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My Work Experience: learning new areas of website development

This is the office of All Things Code
The All Things Code office

My name is Luke Bonsey, I am a 16 year old student at Wellingborough School, and I have spent the last week at a company called All Things Code – a software development company based in Northampton.

The guys at All Things Code made me feel truly welcome from the very beginning and I have consequently learned many things about web development; everything from how to professionally lay out a website, to adding some clean animations that finish the job.

What my week looked like…

Day 1: The Week Ahead

On the first day, after introducing myself to everyone, I spent the first half of the morning with Chris watching him finishing up the design of an app for a client. He talked me through each page of the design, describing to me the features of the app and how everything worked correspondingly. I then sat with Calum, who is in the middle of a level three apprenticeship, and he spoke to me a little about how JQuery, Javascript and PHP are integrated into modern websites. I then had a look at a website he was finalising for a client and he explained how it all worked, including the animations.

In the afternoon, I did some research on JQuery and was given the task to create my own website. I subsequently began thinking out a design for a website I’ve wanted to make for a while – one for my band, Vindablues.

Drawing some initial ideas in my sketchbook regarding the layout of the site, and then writing drafts of the page content on Google Drive, I came to a know what makes up the bulk of any website and as the first day drew to a close, I had a clear understanding of what I would do the following morning.

Day 2: Website Development 101

On the second day I arrived and sat straight down to work on my site.

Firstly, I designed the homepage; creating navigation and content, then I moved on to the news page.

A week prior to my work experience with All Things Code I had no clue as to how to create a functioning news page on a website, but with the help of Chris and Calum I felt very supported. I then worked on the media page and finally the contact page. Chris helped me add a colour fade effect to the icons which added a really premium touch to the whole site, which I am very pleased with.

After lunch I started to try and grasp the basics of JQuery and Javascript. I went on some educational sites like Codecademy and Lynda.com to teach myself a little about the new languages and I learned some of the fundamentals and how they are applied in modern professional websites.

A representation of what Vindablues website looks like on a desktop computer
My band’s website so far

Day 3: Mobile Optimisation

On the third day I began to make my website more mobile friendly. I learned how to ensure everything stays in proportion, even when scaled down to mobile devices like tablets or phones. I sketched some ideas down to see what the site would look like on a mobile device, added some annotations and made some tweaks to ensure nothing was too small to read.

As I set to work I needed a bit of help from Calum and Chris as to how to make this work smoothly and effectively but I was soon on my way.

In the afternoon, after making sure the website was mobile optimised without any bugs or difficulties, I tested the website on a local server on both an iPhone and an iPad. After noting the bugs on all of the devices when using my site, I had a very clear understanding of how to fix them.

A representation of what Vindablues website looks like on a mobile device
Mobile optimisation of my site

Day 4: Helping a Client

On the penultimate morning I fixed all the bugs and by lunchtime my website was fully compatible on a number of devices. After lunch I searched for relevant images for a website that the team was working on; I was given titles and had to find a couple of appropriate images for each one and then send them to the guys via email.

Day 5: Blogging and More

On the final day I edited the draft of my blog, (with the help of Steve), and I prepared it for publication on the All Things Code blog on their website. I also continued to practice my site layout skills by trying to recreate the home pages of other webpages that I liked – learning how to implement the skills I have learned over the week to do different things to what I already knew.

Finally

Overall, I would consider my work placement at All Things Code to have been fantastic. I have learned a lot about coding websites and I have begun to understand new techniques because they’ve been shown to me by the team. I am very grateful for my acceptance into their company for a week and I thank them dearly for making me feel so at home and welcome.

We are always looking to talk to people who want to be part of our growing team and share our passion for “all things code”. If you’re interested in a career in software development or website creation, design or feel like you can help us share our story or look after our clients then please get in touch.

Luke Bonsey

Work Experience