Thursday, 12 March 2015

With DECODED: Code_in a Day

I posted a couple of weeks ago that I would be attending DECODED's Code in a Day training which I did a couple of weeks back and had such a great time I thought I'd give you a resume of the day as well.

My course was attended by a small group which included other people from Facebook, the FT, Capital Radio and a guy from Saudi Arabia where I've just come back from.

We started with the history of the web which brought back some happy / frustrating memories of ZX Spectrums (and some blank faces from younger people in the room).  We moved on fairly quickly to Tim Berners Lee and the development of the web (also see posts on my trip to CERN - 1, 2 - and especially Robert Cailliau's rant.)

Things then got a bit more serious as we moved onto CSS; Javascript and PHP; libraries, frameworks and APIs, AJAX; HTML (5); and mobile first.  This was through a combination of input / discussion sessions, and actual coding.

I really liked the input sessions.  I knew quite a lot about the topics, but not enough, and hadn't really appreciated several aspects of the way the web has developed which we covered.  In particular I hadn't picked up on how much today's devs rely on cutting and pasting existing code or pulling in data which has been made publicly available.  And I hadn't realised how easy (relatively!) web apps has made designing for a mobile world.  I had brought myself a book on Objective C a few years back and got nowhere, but knowing what I do now I feel pretty good about continuing.

I also enjoyed adding in a couple of HR and Recruitment related inputs.  For example when we were talking about different browsers I explained Evolv's experience suggesting that in at least one call centre environment, big data has suggested that people who have downloaded their own browser tend to make better agents.  And I added to the conversations on the reputation economy noting that recruiters are also acting on this reputation, particularly in the IT space, using tools such as Gild to pull in data from Stack Overflow, Github and Linkedin.  The other thing I realised is that given that devs spend 20% of their time cutting and pasting, the ability to search using good Boolean is an important skill as well, so again there's another overlap with recruitment.

But the real game changer for me was the opportunity to try out HTML, CSS and Javascript to design (or pull in from W3schools, Jquery, CDNJS etc)  a mobile web app which we've also come away from the course with, supported by ongoing access to DECODED Playto's HTML editor to continue developing it.

As yet, I've not had a chance to go back to, finish off and do more on the app, but I am going to do so!  My app allows participants on my training courses with Symposium Events to check-in at the training venue (which is going to be the Jumeirah Carlton Tower) so it may even have a future practical application.

I'm also going to carry on developing my knowledge and capability designing an app that will be truly useful for people.  The obvious opportunity that spring to mind to me is to use the UK CES's labour market information available on their API, LMI for All.

I may even take a look at my retro Strategic HCM blog and website designs, although as I posted last time, my current focus is on a new Joomla website for myself and my wife, which we both feel more confident about tacking as well.

So a great, really interesting and informative day, developing a very useful skillset and resulting in some practical benefits as well - a session I'd recommend to anyone who wants to understand and work within today's web based, mobile first world (which should be just about everybody!)

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