Category Archive: Education

  1. Review: 2010

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    Review: 2010
    As it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, I thought the traditional end of year post would be a good place to round up.

    This year has been quite eventful, as I started the year as a full-time student working part-time from home and ended it out of education and working full time with a different employer. As I’ve written before, I wasn’t entirely happy with university and my original plan was to finish the academic year and consider my options over the summer, deciding whether to carry on or seek full-time employment. As it turned out, I was lucky enough to be offered a position with a company here in Dundee and I can honestly say I do not regret leaving uni one bit. I’ve learnt far more in 6 months of work than I did in 2 years of university, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

    For 2011 I have a few goals, with the main one to become much more fluent in JavaScript and jquery. I feel my HTML/CSS skills are at a good level but my js needs some serious work. I’m not horrendous at it and can implement basic things such as slideshows, hide/show etc no problem but I’d really like to become a lot more fluent and knowledgable about it in order to write custom functions and better scripts.

    Something else I’d like to improve greatly is my actual design skills, and spend a lot more time crafting in Photoshop and then implementing in the browser. Or design in the browser but either way I’d like to become much better at designing interfaces from scratch. One way to do this would be to create a psd on a regular basis and to brush up on design theory etc so that I know what I’m doing, and able to improve.

    As well as improving on my skills as a designer/front end developer, I’ve a couple of personal projects that I’d like to work on throughout the year, nothing big or extravagant but something where I can flex my muscles a bit and put into practice some stuff in a real live project. I’d like to have something up in the first quarter of the year but we’ll see how I get on.

    I’m looking forward to 2011 and hopefully it’s as good as last year.

  2. Summercamp: One year on

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    Carsonified Summercamp

    This time last year, I was lucky enough to be at Summercamp down at the Carsonified offices in Bath and thought I’d write an update of the things that have happened in the last year and how the event has helped me in the last 12 months. Summercamp was billed as an event aimed at full-time students and founders of startup web apps who were just starting out. Places were limited to 8 only and as there was only three weeks between the event being announced and the event itself, I applied immediately and to be honest, kind of forgot about it as I didn’t really believe that I would be accepted. I was delighted however when Trista got in touch to say that I had been awarded a place.

    As well as myself, the other attendees were:

    Across the 8 of us were a wide range of skills and talents, with Gig Locator being in beta at the time and has since launched and doing well, and Rob was organising a one-day conference called Tomorrow’s Web which took place just a few weeks after Summercamp. There was a mix of designers and developers across the attendees and the sessions were also evenly spread between design, development and business/career issues, all of which were interesting in their own. Full write ups on the event are available her with part 1 and part 2.

    In the 12 months since, things have changed a lot for me as I am no longer at university and am now in full-time employment and have also improved both my design and development skills over the last year. My own website has been re-designed several times since and have also learned more coding skills, focussing on HTML5 and CSS 3 and even dabbling in php!

    As more of a designer than developer I was more interested with the design focussed talks and I thoroughly enjoyed Mike‘s talk through on what was then the recent Carsonified re-design and how he approached it. I also enjoyed the talks on development techniques and how to approach the task of building and testing sites, with Ryan‘s introduction to A/B testing being an interesting session.

    The whole experience was brilliant and if Carsonified were to ever run it again, I would recommend to anyone to apply for a place. I’ve benefitted greatly from the experience (even playing Wiffle Ball!) and I’m sure all the other guys have gained a lot from it also.

  3. MTC Media

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    MTC Media

    Having posted my thoughts on university before, both the good and bad points I was in two minds with what to do over the summer as the end of the educational year and holidays approached and I wasn’t sure whether it was worth carrying on or trying to seek employment within the industry.

    I’d become disillusioned with university over the last few months as I felt the course had stalled slightly and I wasn’t picking up as much as I wanted to and felt that a lot of the content we were being taught had little relevance to the industry. (We were still told that table based layouts were acceptable on occasion). As the year finished I was still swithering as to what to do and decided that I’d decide over the summer as there was no immediate rush to make my mind up as the course doesn’t re-start until September but circumstances speeded that process up.

    After a hectic couple of weeks, between completing the university year and everything that’s associated with that, I was offered employment with MTC Media here in Dundee and I was delighted to accept. My role is the front end development of websites and implementing the HTML/CSS/JavaScript, as well as designing and after four weeks of employment I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve learnt a lot in the short space of time in my employment, from the mechanics of how a design agency operates to more technical aspects of coding and designing solutions for clients. Whilst I’ve designed and implemented several websites in the past, it’s much different now that it is my main job role and in a design agency, and I’m really enjoying it so far.

    My knowledge is increasing all the time and at a much faster rate than it would had I stayed in education and for that reason I feel I’ve made the right decision.