Matt Bradley, Director of Invent Partners, has been a long-time supporter of the FdA Web Design course, and employer of its graduates. Originally based in Wakefield, but now working out of York, Invent Partners are web designers, software developers and creators of the dotAdmin Content Management System [CMS]. We talked to the team just as one former FdA Web Design student was leaving them for a new job in London, and being replaced by another graduate from the course.
We began by asking new recruit Adam Dawson about his route into web design, given he began working life in a very different occupation!
I started as an apprentice Commis Chef and worked my way up to Head Chef. I’d run a few kitchens before joining the course, but felt the industry was getting stale and it was getting to the point that I used to dread going to work. It was always my second career option, which ended up becoming first choice for a long time. My number one love was always technology and computers, recalled Adam.
After studying the fundamentals of web design and development during the first year of FdA Web Design, Adam identified that doing some extra work over the summer break would accelerate his learning:
I thought my skills would waste away so I decided to find a placement, even offering to work for free. I approached Matt after a tip-off, met up, and it began from there. He was impressed with the work I had done on the course.
The course’s ongoing relationship with Invent Partners had helped. Matt confirmed:
We've hired several graduates straight out of the FdA Web Design course and we wouldn't hesitate to do so again. By course completion, the students are well versed in the skills required by our industry and are ready to start work on commercial projects.
We continued by asking Adam if there were any similarities between being a Chef and a Web Developer, and how the course had helped him bridge the two careers.
Some design principles are the same, for example the ‘Rule of Thirds’ or using Colour Theory when plating up dishes in a restaurant. Working to the clock and producing a great deal more than what you thought was possible in a short amount of time. Also, the management of a business and the skills needed to make a team work well with each other.
The course gave me a much better eye for detail; it helped me understand the industry and gave me a massive leg up into my new career. I worked hard and it prepared me more than I needed! Slipping into employment was a breeze and I’m already a valuable part of Invent Partners. Work is very much the same as University, except we don’t get weeks to complete tasks, more like days, if not hours!
Adam replaced Tom Orr at Invent Partners, who left on good terms for a UX Design career in London. Tom worked with Matt for five years – since graduating from FdA Web Design – and still remembers the influence the course had on his career:
It gave me the skills I needed to go on and succeed in the industry, and importantly provided real-world experience of client work. I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking a career in design.
I would strongly recommend the course to anybody looking to work in digital design and the web design sector.
Adam left us with some final thoughts:
Without FdA Web Design I’d still be at home trying to learn HTML! It’s given me a push – the desire and ambition to better myself – and I have enjoyed every second. I’d recommend it. Absolutely. Without a doubt.
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