My placement year at Rokk Media was great. I learnt so much and was fortunate to meet some fantastic individuals over the course of the placement year. I owe it to Rokk Media for giving me the opportunity to take the year with them and learn the industry from within a growing business.
I was beginning to give up on my search for a placement as the months passed by with no real leads. Late June 2012 I contacted Rokk Media asking if there was any chance of a placement year with them in which they replied with an offer of freelance work as a test to see how capable I was, which was both a big step and an opportunity to prove myself.
This went well with a few small jobs here and there and then the opportunity of a bigger project arose and obviously I took it, resulting in one finished website and an offer of a placement.
It was very late notice and I was beginning to think I wouldn’t get the opportunity to do a placement year so was incredibly relieved to hear I had an offer and began to prepare for the year ahead.
The adjusting period of starting my first proper job within the web industry was a hard one due to feeling out of my depth and also my living arrangements were not preferable. I was living by myself and I personally was not a fan of the situation. Being honest this did affect my initial performance for a while, but all of the staff were really nice to me and helped me get on my feet and slowly I began to increase my confidence. I wanted to bring new ideas to the table and show off some things I had found while trawling the internet for inspiration and anything else generally useful. This was the smartest thing I did and it gave me a chance to get to know the staff much better.
While at Rokk Media I worked on a variety of projects, creating, maintaining and updating smaller functionality to complete websites. I had the opportunity to use a variety of content management systems such as WordPress Joomla, Drupal and Expression Engine.
Early on I was slowly worked into being able to do my own complete project from start to finish. I eventually received the opportunity to prove myself. I was really looking forward to it and felt the experience would be incredibly valuable and confident enough in my abilities to achieve the required outcome. I came to learn the real meaning of Preparation, working to a schedule and giving reasonable completion dates for work. It was far bigger than I had expected and I gave a false prediction for the date I would finish it. I had failed to see all aspects of the process from start to finish. After the experience I was glad I had been part of it because it’s all part of the learning process. This made me realise there was far more to it than building a functional and great looking site but all of the smaller details involved which required time and a lot of input from the client. After finishing this project, I looked back on it and learnt from all of the mistakes I made and found ways to counter those so I could be more productive in the future. All in all it was a really great site to work on, and with the knowledge I have now I know I could improve it much more.
Over my time at Rokk Media, I had the opportunity to build a few complete websites instead of doing smaller things all of the time. This was critical in becoming better because every site I built gave me a new outlook on how the business end of web design and development works and also new skills learnt from each project.
Another thing the placement year gave me is the time and the right environment to use certain processes I had read about online to increase my productivity and quality of my work. I used as many opportunities to learn something new with every project I started. I had previously used LESS before starting the placement but for many of the projects it made sense to continue using LESS and learn a few new things about the preprocessor. I used multiple tools to manage my work while at university so took this knowledge with me to my placement and I ended up using Wunderlist and Trello throughout the year eventually settling on Trello.
Overall the experience was fantastic! I wouldn’t change it at all. I am really glad and very privileged to have been offered a job with Rokk Media which gave me the chance to show my potential and through that I am, in my eyes, far better than I was before I started in regards to my skill set and becoming a young professional. I also picked up some personal skills along the way which was nice. This has been the best preparation for my final year at Plymouth University and my future.