As we are getting towards work experience week for schools I thought it would be a good idea to dispel the myth that there is only a limited range of opportunities in the digital and creative sector. When we set about creating websites for customers it all begins with you!
From an iTCHYROBOT though it all started many months and years before with the marketing and strategic teams designing and defining which events to attend, what marketing materials to create, what presentations to give what social media campaigns to run alongside a many other factors. Even this involves a number of people with different skills before you as a customer even start to speak to our team about creating your website.
What are these roles and what opportunities should schools be aware of when discussing careers with pupils?
The web and creative industries are continually expanding in the UK and as an industry we require a lot more that just designers and coding nerds. The traditional software engineering myth that you must be good at maths holds partially true but there is so much more on offer in digital sector.
I will attempt to break down an example website projects. As I mentioned above your project will often begin long before you start speaking to us about it. You may have Googled and found our website. You may have met the marketing team at an event like Schools North East or BETT. We may already produced printed materials or you may have bought school signage from our print site. Whatever route led you to speaking to us all started with our marketing team. These guys are at the center of all the content and graphics you see on social media our website and down to our company t-shirts and coats! The marketing team create Facebook Ads, manage our Google Adwords campaigns, define our SEO strategy and present stats and analytics on what works and what does not.
The marketing team keep everyone busy with new ideas and campaigns that require content to be written, graphics and videos to be created and sometimes animations and illustrations. The often come armed with lots of facts and statistics from Google Analytics and the various campaigns they have created. The SEO guys are able to pinpoint optimal times to create and publish posts through to analysing user behaviour on websites to refine the user experience.
Behind all the glitz and glamour of marketing is the copy writers, SEO gurus, designers and artists who make the marketing vision come alive. Our copy writers produce content about anything from what is happening in iTCHYROBOT for our website, press releases through to editorial content for our printed materials such as brochures and even help files. These folks are often the sanity for proposals. They write scripts for our training videos and are often found recording screen cast demo videos. All these various mediums require specific styles for writing from creative through to technical and process driven. It is a very skilled job and a career path in its own right.
But, back to our marketing guys for just one second. These are the folks you will first meet from iTCHYROBOT. This role is critical to the company success and it should come as no surprise that the role is driven by a company director who is passionate about all things marketing. It is the marketing team who your will most likely be your first point of contact and the people who you will subsequently meet at your school. It is their job to find out exactly what you want from your website and what sort of designs and visuals we need to produce to reflect your school values and ethos.
At iTCHYROBOT we have one major difference to other agencies. We don’t have a sales team! Sales is a massive role in and of its own right. There are many highly successful sales people in industry and it is a career path that can take many different directions and is often so critical to company success that you will see titles like CSO (Chief Sales Officer) and Sales Director on the boards of many companies. Not here at iTCHYROBOT. Why? Not because we do not value sales input but simply because we love what we do, we love creating products that help schools. We believe in charging a fair price and trying to reduce spending on technologies that can be included in a school website so that funds can be redirected back to teaching. If your school has a website, a parents evening system, a repository of policies or an external OFSTED check all of which you are paying for separately — STOP! We have it all wrapped up in one simple license that will save you time and money. There you go! We have a simple message and a passion for what we do. We love getting out to see our schools and collecting ideas and features that they want us to add next. We can’t build everything and neither do we want to!
We are not a Schools Management Information System. We have good friends at ScholarPack and Arbor. We have integrated these within our platform to make your lives easier.
We are not a tracking system for pupils whether that be for attendance of SEND. If you want a SEND package speak to CPOMS. They are experts in what they do and come highly recommended from all the schools we work with.
But if you want to save money on your website by consolidating a lot of licenses and streamline your reporting then speak to us about how we can help.
Our passion through what we do helps us to get the majority of our work through repeat custom and referrals. We don’t try to sell it just sort of happens if there is a natural connection and fit. If not then its not a problem.
When it comes to creating your website our graphics folks will receive a web brief after the initial meeting and well, they get busy with pencil, paper, whiteboards and crayons initially mocking up ideas. These ideas get refined on the computer in tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign before being transferred into working prototypes in XD for demo.
Within the graphics team we have layout experts, user experience designers, illustrators, animators, videographers, drone pilots, 3d designers, print designers and the list goes on. These different skills are specialist design areas of expertise and job roles in their own respect. They cover a wide range of print knowledge, web design techniques and who knows what else. At the heart of this role is the need to be creative and to have an artistic flare that stands out from the crowd. The technical aspects of how to use various tools and understand the difference between graphics formats or the unusual language surrounding design can all be taught. But if you have a creative flare and you know your JPEG from WEBP and your kerning from your leading they you are already well on your way to a career as a designer.
The three technologies just mentioned are the fundamental building blocks of the web. It all began with state of the art semantically written HTML back in 1994. Fast forward and HTML has evolved to HTML 5. HTML 5 and a number of futuristic and forward thinking responsive frameworks are what make up the world of the web today. Now we build in HTML5 with ZURB Foundation grid framework so we can create desktop and mobile website experiences natively in one code base. If you site is not using modern technologies and your CMS is lagging behind maybe it is time to upgrade. There are many statistics banded about when it comes to WordPress but it is safe to say that it powers a lot of website. One figure given is that 30% of all sites are using the WordPress Platform.
Why? Because it is easy to use. Easy to update. Easy for us developers to extend and add new features for our schools.
Once the website is created and web ready it moves onto our developers. Our developers are PHP and MySQL/Maria nerds. They love all things dynamic and data driven. They spend time in abstract classes and talking about inheritance and polymorphism and whether to use singleton patterns or MVC, HMVA and MVVC. They check in and out code from GitHub and run all the LINUX servers internally and on Amazon Web Services and in our various data centers. If you have an analytic mind and love problem solving then this is definitely a route to explore.
So a quick recap on what and who goes into producing your website
- Content and Editorial
- Web Developers
- Systems Engineers
Fancy a career in the creative sector or want to know more about the opportunities then feel free to connect on LinkedIn our join our Facebook group.