitate to apply. In the end, I had nothing to loose, and loads to gain!
Work In The Web is a 3-day development workshop for students who wants to work in the web industry. The initiative from Mixd agency, based in Leeds, is their way to give back and help out new generations of programmers to learn about to industry, new skills and get the insight of how it really is like in the real dev world.
There was only 20 spaces available this year, so you can imagine how happy, but also just a tiny bit surprised, I was when I got my acceptance email. The event took place in Leeds, but Solent Uni have gladly agreed to cover the cost of my travel and accommodation for those few days (Yay for attending a great Uni that cares about it’s students 🙌)
Journey from Southampton to Leeds is a lengthy 5 hours and 2 changes over in London, but I was excited about going on a great new adventure and to the city that once I was calling my own. (funny fact about Kat- I used to live in Leeds looooong time ago :))
Day 1 began from an informal breakfast and coffee (provided by one of the sponsors). I got to meet and talk to other attendees and all the lovely people from Mixd. Everybody was so nice and you could feel this positive vibe in the air. I instantly knew that this will be great 3 days!
When everyone gathered, we headed upstairs for some talks and lectures. And there was a lot of those that day!
First lecture was all about Design for the Web. Mike has covered basic principles, how to communicate effectively, the use of typography and colours, reading patterns and grids. In the end, he shared what tools they are using in Mixd while designing. I was really happy to know that tools I was encouraged to use at uni for my assignments, are the actual tools used in the industry. Next, we had various talks about workflow, domains, hosting, time management, content for the web, accessibility and SEO. Erin, a lovely studio manager, talked about do and don’ts of applying for a job. After a quick lunch break, Ed and Rory prepared a workshop to get us all comfortable with the terminal and using Git. To be honest, terminal always scares me for some reason, so I found this panel very helpful. At the end of the day, we all headed to a nearby pub to let of steam from our brains and get to know each other a bit more. After hours of soaking up the knowledge, this was just what we needed.
The second day of the workshop began from a Java Script panel, then Paul from Berwins Digital, one of the guest speakers, came to talk about legal touch points for designers and developers. It’s important to know the law and be safe rather than sorry! (always sign the contract guys! 😉 ) The rest of the day we’ve spent learning about Content Management Systems (CMS) and the most popular of all: WordPress.
On day three, Mike Francis from Bulb energy has taught us a lot about APIs (and about this funny 416 response code. aka “I’m not a teapot” 😀 ) Alex and Phil then did an amazing talk about UX design and made us all do a sympathy mapping and design our cereal boxes. The last panel was run by Harry Roberts (@csswizardry) about Web Performance. He even gave us some amazing, super secret tips how to improve our websites so they are faster!
There is a saying, that time flies when you’re having fun. I had an amazing time during Work in The Web workshop! Not only I gained a lot of valuable knowledge about the industry, but I also met so many talented people (those working in Mixd but also my fellow attendees! They are a smart bunch and they will go far I’m telling ya!)
Attending this workshop has also reassured me, that what we are taught in Uni, is really what we’ll be using after we graduate! It’s a great feeling, knowing that the course I’m undertaking has an up to date curriculum and I’m not taught old stuff!
For anyone who would like to work in tech, I would highly recommend to apply for the next year edition of WITW.
If you would like to read some more about Work In The Web( or just to see more photos from the event): HERE
Official WITW website: HERE
Mixd twitter: HERE
Photo credits: Mixd + me