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My Story on Life-Career Success at IT BOOST Australia

My Story on Life-Career Success at IT BOOST Australia

Last updated: 2023-10-21

Take a moment to read through a life-career development story at IT BOOST Australia, written up by Kate Bellman, front-end developer.

Student life

Prior to commencing my internship with IT BOOST Australia, I was enrolled in an online Diploma in UX and website design at Torrens University. My professional journey had included approximately five years as a freelance graphic designer. It was during this period that I made the decision to transition into the website industry. This choice was underpinned by the industry's continual expansion and my personal interest in technical challenges.

I decided to enrol in UX and website design as I  believed it would be a seamless transition given my design background. Over the course of my studies, I acquired the knowledge of crafting user-friendly interfaces, conducting customer research, and gained an introduction to front-end coding.

I especially enjoy the coding aspect of websites, and so, I decided to pursue this further. Through my previous studies and work experience in graphic design, I recognised the value of experiential learning, something that formal education alone cannot provide. This drove me to find an internship in the website industry.

Search for real experience

In December 2022, while still completing my Diploma, I decided to get in contact with web agencies around Melbourne. I researched the best website providers around the CBD and inner suburbs and contacted each of them through email. I mentioned what I was looking for and what I could offer, providing my portfolio and availability. I was contacted by Mehran at IT BOOST Australia and was ecstatic to be called in for an interview. 

During the interview we discussed my current skills and experience. Mehran told me all about IT BOOST Australia and showed me some projects they were working on and what I could help with. Mehran explained how this internship would be a two way street and that it was important for me to learn along the way, and so we discussed what I would like to get out of this internship. We then agreed on dates and days I would be working. I left the interview very eager to start.

My Internship with IT BOOST Australia

AI Project: RoomArc

My internship started off with a good challenge. My first project was to help develop RoomArc, a component for visually viewing flooring options. Here I designed the UI, taking the user experience into consideration.

The layout consisted of three key components. First, a scrollable product search feature allowed users to explore various flooring options. On the right, users could upload room images, while in the centre, they could visualise their chosen flooring option on their uploaded image

Once we were happy with the UI I created the front end coding using HTML and CSS, making sure the component was responsive for tablet and mobile. From there Javascript was used to receive products from the database and, when a product was selected, sent the image to the centre.

This project provided me with invaluable learning experiences. I gained insights into the significance of creating Minimum Viable Products (MVP) and why Agile methodologies are preferred over the Waterfall approach. Softcoding techniques, involving the dynamic generation of front-end code from database information, were also a key part of my learning. However, one of the most significant lessons I acquired was the ability to break down complex JavaScript problems into smaller, manageable steps. This approach not only facilitated faster problem-solving but also enhanced the accuracy of my solutions.

Helping with Web Design: Pragmatic Enterprises

The second project introduced new challenges. I had the opportunity to help create a website for a new client, Pragmatic Enterprises, which involved engaging with clients to gather essential information.

We employed a questionnaire to understand the client's business and the purpose of this new website, enabling us to design a website that perfectly aligns with their specific needs and those of their customers. In addition to information gathering, I played a role in documenting meeting notes and delivering meeting summaries to the client.

With the gathered insights and client's requirements in mind, we proceeded to craft the user interface and code the front-end of the website.

After my Internship | Start of my career

After my 3 month internship I was excited to be offered a contract with IT BOOST Australia. This meant paid work and ongoing experience. Over the last six months I have continued to gain new skills and worked on some exciting new projects.

Our Very Recent Project: Golden Cherry Home

One project that stands out is my work with Golden Cherry Home. In this project, we created a UI that reflected their brand, while designing a layout that is user friendly and easy to navigate. 

Working on projects such as this one has allowed me to continue to improve my UI design skills and continue to learn more about front-end development. Additionally, we created components that can be used in other projects, making the work faster while maintaining a high standard of quality. 

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

In addition to my responsibilities in UI design and front-end development, I have been given the task of enhancing website SEO. Including page optimisation, keyword integration, page links, and the implementation of front-end coding practices aimed at supporting search engine visibility and rankings. 

Although I was familiar with the term SEO, I had yet to learn about it. Fortunately, the team at IT BOOST Australia graciously shared their expertise, teaching me industry-leading practices for optimising website SEO. A core component of these SEO tasks involved page optimisation, where I focused on enriching the content on web pages to improve their search engine friendliness. This involves integrating relevant keywords, enhancing the user experience with valuable information, and adhering to best practices for content presentation. Additionally, I applied front-end coding practices designed to enhance the website's technical SEO, thereby improving its overall performance and accessibility to both search engines and users. 

This was made more exciting when I found out the pages we had optimised were now ranking high on Google's search results. Showing the results of our work at the company.

The Overall Experience 

Over the last several months, my journey with IT BOOST Australia has been nothing short of enriching. The support and guidance I've received from the team at IT BOOST Australia have been instrumental in shaping my growth. During my time here, I've had the privilege to work on real client briefs, putting my skills and creativity to the test. Utilising Figma, I've designed user interfaces, using my knowledge of user-centric design to blend aesthetics with functionality. 

Though the most exciting part was seeing these designs come to life through the development stage. Using my knowledge in coding languages and with the guidance of the IT BOOST team, I was able to turn static UI’s into fully functioning websites. While working on projects I have increased my development skills significantly.

Moreover, the team at IT BOOST Australia has graciously introduced me to backend development, broadening my horizons and unveiling a world of possibilities. As I reflect on my journey so far, I am thankful to the team for this amazing opportunity, and am brimming with excitement for the future. The experiences and insights gained here have been invaluable, and I am eager to continue this incredible journey of learning and growth.

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