Rebecca Gilchrist: work experience

Earlier this year, Olivia Taylor and Rebecca Gilchrist from Eastwood High School spent the week at Equator learning about all things digital. Here's what Rebecca had to say about her experience!

My name is Rebecca Gilchrist, I am 15 years old and in S4. I have always been interested in computers so when Work Experience rolled around I wasn’t very sure where to go or even what I wanted to do. Most places that had something to do with computers were either shops that wanted me to sell computers instead of work with them or unable to take me on so in this dilemma I decided to ask my Computing Teacher who in turn told me about equator and how she would contact them for me and see if I could work there and surprise surprise they said yes and this whole week happened.

On the first day I remember being completely terrified. I didn’t know what to expect. When I first went in I was introduced to Grant who showed me around the office; he showed all the suites and different areas in the business all while having a good bit of banter along the way which made me feel a bit more relaxed and not as worried about working. Once we had finished I was brought here into the suite with all the web developers; while here I met Louise and Carole who were very nice and made me feel welcome. After that I worked on my html and css coding for the rest of the day so I could see what I needed to improve.

As the second day came I definitely felt more confident and excited to work. Firstly I went back to my laptop and began doing some more code on codeacademy for the first couple of hours. After lunch we were then introduced to all the web developers around us and got to find out and learn about their projects which varied from energy companies to hotels with very few things in-between. While on the tour I learnt about the planning involved in creating a website or program which was not what I originally thought when going into this; I also learnt about Back-end developing which focuses on the logic side of a website and then the Front-end development which focuses on making the webpage look pretty. On the second day I also met a couple of testers whose job was to come up with ways to pretty much break the code the developers had written; to break the code the testers would have to come up came many weird and wonderful ideas so that the code couldn’t be broken by hackers or by a client’s customer outside the business.

On the third day I met Euan who worked as part of the SEO team. Euan pretty much gave a crash course on what an SEO is and what it involves; at the end of his crash course he set a challenge which was to write a blog on either travel, health, fitness, finance or football for one of the businesses blogs. At first I was unsure what to choose but then I decided with Euan to write about the Horse Trails of Scotland which meant I was writing about a hobby of mine and about one of the subjects I had to choose. At the end of the day I sent my blog post in and was then given a briefing on a website which I would be setting up and creating the next day and started taking important notes on what would need to be done in each part of the website and what I would be involving like a navigation bar or how I would split it up into different pieces of information.

On day four I began work on the website which involved both Back-End and Front-End parts. Firstly I did the back-end which was mainly focused on the logic and where the data was going which I easily enjoyed as it made sense to me. Secondly I worked on the front-end stuff which being completely honest I was terrible at and let’s just say art or design stuff isn’t my forte. I continued to work on this website until I went to talk to Jared who is one of the main innovators at Equator. An innovator is pretty much someone who comes up with cool new ideas for companies on how to do things an example is things like chat boxes. Jared also showed us things he was working on like beacons and this cool program that used the Kinect to destroy images on the computer screen using body movements. Then after that I went back to finish my website and fix the final parts of my index code till the end of the day.

Sadly the last day has now come. So today I started today by working with client services and went to a finance meeting with Louise and listened to a presentation on email marketing which all together was very interesting. Then I went back downstairs and began to finish off the final design of my website and tied up all the loose strings; after that I went to another meeting which was more focused on the management of a website and how they were going to split the jobs up so they can get done and sort out the deadlines for different parts of the website and now we are here in writing a blog on what I have done for the week; reflecting back on what I have enjoyed and if my outlook on different parts on the business have changed which they have. By doing my work experience here I for once have a sort of idea of what I want to do with my future and I also have learnt about the amount of planning and preparation that goes into making a webpage for a client and how skills like teamwork and leadership are used in this type of business. Overall I have had a fantastic time here and I have enjoyed working with the people here as they have been very kind and welcoming and I would definitely recommended this to anyone who want to do coding or computing in their future and I would definitely like to return here one day maybe even for actual work instead of work experience.