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Spotlight: Charlotte Holland, Web Developer

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

In my first year at university, I had a part-time job dressing up as Pikachu. This was to advertise a local comic book shop.

Tell us about your career journey so far

I left school at 17 and did a year of Art and Design at college. I loved how creative the course was, but I realised I missed the logic behind subjects like Maths. That’s how I ended up studying Interaction Design at the Glasgow School of Art.

I’d never even heard of Interaction Design until I applied. I learned about creative coding, games design, 3D printing, electronics, projection-mapping and much more. I was still doing creative things, but I was also learning about new technologies.

At art school, I had an internship as a Web Designer. I loved this job so much that I decided to pursue a career in web design. Since then, I’ve done a few freelance projects for companies. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking for a job with a design agency or tech company.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

When I was younger, I’d definitely have said Art. In high school, I started doing Technological Studies, and this quickly became my new favourite. My teacher was enthusiastic and encouraging, and I learned how to code for the first time. I love coding so much that I’ve never looked back since.

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

I’d definitely say Art & Design is an important one; you can’t really become a designer without it. Otherwise, coding qualifications are great. This could be taking a Computing course at school, or even by learning online. Since lockdown started, I’ve being taking a lot of free online courses to improve my HTML, CSS and JavaScript skills.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Well, since I’ve just graduated, I’m not in a job yet. But my favourite part about creating websites is watching my code come to life. It’s really rewarding to see those few lines of code create shapes, text and patterns on the screen.

What is a normal day in your role like?

From my experiences interning and freelancing, I would say a typical day can vary quite a bit. I could be receiving a new brief, sitting in a client meeting, sketching ideas, creating digital designs, or writing lines of code. Often I’d be juggling multiple projects at once, so it’s important to be organised. There’s also a lot of collaboration with other people – project leaders, other designers, developers and clients. There is an awful lot of sitting at a desk looking at a computer, but I’m a bit of a nerd, so that really appeals to me.

Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

I’ve put together this activity pack/lesson plan which focuses on buttons in web design. The slides can be found here:

It would be suitable for complete beginners or those who have tried a little bit of coding. It covers HTML, CSS and JavaScript, with a “client brief” mini-project at the end to test your skills.

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website