Codepotato from the eyes of our work experience student

Posted Jul 5, 2013 | ~6 minute read

For the past two weeks we've been busy mentoring & working with a year 10 student on their work experience placement. Today is their last day, and I asked Kieran, our work experience chap, to summarise the good, bad and surprising bits of what they had experienced during their time with us. The text below was what they came back with :

Hi I'm Kieran, I am 15 at the end of the month. Over the last 2 weeks I have been doing work experience with Codepotato. I chose to do my work experience with Codepotato because I have always had an interest in web design and development. I have really enjoyed designing and coding websites ever since I did a web development project at school were I had to build a online magazine for my chosen topic. I actually didn't have to do any coding because I did my online magazine in Serif WebPlus X6 but because I was pushing the boundaries of what you can do in Serif WebPlus X6 I had to do a little bit of coding. The M.D of Codepotato is also my brother.

On my work experience with Codepotato I really enjoyed designing a website for one of Codepotato's clients. I enjoyed this because I like designing websites and creating something from a blank canvas. I felt very proud of that design because that was only the second time I used Sketch and I really impressed Gareth with my design.

I also really enjoyed re-creating the Volkswagen XL1 website because it was design work and a challenge, but I thought I did well. Gareth said to me that he was going to give me a project were I had to re-create the Volkswagen XL1 website on Sketch and I had to make it look as much like the original website as possible. He said I was allowed to use the web inspecter on Google Chrome. So I used this to get the exact sizes of the elements of the website. I also used this to get the exact fonts and colours. It was a bit of a struggle to find the exact font because Volkswagen were using their own font on some elements on their website. So I had to Google their font and I found another font that looked quite similar to their actual font they used so I used that font.

The re-creation of the website took me just over a day to complete and when it was done Gareth was very impressed with my attempt. This was only about the 5th time I had ever used Sketch so I was still learning how to do things and use that piece of software.

This was what I did :

[caption id="attachment_11137" align="alignnone" width="150"]Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 10.22.39 Original VW site[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11136" align="alignnone" width="300"]Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 10.21.12 My recreation[/caption]


One thing I found really hard when I was on work experience with Codepotato was the actual coding of websites because I had only spent one day trying to learn some basic html and css before work experience but now after doing 2 weeks of work experience I think I know a lot more about html and css. I found it very difficult to do coding because I didn't know what I needed to do to get something to work or appear. I couldn't even Google it to try and find the answer because I had no idea what to Google.

I also found it very difficult to draw an avatar of one of Codepotato's clients on a graphic tablet. I found this very difficult because I had never used a Graphics tablet before so I had no idea how to use it. I decided to draw the avatar in sections so it didn't feel so daunting. When I had finished this Gareth also thought that that was really good.

[caption id="attachment_11135" align="alignnone" width="300"]My avatar My avatar[/caption]

The thing I found most surprising about my work experience with Codepotato was the amount of work Codepotato does to make a website. They have to first fire off a fact find to their new client, then they have to produce a very detailed and accurate design from a blank canvas, they then have to produce a detailed quote to give to the client to show how much the website is going to cost and finally after all of that they actually build the website. There is so much involved in building a site and I can't remember everything. So I was quite impressed with the amount of work that Codepotato do to produce websites for their clients.

During my work experience with Codepotato I also created my own website for my YouTube channel. I had to first design my own website on Sketch and then start to code in some basic html and css. Once I had done that I had to convert the site into Wordpress so I could then add blog posts and content onto my site. I found this very fun because it was my own website and it was for something I was interested in. When I first started on this project I did a design but after I had done some more design projects on my work experience I went back and re-designed that website to make it look a lot better. On my work experience I also had a Codepotato project were I did some more basic html. I found this very challenging because I didn't know a lot of html so i could only do a certain amount without asking for some help.

My next step now that my work experience with Codepotato has finished will be to continue designing and building websites at home.  I will give myself projects to improve my web design and development skills. I will need a Mac of some variety so I can continue to do this. I will need one so i can keep designing websites in Sketch because you can only get Sketch on a Mac. I think i'll try visiting sites and then redesigning them on my computer, before then turning them into HTML and CSS.