I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I’ve started interning at Rethink. Time is really flying by and the internship will soon be ending. At this point I really don’t know if there is a possibility for full-time work afterwards but the journey is more important than the destination and it’s been a great journey so far.
For the duration of this internship, I’ve had the pleasure of working and sitting with the development team at Rethink. Also known as “digital island”, the team consists Matthew Gomes (Interactive Team Lead), Myoung-Hee Kim, Scorpio Lam, Devin Leggett, and Ken Malley. They are are a great group of individuals who are specialized in key areas needed for what’s required for the project. The great people that keep us on track and divide our time throughout the day for various projects are the PMs and Digital Producers. These are individuals such as Adam Neilson, Mark Schootman, Michelle Binkley (INTE grad 2011), and Stefanie Gajdecki. I’ve also been working with a digital strategist by the name of Darren Yada. Darren, Adam and I have been working together to build wireframes and a navigation prototype for a client’s website redesign. This is an ongoing project which I forsee continuing until the internship ends.
“Take previous tools you’ve developed, re-use them, but always make them more streamlined.”
“Being in the industry, you start to feel patterns and understand tools needed for certain tasks, you learn what works, what makes sense in terms of usability and feasibility.”
Though I’m not quite how the other areas of Rethink operate, I can say that the values within the Interactive Department are ones that every company should have. We are team oriented; we often lean on one another for advice and help if we are unsure of how to do something. Two heads are better than one when approaching any problem. The Interactive team also has great mentorship and leadership qualities among the key team members. This is the main reason I chose to intern with Rethink. They are great at setting examples of how a team should operate within the workplace. I find myself drawn to their life experiences and respect each and every one them in areas of specialization. Everyone is detail oriented and focused, allowing the work to be done efficiently and effectively. Being the new guy in office is sometimes hard, I didn’t expect myself to be fully included within the group so fast. They’ve all been very approachable and easy to talk to when I have questions and when lunch time roles by. Some days we all take lunch together and I find this is the best time to pick their brain about their experiences.
Since I’ve started interning with Rethink there are many things that I’ve learnt along the way which I don’t think many will fully understand until you begin your careers. These are some of the things I’ve found to be important and routine every day:
- Test your project across browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (7,8,9) to ensure the majority of user’s are seeing the same thing
- Test your HTML emails across platforms such as Gmail, Outlook (2000 – 2010), Apple Mail, Yahoo!, AOL, Hotmail
- Validate your HTML, CSS using W3C’s validator
- If you start out using a HTML template such as HTML5 Boiler Plate, remove all snippets of code that aren’t useful or may slow down the site
- Use sprite sheets for rollover effects whenever possible to limit the hits to the server – one sprite sheet can contain as many as six different appearances for the left, right, and center pieces (if it has rounded corners) of the button including the natural and rolled over state
- Why not use CSS3 you ask? Some of the client’s technologies aren’t as up to date as you think – we need to keep in mind graceful degradation of web technologies
- Communication – being able to articulate your understanding of something as well as being able to justify your reason for something you’ve chosen to do
- Matching the graphic mockups with the development work you’ve built using HTML and CSS – even if you may be only a few pixels off, the designer spent the time aligning elements a certain way so you need to be able to develop it the same…across all browsers!Sometimes gut feelings based on past experiences and best practices will trump Google Analytics data
Though every week may be different I can summarize my time into these categories.
- 20% Research – Finding similar solutions online and applying them to my projects
- 30% IA work – This takes up a big chunk of my week depending on when Darren and Adam meets with the clients
- 30% Development – Another big chunk spent in developing streamlined HTML and CSS solutions for client projects
- 10% Testing – After completing the initial prototype, I spend some time testing it across different browsers and platforms and then return to development to make adjustments if something doesn’t work or look right
- 10% Meetings – Mostly internal, but very important to bring people up to speed on how much we’ve accomplished for the projects
- 0% Design – Though I think of myself as a designer first, I’ve learnt that if you’re in development your focus should be within this area, leave the design to other people because that is a time consuming task on it’s own
No comments yet.
Leave a comment
- How to Use Your Own Web Statistics at caniuse.com
- Test Your Web Copy: the Why, When and How
- A Checklist for Embracing BYOD in IT Policy
- Giveaway: Free Subscriptions to Depositphotos
- Winners of Interactive HTML5 World Maps from Simplemaps.com
- The Winners of Premium WordPress Themes from TemplateMonster