Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Not ready yet...

For this week’s entry we’ve been asked to evaluate our employability at this point in the course by comparing our skills and experience against those required for full time employment within the web design industry.

After looking on the job site monster I came across the following vaccancy which interested me:

Job Summary

Altitude Recruitment

Middlesbrough, Yorkshire

Internet Services
Computer/​IT Services

Job Type
Full Time

Career Level
Experienced (Non-Manager)

15,000.​00 - 20,000.​00 GBP per year

Job Reference Code

XHTML/CSS Web Designer

About the Job
XHTML/CSS Web Developer - Teesside, 15-20k

Our client, based in the Tees Valley has been steadily growing and are now looking for a talented, enthusiastic web developer to join their team.

Your skills in client-side development will be strong: XHTML/CSS, Flash/ActionScript, good knowledge of W3C/DDA coding.Server-side knowledge an advantage, but not essential, asp.Net (C#) or PHP they provide solutions using both.

Ideally we're looking for a team player with 1-2 years commercial experience, good time management and an enthusiasm for all things web.

Working for both direct clients and as sub-contractors for some major UK agencies; you'll have exposure to and work on some very varied and prestigious projects covering brochure sites, CMS, e-commerce, viral games and e-marketing.

Great opportunity for the right person!

In theory, by the end of the course I should have gained all the required skills in order to successfully apply for the position. I have an enthusiasm for “all things web” which was heightened even more after a presentation on CSS 3 from professional designer Jonny Haynes.

XHTML, CSS and W3C standards coding formed the backbone of our first year of study. My previous management experience has developed my interpersonal skills and given me experience in dealing with a wide range of clients and team members to achieve my goals. I’m also acquiring a working knowledge of PHP as part of my SMLP, which whilst not essential to this vacancy, would enhance my employability.

So in short – am I ready for employment in the web design industry? Well not quite...

Not keeping an active hand in webpage designing/building over the summer break has meant there is a certain element of rustiness with XHTML and CSS knowledge. This has been exposed during the build side of assignment A9 which has seen me regularly referring to my trusty copy of HTML Dog, slowing the build process down considerably. Likewise I’ve not kept up to speed with the latest W3C standards and can’t recall ever even looking at the Disability Discrimination Act!

My time management, again another required skill, is still not where I would like it to be as I still find myself wondering where time has gone as well as procrastinating. Not only does this heap undue pressure onto me as deadlines loom but it is also hurting the quality of the designs I’m producing. This in turn hurts my chance of gaining employment within the industry as I will ultimately be touting a weak portfolio and giving a true account of myself.

So how can I plug the gaps, as it were, and make myself ready for employment? In the words of David Bowie:

Turn and face the strain
Just gonna have to be a different man

Basically I’m going to need to adjust my attitude towards the course and the industry. I can’t rely on simply attending lectures and then not put in the time outside of college. I’m going to have to eat, drink, breath and sleep web design. Not only will this bring me back up to speed with regards to my working knowledge of XHTML, CSS and W3C standards but I will also begin to identify new technologies and skills which will form the basis of website construction in the future. Also continuing to expand my working knowledge and beginning to implement PHP into my sites where appropriate will help keep it fresh in my mind.

Word Count (not including advert text): 500

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