Work in the Web 2018: Our student workshop

23/02/2018 by Fran Davison

Back for 2018, we’ve concluded our latest successful Work in the Web workshop. We enjoy teaching and inspiring the next generation of web developers across the country. We love giving a little bit back within our industry and this helps us do this through our workshops.

Roll call…

Yes, we’re all here, we survived! Only joking! As the name might suggest, it was a fantastic three days of Work in the Web. We had a great bunch of students with us who were eager to learn from the moment they stepped in the office. We hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Day one

After a lovely breakfast at The Starling in town and a round of introductions it was only a short walk back to the office to kick of Work in the Web 2018. First up was Jason, Senior Developer, who gave an introduction into the workflow of a web design agency including project management, design and development. Students were showed some of the applications/tools which are used everyday ranging from Asana and Float to Photoshop and Sketch.

Next up, Mike, our Creative Director. He spoke to everyone about creative web design, showcasing what Mixd have done and giving an insight into our approach and methodology, all with a strong emphasis on best practice for accessible web design.

It was then up to our Digital Director, Phil, to introduce User Experience (UX) design, getting our budding students to think about their end user. He emphasised the importance of understanding user needs and organisational goals.

Ed, one of our Front End Developers, gave a lesson on responsive web design. He showed our own work examples to demonstrate how we’ve used responsive web design to optimise the user experience. At Mixd, we have been extremely involved and passionate about responsive web design since the beginning. We built the first NHS responsive website in 2012 for South Tees NHS Foundation Trust.

Day two

Sitting in on the CSS presentation, I noticed how much everyone was engrossed by what was being taught. Both Ash and Ed spoke to the group this time. First up was the essentials –  the students learnt topics like ‘CSS resets’ and ‘the box model’. A little later it was time for a “level up” and the likes of backgrounds, CSS selectors and BEM were introduced.

‘Sass’ and ‘Git’ were Jason’s domain. He made sure that everyone was introduced to the basic concept of Sass and how its functionality helps in large-scale front-end development. Later, he went through the basics of interacting with Git, without getting bogged down in the command line. Students were let loose on practical tasks to allow them to get really stuck in. This was a great way to involve them and made for an energising afternoon.

After a long day of Cascading Style Sheets, we rustled up some pizza and drinks for a well earned rest. CSS + copious amounts of pizza + drinks + socialising = Successful day two. Socialising is a great opportunity to break down barriers between the students and our team – a great time to chat and students can really get to understand the work environment.

Day three

“Javascript is a simple scripting language used to create simple kick-ass interactive websites and apps”. This was our lead developer, Rory’s, first Work in the Web but his delivery of Javascript essentials was fantastic. He discussed the importance of interactivity when it comes to JS and went through the different actions within it such as syntax, arrays and event listeners. For someone like myself, with little background in development, it was a great insight into the benefits of Javascript. Sitting at the back, it was a joy to see everyone writing away and completing the tasks on Codepen perfectly.

At the end of the last day, we challenged the students with a Hackathon! It was a chance for them to use everything they had learnt over the past few days. They were given a design brief which gave them a challenge they had to work with. In the end, we hoped, it would give them something to showcase and use as part of their personal portfolio.

Finally we spent some time answering questions from the students about anything and everything in the web industry  (well…within reason), it was a great hour. To celebrate another successful Work in the Web we played some tunes and relaxed with a few drinks before everyone headed off home.

Time to say goodbye

The class of 2018 seemed to love their time here and we are glad that they learnt a lot and were inspired even more. Thank you to them for joining us over those three days and we wish each and every one of them good luck for the future.

Here are what they had to say…

Ben W – “Had a fantastic time over the three days! Thanks to everyone at Mixd for having me!”

Fabiana L – “Thanks for these amazing days and to every one of you. A great workshop full of super useful tips, tools and inspirations. I’m really grateful for the opportunity you gave me!”

Leilah B –  “Loved my time at the workshop, thanks to everyone at mixd for all your great advice and help! 😁”

Emma B – “Had such a good time at Mixd over the past few days! Your passion for what you do really shines and it’s made me realise exactly what I want to do! So, thank you!”

We have already started thinking about Work in the Web 2019. Watch this space over the next couple of months for any further information released on the main website.

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