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Web Developer Students Spotlight: Colin, Hamdy, Ilya and Travis.

What Did You Do Before Coming To RED & What Brought You To RED?

Colin: Worked in the IT field as well as multiple other fields.

Hamdy: Student at the University of California, Berkeley

Ilya: Before coming to RED I was an ESL teacher for close to 6 years. I began to feel that I had to make some changes just to see what else I was capable of. I wanted to prove to myself that I could create something other than a lesson plan that people would enjoy using. I had come across many stunning websites in the past and the more I thought about doing web development the more everything fell into place.

Travis: I’ve always been interested in computing in general. Through high school and University I explored various operating systems and enjoyed modding video games. While earning a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Fraser Valley, I found numerous ways of taking traditional art-making practices and conflating them with digital imaging techniques. Sometimes finished assignments would involve automated computer displays. After university I continued my interest in the fine arts while working in custom picture framing, digital printing, and art supplies retail. During this time, digital art making remained an interest for me. I wanted a portfolio website, but I was put off by WordPress and instead coded it from scratch. I used a tiny snippet of PHP to help with content management and a few clever lines of JavaScript that a coworker wrote for me and I didn’t understand at all. A few years later, while working for a local animation studio, I had my first experiences using WordPress and social media to communicate on behalf of my employer. That experience really helped me understand the value of WordPress and Git. I knew I wanted to make a change in my career, and I started to think seriously about moving into development.

What Opportunities Do You See In The Development Industry Moving Forward?

Colin: Personal as well as professional growth and development.

Hamdy: My goal is to land a job as a Junior Software Engineer or a Junior Front-End Web Developer.

Ilya: I think it’s really important these days to have a robust web presence and there are many new ways people are going about making one. One opportunity that I’m really excited about is VR in the browser. I can’t wait for the day when we take a virtual walk around someone’s blog or landing page.

Travis: Web development is needed by a huge variety of businesses, which is part of what drew me to this career. Having recently left a fantastic team of coworkers at an animation studio, I’d love to work for the film and video industry. As a gamer, of course I’d love to develop video games. Ultimately, it’s the company you work for and your coworkers who make your career fulfilling, so I’d be happy to work anywhere that supports my continued learning and growth.

Meet Colin!

Web Developer Student Spotlight_Colin

 How Is RED Helping You Reach Your Career Aspirations?

Colin: RED has helped me by strengthening and gaining new programming skills. The education and mentorship that RED provides is extremely valuable and I believe that when I leave RED, it has equipped with the skills I need to face my future challenges.

Hamdy: While studying at RED, I was exposed to what is currently being used by many Engineers around the world. It helped me realize how much there is no learn in my field. To always strengthen your weaknesses and adding to your strengths.

Ilya: More than anything, RED is giving me the courage to pursue this career. For a long time I was under the impression that you had to have a Computer Science degree to work on anything computer related, but that’s just not the case. As long as you’re willing to put in the hours, confront your self-doubt, be comfortable with not knowing everything, and keep good resources by your side, there’s nothing you can’t do.

Travis: RED’s program was exactly what I wanted. At first it was difficult to be sure if I was making the right choice, but now that I’m halfway through my program and I’ve seen the attention RED puts into tailoring their program to real world applications, I’m really glad to be here. It was really important to me to get education that focuses on employable skills.

What Community Partner Project Are You Working On or App Project Have You Worked On?

Colin: Nexus Intercambio

Hamdy: Currently, I am working build a mobile first WordPress website for the HummingBird Network.

Ilya: At the moment, I’m part of a team that is working on Nexus Intercambio’s new site. They are an online portal that introduces educational opportunities in Canada to students primarily in Brazil. It’s a super handy tool for people who are looking to come here and see what we’re all about. Of course, RED is on there, too.

Travis: I’m part of a team of 3 students working on a website to promote Hummingbird Network, an initiative to use digital volunteerism to crowdsource wildfire monitoring in BC, Alberta, and the Yukon.

Meet Hamdy!

Web Developer Student Spotlight_Hamdy

Describe Your Process Working On The Project.

Colin: Pretty intense. Lots of work. Merge conflicts.

Hamdy: Communication. Teamwork. Grit. Perseverance. Knowing when to take a 5 min break. And some late nights.

Ilya: This project is massive, and we’ve got a 5 person team working on it. I’ve been responsible for the front page, among other things, and my process has been to do most of my work in Chrome Dev Tools and then, once I’ve got everything ready, to write the real code. I couldn’t live without Dev Tools.

Travis: The development student team is working to create a website according to specifications from RED’s design students. This is great because it means working with a whole other team of people in a scenario roughly like you might find when you’re working cross-department within your company. My Dev team and I are creating a WordPress website, which uses what we’ve learned in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Git, etc…

How Is Your Experience Working On The Project?

Colin: Overall a great experience.

Hamdy: I had a very positive experience with my group members. We all meshed together better than I was expecting to.

Ilya: I think it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s very different from building things by yourself because I have other developers and designers to work with, and everyone has priorities. It’s pretty eye-opening to see how people approach their work. In general, everyone is professional, respectful, and accommodating, which is all I could ask of anyone.

Travis: The community project has been a good challenge. It’s a chance to put everything we’ve learned together, but it’s still very much a learning process. Things come up that we’ve never seen before, and it’s interesting to see how teammates approach new problems. I’m really excited to see the finished product!

Meet Ilya!

Web Developer Student Spotlight_Ilya

What Are Key Takeaways That You Learn From Working With A Real Client On A Real World Project Or When You Are Building An App?

Colin: Pay particular attention to the designs and get as much information as possible.

Hamdy: I learned that making the decision to come to RED was the perfect place for me. The client project gave me a taste of what there is to come in the future for me and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

Ilya: The key takeaway is that communication is super important. If people can’t communicate with each other, we’re done for.

Travis: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. That’s kind of a cynical old saying, and in this case I think it really means plan as best you can, but be prepared to change plans and roll with the punches.

What’s Your Go-to Midnight Snack?

Colin: Leftovers.

Hamdy: Wonderbars!!!!

Ilya: Miss Vickie’s Original Recipe 🙂

Travis: President’s Choice Raisin Bran cereal with skim milk

Meet Travis!

Web Developer Student Spotlight_Travis


Colin: Github | Community Partner Project

Hamdy: Community Partner Project | Instagram | Twitter 

Ilya: Github | LinkedIn | Website 

Travis: GithubCommunity Partner Project | LinkedIn 


*All photos taken by Vanessa Shakespeare
Digital Marketing Intern & Full-Stack Marketer Alumni
LinkedIn | Instagram

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