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Site Academy – Learning and creativity at work

Site Academy – Learning and creativity at work

With the help of several other colleagues, Ludwig started Site Academy, a forum with the goal to increase understanding of current frameworks and to explore new ones.

When a new version of a framework or an entirely new framework is implemented into the Site team, it’s often because one employee took the time needed to test and evaluated it beforehand. Ludwig, Team Lead for one of the Front End Development teams in Stockholm wanted the possibility to learn while at work. With the help of several other colleagues, he started Site Academy, a forum with the goal to increase understanding of current frameworks and to explore new ones. Ludwig explains that the set up will be more hands-on, not just watching YouTube tutorials and engage in discussions. 

Connect work and hobby

It began when Ludwig decided to do some research and workshops on workplace creativity and learning. He wanted to create a forum where his colleagues could learn and test new frameworks and work on group projects. “The forum is open for everyone in the tech team, who are interested in learning and experimenting with different frameworks,” Ludwig states and continues, “every session will have different target areas, so you are free to participate in how many sessions you want,” he says.

“We have two goals with the Academy. First, we want to encourage our team members to learn more about their profession. “That is why we are creating full-stack projects that consist of three different layers, which means there will be something for everyone to learn,” Ludwig says.  

The layers are (1) the presentation layer, which is the User Interface which is the part you see when using the application. Then (2) the business layer, which can be seen as the logic part that determines the why, how, what and who for the application. The last layer (3) is called the persistence layer (or Data access layer), which determines how data is stored and used. The second goal is simply to have fun together as we progress!

Learning by doing

The three layers are included so that every part of the daily work is covered; every team member can learn and experiment more about back-end development if they work with front-end development and vice versa.

“The projects we create don’t need to be finalised. Instead, the focus is on learning without any pressure to deliver a final product,” Ludwig says.

And the Academy is indeed experimental! During the first half of 2018, the forum will work its way through frameworks such as ASP.NET Core, Docker, Angular 2, C# 7+ and. Each session will be around 5-8h long so that they can be viewed as short hackathons. “The first project is about designing a digital photo wall with all our employee portraits. We are going to experiment with some cutting-edge frameworks. For instance, during the next session, we will tackle ELM, which is a functional language that compiles into JavaScript and is mainly used for building web applications and sites. One major advantage with ELM is that it should not produce runtime exceptions and instead deliver a good performance” Ludwig concludes.