Week 2 of Ladders is usually when the hard work truly kicks in and blimey, our industry mentor Phil lived up to it! The week began with an in-depth look at JavaScript and how it fits into modern web development (a key aspect in professional software development roles). The participants found JavaScript considerably more complex than HTML and CSS but really ran with the material and began to grasp the nature of the language by the end of the session. A few students took a step further as they began to experiment and create their own different variations of the coded solution provided.

Monday was just a warm up as the students were then guided by Phil on an industry tour at Sage in North Park – a global company working with 6.2 million businesses across the world, revolving around finding the right software to suit accounting needs. This was the perfect opportunity for these aspiring software developers to get a taste of what their future could look like in this creative industry but most importantly, gaining perspective and making contacts.

Photos by Emily Robertson

The participants had not seen the inside of such a large office space before (it even surprises Phil to this very day!). The impressive atrium leads to many of the facilities available including a gym and café area which are all available to employees…let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to work there!? As well as hearing about the plans to overhaul the already modern looking building and updating some of the facilities, they were shown the main development area too.

Photos by Emily Robertson

After a fascinating tour, the Ladders team were given a short presentation from Ben Wilson, a designer who works on the development team. Soon after, there was a round table discussion with some of the development and testing team members: Denise Moorhouse, Liam Lagay, Russell Craxford, Melanie Smite and Adam Georgeson. The students were fully immersed, engaged and were pouring with questions about the hard-working lifestyle of these developers. This opportunity particularly gave a lot of perspective in terms of helping them understand what working inside such a large organisation would be like, something which is rarely exposed and discussed in depth.

Thank you to Sage for warmly welcoming us to your community of talented, wonderful developers. Week 2 has certainly given a realistic touch to this course, proving that finding work in software development or in fact any other creative industry isn’t an impossible task. It’ll be exciting to see how what they’ve learned will come to use in the later weeks…