The latest #wheredidyoustart profile comes from Emily Cressey, web designer at Mixd. Emily spoke to us about her journey through digital so far.
When I started University I originally studied Photographic Journalism, that was until I quickly discovered that everyone had the opportunity to be a photo-journalist these days with the rise of social media and smartphones. I moved to studying Multimedia Technology which gave me the opportunity to explore different media techniques and disciplines. It was during a Web Design module that I first discovered I really enjoyed designing.
While at University I came across a three-day workshop that was run by a local web agency, Mixd, called Work in the Web. The aim of the workshop (that has taken a year out this year to come back bigger and better in 2018) is to teach students, who were interested in the web, more advanced skills in coding and design. I was lucky enough to be picked to be a part of the first workshop and although I was pretty overwhelmed, I learnt a hell of a lot. It was from attending Work in the Web that I was offered an internship which led to a full-time role at Mixd after University.
I’ve been part of the Mixd team for just under three years now and my role has changed quite a bit and over this time. My first role at Mixd was a Junior Developer, learning the company framework and building sites within the development team. I always took interest in the design of projects and after a while began to get more involved in the design team. This progressed into a more permanent design role where I now currently work alongside our Creative Director helping to mold the company’s creative direction.
Although I have always been more interested in design I feel improving my code skills at the beginning of my career really helped me to become a better designer as it gave me the knowledge to design with functionality in mind and really understand how a design is going to be implemented and not just how pretty it can look.
Without getting into the whole debate of should designers code and coders design, I feel knowledge of both areas is only going to benefit you in the long run and give you a more rounded skill set.
What I really love about being in this industry is the sense of community that comes with it. Events such as Hey! and Forefront that run in Leeds bi-monthly are fantastic and really get everyone together and talking. I’m lucky enough to have talked at both events which are great platforms to help build confidence and share what you learn from your day to day with the rest of the community. I’ve also met so many great people from going to conferences (shout out to Hybrid Conf), who help inspire me every day to improve my skills and never stop learning. There’s always someone waiting in the wings ready to build you up which is what you need in an industry where everything is so subjective.
It’s also amazing to see so many communities being built around Women in Tech. I feel we are at a turning point where women are being seen as part of the tech scene as much as men and I couldn’t be happier than I get to be a part of the same industry as some badass, talented ladies.