Waracle Digital Academy Spotlight: Dave Ellis

Are you a graduate software engineer looking to learn the latest tech skills? Or are you a seasoned industry veteran looking to retrain in the hottest new mobile technologies? In either instance, here at Waracle, we can help to point you in the right direction. We’ve got oodles of experience designing, developing and delivering mobile apps and high performance digital products for some of the worlds biggest and brightest businesses. Welcome to the Waracle Digital Academy Spotlight.

The truth is, we live, sleep, eat and breathe digital excellence and we understand better than anyone that people and skilled technical developers are the beating heart of our organisation. We love mobile development. It’s part of our DNA. We understand the importance of nurturing the best talent and that’s why we’ve created the Waracle Digital Academy.

The Waracle Digital Academy is specifically designed to help us engage and nurture the next generation of digital products and mobile development experts. Today we’re taking a first hand look at one of our star pupils of the Waracle Digital Academy (WDA) and sharing his experience of the process. Meet Dave Ellis:

How is the Waracle Digital Academy JavaScript course structured?

The course was 6 weeks long, with each lesson being 2 hours. Lessons started at 5:30pm through until 7:30 and took place at the Waracle offices in Dundee. The 5:30 start was well chosen. I work outside of Dundee and this gave me time to commute in to attend. The lessons were presented by Danny every week, with other staff members in attendance as well.

Each session had a lesson plan and a new topic to work through. We started on the basics of HTML, through JavaScript, GitHub all the way up to NodeJS.

When did you start learning web technology development?

I currently work with a bespoke development kit, and about a year ago I felt that I’d hit the ceiling with that software, so decided to have a look at web development. I started an Open University Open STEM degree, and a friend recommended Udemy courses. I bought a couple of Udemy courses and tried to immerse myself in CSS and JavaScript as much as I could. Although Open University has set schedules, the Udemy videos allowed me to learn whenever I had time. I try to fit a couple of these in a day. It’s time-consuming, but it will pay off eventually.

What did you enjoy most about the WDA?

I’m currently the only developer in my workplace, so WDA was the first time I’d had a chance to sit down with other developers – students and professionals. It was the first time I was able to ask questions about development and related topics in person. Having Danny explain concepts, sometimes in a different way to previous learning material, helped with my understanding of some topics.

I think the best bit is how complex topics were made approachable. Whether it’s the command line, NodeJS installs, or the intricacies of GitHub, Danny managed to make every topic easy to grasp the basics of. WDA was the first time I had worked with NodeJS. Whilst it was intimidating at first, the group quickly got the hang of what they were doing. Everyone started the course with different skill levels, but nobody was left behind at any point.

Outside of the course content, the whole experience at Waracle was overwhelmingly positive. The staff are very welcoming and friendly, which created a very professional yet relaxing environment. It felt like a place where asking questions and learning were very much encouraged.

Did you explore any alternatives before starting @ WDA?

Despite becoming a bit of a tech hub, there’s not many options in Dundee outside of full-time education. This made WDA feel even more valuable to me. I have learnt a lot from Open University so far, and the Udemy courses are great value, but the WDA augments these well. It’s a unique chance to learn from industry experts who work on cutting edge products. I highly recommend the WDA for anyone who gets a chance to attended.

Waracle Digital Academy

So there you have it. The inside track on the WDA direct from one of its latest graduates. If you’re interested in learning more about the WDA and keen to participate, contact Waracle today to kick-start your mobile and digital product development journey.


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