journey through web development

Tag: events

3 things I’ve learnt during WITW, other than the industry knowledge

Few weeks ago I attended a Work In The Web workshop over in sunny Leeds (if you would like to read more about the event, HERE is the link)

Workshop has been an amazing adventure and I am so glad I got to go and be part of it.  I love events like this one, where days are filled with great talks and panels and you’re spending time with like-minded people. The good thing about them, you’re learning a lot more than just what’s on the agenda…

Here are three things I’ve learnt, other than industry knowledge.

  1. I’m not as introvert as I think I am.
    In the past I would struggle to go somewhere on my own. Going across the country, check into a hotel and go to an event ALL BY MYSELF? That wouldn’t happen. But I’m not who I was years ago, and those stuff aren’t scary anymore. And just like a person who lost a lot of weight but still sees herself in the mirror as obese, I still see myself as a shy girl, dependent from other people. I need to constantly remind myself that I’m not.
  2. What I am being taught at Uni is REALLY what people do in the industry.
    Technology sector is changing very fast, and for some reason I thought that updating a whole uni course to match this fast-changing industry is…impossible.  It’s been great knowing that my course curriculum is up to date and we are learning the good stuff.
  3. It’s ok not to know everything.
    I mean, it’s has to be, as there will always be someone ahead of you in their career, or someone who knows a lot more in some subjects than you. I may know some stuff, but it’s not even a tip of the mountain. And I probably never will know all of the stuff I need/should/want to know, but it doesn’t mean I will not try.
    The key is to accept this fact and instead of trying to be better than other people, be better than you from the past. Imposter syndrome is real, no matter if you’re just starting, are mid or a senior. Everyone I spoke about it, had to deal with it at some point. EVERYONE.

Ok now it’s your turn, what new thing did you learn recently?

PC: Mixd

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Work In The Web 2020

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 ๐Ÿ™Œ)

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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” ๐Ÿ˜€ ) 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

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Agile Enterprise Hackathon 2019

Friday, 29th of November 2019 was special for two reasons. Firstly, it was my birthday! Yay for being a year older. Yikes! And secondly, the main point of this post, I attended my first ever hackathon!

I wanted to take part in an event like this for quite some time, so I was excited, even though we had to get up at 4 am and commute for two hours to Milton Keynes.
People in my team were from different backgrounds and professions, few of which were PhD’s, and it was amazing to get to know them and their fields a little bit better. The topic of this hackaton was agile enterprise, and how to help companies become more agile.

After a presentation about agile and results of a research for a fictional chair company, we did few little tasks to help teams better understand agile principles and come up with an issue for which we had to find a suitable solution.

My team had to find a way of “How might we help employees to understand customer’s needs“.
Time to come up with the solution, create a prototype and get ready to present it in front of everybody was only 60 minutes, but I think we did a great job.

Our solution contained two products that complemented each other. First one is an app for customers, where they could see all the products, customise them to their needs and even see the product in their own space using augmented reality. If any additional customisations would be required, the app had buttons to chat or call the company.
The second product was an internal system for the company with all orders data, feedbacks, returns and products which could be sorted to reflect on popularity of a  particular chair.

An app and the internal system would, in our opinion, help employees of the company understand all of the customer’s needs. We had an agile principles in mind while creating our solution. Customer satisfaction is high, the company cooperates with the customer to deliver the best product possible, change is welcome (by allowing modification to the products), and employees can access data to reflect on previous feedbacks.

Turns out, I CAN lead the team (even though few members were PhDs and I’m just a first-year undergrad!) and I CAN speak up in front of the room full of people to present our solution!

I think all teams did a great job and I am happy for my friend Diogo and his team, for winning the prize!

Overall, I learned a lot during the day, met new people and find out that I have some leading skills and can publicly speak!
I can’t wait for my next hackathon!

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