A week of work experience

Isabel Li

Hi, I’m Isabel.

I’ve always wanted to get into coding and hoped to start at Codebar, Oxford, but was too young. However, through my contact with Codebar I met one of the organisers, Beverley Newing, who’s part of the front-end development team at OCC. Beverley was really helpful and after lots of emails, involving her sending me a lot of resources, and me thanking her a lot, she kindly offered me work experience at OCC.

Day 1

I was introduced to Beverley, and she told me I was to make my own CV website using HTML/CSS/JavaScript, which I had never done before. I felt I was making slow progress, but at the end of the day I was quite content with my fairly bare two-page site that didn’t work on any browser other than Chrome.

At lunch we watched a great talk on YouTube about the importance of accessibility on websites.

Day 2 

Alex introduced me to the front-end team projects. She took me through the web applications and websites they had developed, and showed how her team make sure their sites have good accessibility. We talked about being a female in a largely male industry, and having confidence in your own skills.

Lunch was spent watching The IT Crowd.

Day 3 

I attended a stand up meeting for the project Beverley is working on. It was fast-paced and short to establish what needed to be done – communication is important.

By this point, I had mostly finished my website, and was feeling pretty confident in HTML/CSS (with Beverley’s help of course).

Day 4

What started as a blank .txt file, was now an okay-ish website! I used Javascript to create a customisable ‘garden’, where you can plant a wide selection of two plants over and over again.

Luke reviewed my CV for me and gave me lots of useful advice to make it better (thanks). At lunch we watched The IT Crowd again with added biscuits to celebrate it being Friday.

Friday also turned out to be moving day, and I got to know the front-end team better from chatting with them while waiting for the moving van.

In conclusion, I got a taste of what working at a software development company is like. It seems to be busy and time management is very important in order to keep afloat in all the various projects. Speaking to some of the different departments introduced me to lots of different aspects of software development such as testing, and showed how they can dramatically reduce the number of bugs going through.

It was really fun and I enjoyed the week. I’m very satisfied with my website, and I found I really enjoy making websites. Everyone I spoke to was very friendly, and no one minded showing me what they were doing.

Thanks for the work experience!