Last week I took the train to Bristol to speak at the Web Developers' Conference. Most of the audience were university students or people just starting a career in web development, so it was a great opportunity to share some advice on how best to get started in the industry.
I gave a talk about my experience of setting up as a freelancer straight out of school, what options people have at that age, and also what mistakes to avoid.
There was a great line-up of speakers and topics. Dan Donald discussed some broad thoughts on web development, and how the language we use is often outdated. (We refer to data such as a news article as a "webpage", despite it having very little correlation to paper). Elliott Kember did a practical talk on jQuery with lots of oohs and aahhs from the audience, and Gavin Strange and Dan Efergan from Aardman gave lots of helpful advice on starting out and being creative.
Tom and Keir gave a joint talk about work from both a freelance and agency perspective, John O'Nolan spoke about personal branding, and Mark Boulton summed up the day by covering what young designers and developers should be learning and how to work with clients.
We ended the day by grabbing a bite to eat in Bristol, and drinking mulled cider in a pub boat on the river. It was all very fun, and I'm grateful to Alex Older for organising such a stella event.