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Establishing Front End Web Development Skills with OVHcloud

By Usman Khawaja

In order to push innovation within our industry, we need to diversify the people within it. Code First Girls is an excellent way for young women to take their first steps into STEM, and at OVHcloud we are passionate in helping to support this great initiative. We understand the crucial role diversity plays within an organisation. To support this, we aim to help open doors to professional development and unveil new career opportunities for all our students.

Getting on board

Our Code First Girls course content covers HTML, CSS and Javascript – utilising platforms such as Atom, Bootstrap and Github. We delivered our first course in the Autumn of 2018 with 27 attendees. Since then we have witnessed 98 students from 4 completed courses confidently develop their digital skills and apply them to various projects. At OVHcloud, we try to make the courses as easily accessible as possible. We always run our classes on Monday evenings after studies/work, and our Central London office is well connected with public transport links – making it convenient to get to.

Building confidence

Many students come into the courses knowing little about coding and web design. They can be unsure of how a piece of software is made or a web browser works. This can create a potential barrier for them in their workplace when working with technical teams and IT. Over the duration of a course they are able to overcome these issues and feel much more confident about the world of technology. For students involved in project management, the course gives them an insight into coding and software development, which means they have a much greater understanding of the work carried out on their projects.

Enjoy as you learn

We always find that our students enjoy making websites that they are passionate about. Normally these are about food, travels or a business idea they would like to develop. Another aspect that resonates with our course attendees is meeting other women with common interests and working in groups to problem solve and share ideas.

One of our star students Ksenya Shrimpton is testament to this. Starting as a complete beginner, in just 8 weeks she was able to produce a mobile optimised website called Foodies in Asia. It draws on her travels in East Asia with a compilation list of must-try foods.

Our course tutors – Craig Donovan [Head of Cloud Support], Neil Mundy [Technical Account Manager] and Julia Audrain [Operations Manager] commented:

“We really enjoyed giving students the confidence to be able to apply for technology-based roles, by the end of the course you could see they were comfortable with new applications and being able to read code. What a pleasure it was seeing their finished websites and listening to their presentations. It was truly inspiring to see the women grow more confident with each course and feel empowered to create a website about something they’re passionate about.”

Our experience working with Code First Girls

Our partnership has given us a great insight into teaching and training students into using applications. We have learnt how to plan for these classes, having to explain the fundamentals like the world wide web and the internet.

There is always room for improvement and every semester we adapt the course and review previous ones we have run, in the last term we used Visual Studio Code having previously utilised Atom.

On completion of the HTML/JavaScript course, many of our students are interested in learning Python, which is the next level up. We are looking into the possibility of running this course at OVHcloud in the future.

Digital skills in the UK workforce

With the Corona virus pandemic significantly affecting how businesses are having to operate, and with unknown future implications, having good digital skills are more important than ever. We are seeing large parts of the workforce being required to work from home resulting in these employees having to use new applications for the first time. Many companies have now adapted to being only online or click-and-collect, therefore digital skills will only become greater in demand.

OVHcloud is a resilient company. In the midst of the current crisis, we are still looking to recruit for new roles all over the world, specifically within the UK. Please visit our careers page if you are interested in applying your digital skills to a new challenge.

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OVHcloud

OVHcloud are a cloud provider offering Dedicated Servers, VMware® based Hosted Private Cloud, and OpenStack-based Public Cloud to over 1.4 million customers worldwide. They have been an innovator in data centre design and management for nearly two decades.