A week behind the scenes at Co-op Digital

Written by: Emily on September 12, 2018
Tags: Teen Blogger

Hi! My name’s Niamh. I’m 14 and I’ve just gone into Year 10 at High School. This summer I did a week’s work experience at Co-op Digital. In the past, I’ve only ever visited the Co-op Digital, where my Dad is a Principal Digital Engineer – but it’s been great fun actually experiencing the work lifestyle.

Niamh at Co-Op
My site is up and running- ready to be coded!

Monday

On my first day, my main goal was to create a website that I could edit later on in the week. Unfortunately, the computer I was borrowing for the week didn’t want to work, so we spent around 2 hours waiting for downloads to show up. But, by the end of the day, I had my first website up and running – ready to be coded!

Tuesday

Tuesday was the main day of coding the basis for my website. With the help of a great website (Codecademy) and quite a few very helpful colleagues, I had written my first file of HTML code. The website I’m creating is called “Animal Wikipedia” and on that day, I completed the first page on brown bears. Tuesday was also the day I started writing this blog for InnovateHer

Wednesday

This was my busiest day of the week, with a meeting almost every hour. With the way my week had been organised, I worked with a different team member each day. Wednesday was the User Research day in the Lab (with a capital L). In the Lab, the user researchers use amazing cameras and screen recorders to analyse the feedback of the people they bring in.

Thursday

The meetings started almost immediately on Thursday, and we were looking at content design. Content design isn’t just what you write, it’s understanding what people actually look at on web sites and how much people just flat out ignore certain aspects. I was told about a format people seem to read websites in – It’s known as the F format, the red sections are what people focus on most out of the entire page, and the blue is what people just barely skim.

The F format
The F format

Friday

My final day at Co-op digital. By now, I was pretty tired after a fun week so on Friday I enjoyed a lot of me-time at my desk or on the beanbags. When I wasn’t at my desk, I was in a meeting overlooking all of the things I had done during the week – chatting to Gemma, a Developer at Co-op Digital, who had organised a lot for me during the week, about how to improve the Co-op Work Experience for others.

Before I arrived, I was nervous that it would be a boring office block and that I would be treated like a child. But, to my surprise, the people and surroundings here are amazingly supportive! By my second day, I knew almost everyone here and I fit in like a true colleague.

If anyone says that the Co-op is a non-inclusive office – they’re wrong. My experience so far is that everyone is accepted. One of their main ‘rules’ is to always be yourself and never be afraid to say no. In fact, they have a poster hung up in most areas that emphasises it:

The Co-Op it's ok to poster
The Co-Op it’s ok to poster

Overall, I would say Co-op digital is an amazing place to work and the Co-op offers paid apprenticeships, so you can start early too!

By Niamh Thompson, age 14

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