Information for students and job seekers

We have put together a list of resources which you might find useful if you are hoping to work in the web design and/or IT industries.

If you have suggestions for links we could include, or find this useful, please let us know!

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Click below to view the huge array of links we've collected for you!

Learning to code

Codeyear - http://codeyear.com/

Set yourself a target - learn to code in a year!

Codecademy - http://www.codecademy.com/

Codecademy takes you through step-by-step learning how to code in Javascript, with Ruby and Python lessons coming soon.  A very easy interface, with clear instructions and hints if you get stuck.

Team Treehouse - http://teamtreehouse.com/

Team Treehouse gives easy-to-follow videos which take you through a wide range of topics, from web design to web development and mobile apps development.

Codeschool - http://www.codeschool.com/

Learn a range of coding techniques from CSS to Jquery and Rails

Hackety Hack - http://hackety.com/

Learn how to code in Ruby - a great way to get started with some fun challenges!

Scratch - http://scratch.mit.edu/

One of the original 'learn to code' intitatives, created by MIT.  A great social environment where you can share projects with people from around the world.

Lynda - http://www.lynda.com/

Lynda.com is a great resource for a huge range of topics, from web design to graphics and business development.  While this is a paid-for system, the tutorials really are top-notch.

Learning graphics design

PSDTuts+ - http://psd.tutsplus.com/

PSDTuts+ is an online blog/tutorial site which has some great tutorials to get you started with graphics design - especially with Photoshop

Lynda - http://www.lynda.com/

Lynda.com is a great resource for a huge range of topics, from web design to graphics and business development.  While this is a paid-for system, the tutorials really are top-notch.

Learning web design

Team Treehouse - http://teamtreehouse.com/

Team Treehouse gives easy-to-follow videos which take you through a wide range of topics, from web design to web development and mobile apps development.

Tuts+ - http://tutsplus.com/tutorials/?q=true&;filter_topic=35

Tuts+ have a web design/development section which contains some invaluable tutorials.  A great place to learn cool new stuff!

Lynda - http://www.lynda.com/

Lynda.com is a great resource for a huge range of topics, from web design to graphics and business development.  While this is a paid-for system, the tutorials really are top-notch.

W3Schools - http://w3schools.com/

Do it the old-fashioned way!  w3schools has some great 'how to' and reference guides, a useful tool to refer back to!

Digital Media

A great article on Econsultancy on getting started in digital media - a guide for students and graduates

Finding opportunities

Join me on Ecademy where there is a group specifically for young people to network with business owners, entrepreneurs, and key people of influence in your chosen industry.  Remember that you are speaking to very experienced, senior level people so make sure you use the appropriate communication - text speak, abbreviations and so forth should not be used - treat it as an interview for your dream job. 

If you're interested in starting up your own business, Ecademy is definitely the place to be!

General techie stuff & advice

Open source software

Open Source Alternatives - http://www.osalt.com/

We would strongly advise you to consider using open source software, which is both free and well supported.  It allows you to do virtually everything that a closed-source alternative (such as Adobe Creative Suite) does, with no cost.

Finding interesting stuff

When you attend for interview, it's always a good idea to be able to talk about something you've just learned, news from the industry, new technologies or projects you've been working on.  The key here is taking the initiative yourself to keep up to date with your industry.  Find blogs which are written by reputable people, and follow them.  Use something like Google Reader to subscribe to their RSS feeds so you get updates regularly, or an app on a smart phone.

Putting together a portfolio

If you don't have any jobs, pretend you do.  Make up a fictional company who want a website, and create that website.  The process will be an opportunity for you to challenge yourself.  If you see a problem with a piece of software, figure out how it works and see if you can fix it.  If it's open source, see if you can get help from their various mailing lists, and if you fix something, submit it for inclusion in the code.

Creating an online CV

Paper CV's are great, but if you're applying for a job in the digital world, especially a creative industry, you'll want to have an online CV as well.  Here are some fab examples:

Smashing Magazine did a great review back in 2009, containing 10 handy tips for web design CV's and resumes - well worth a read (but don't copy directly from here, use the concepts to create your own!)

Save Delete.com reviewed the top 100 creative resumes of all time - wow, some of them are amazing! http://savedelete.com/100-most-creative-example-resumes-of-all-time.html

Special interests

If you want to work in a specific area (for example, we specialise in the Joomla! CMS) then make sure you have had exposure to that area.  Don't turn up to the interview having not even bothered to try out the technology you will be working with.

Find out if there are local user groups you could attend - it shows initiative, and demonstrates that you're willing to step outside your comfort zone and learn something new.  It also gives you an opportunity to meet other people with similar interests, some of whom could potentially end up employing you!

Last modified on Saturday, 02 March 2013 19:18

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  • Laurence Southon - Linux specialist
    Laurence Southon - Linux specialist

    Laurence joined the team at Virya Technologies in August 2013, and looks after all of our Linux servers. He has a long established history of supporting and maintaining Linux systems and is a great supporter of Open Source technologies.

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