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PlusNet open day at Leeds Metropolitan Uni

PlusNet open day at Leeds Metropolitan Uni

PlusNet open day at Leeds Metropolitan Uni

Hello dear customers, Last week saw the completion of one of my projects, and I'd like to share that experience with you. The project that I'm talking about is an Open Day that my colleagues and I organised at Leeds Metropolitan University (held at NTI who are located in the old Broadcasting House). The event had dual purpose: to be a recruitment and an awareness raising mechanism, as well as giving an opportunity to us programmers to develop our presentation skills. I feel that it is truly a beginning of a new era, where its not just technical skills that make a good developer, but also the ability to pass those skills onto others. The session started with a presentation by Owain Lewis, our Lead Java Developer - talking about our history, how we work and what motivates us. He was followed by Sebastian Marek, our Senior PHP Developer, who talked about a day in the life of a developer (that's where all the embarrassing pictures from our internal events came out!) The next hour we spent engaging the students in an Application Design activity. We split them up into small groups, each overseen by a PlusNetter; each group picked a random scenario - for example, to design a Online Fantasy Cricket website, or a self-serve Bar Ordering system, or National E-book Library. Each team had 15 minutes to discuss how they would implement their solution, and then present it to everyone. This allowed us to judge students' problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills. After a coffee break, Ben Longden, a Senior Developer in our Remote Team gave an interactive presentation on Web Technologies, covering the history of the web, highlighting the areas of importance essential for application development, and talking about the role of Frameworks. For a bit of fun, we then had a pub quiz that consisted of general, technical and otherwise random questions where we could tell if students were awake for the first part of the day! The participation was encouraged by the quiz prizes - wireless routers, set top boxes and other goodies. Some of the questions included: "What does PING stand for?", "What year was PlusNet founded?", "Red pill or Blue pill?". The session was completed by the presentation by Helen Pickford, our manager, on career opportunities within our company. We ran the same session in the afternoon for the next group of students. All in all, the day went very well - the students enjoyed all the presentations. In particular they enjoyed the workshop and of course winning the pub quiz prizes. All of us felt very warm and fuzzy, seeing that at the end of the day the students went taking away something valuable and useful. From the perspective of our personal development, we found it an invaluable experience, presenting to a group of people that we've never met before who had a varying/unknown level of experience, learning how to keep the audience interested, how to spice up the boring bits, how to get people participating within minutes of the start of the session. It hasn't been an easy project, but we're happy that we saw it through to the successful end! It is nice to find out that being a developer at PlusNet gives ample opportunity to get away from our computers and do something a bit different; this was certainly the case and a most enjoyable and productive day for everyone. Katya Sourkova Development

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4 Comments
Dan
Grafter
Hey Kat, well done to you and the team for such a successful event, by all accounts it went very well.
Not applicable
Why thanks Dan! It was a great experience Smiley
Plusnet Staff
Packet Internet Groper.. but that 'backronym' came later. The word was originally and 'onomatopoeiacally' meant to describe the sonar-like bounce back noise you'd hear in old submarine movies. Ooops.. have I spoiled your quiz for next time? Here's one to make up for it. 'What's half a byte called?'
Not applicable
Ping: I'm not sure the new university generation would get that... I certainly wouldn't have, after finishing my degree! "What’s half a byte called": That would be a nibble Smiley Always made me smile when I was little and read DOS books.