Summer fun (and work) at Netskills


When the sun is shining and you have to work – win win.

The Netskills office has officially switched on the summer mode as most of the team have fled to enjoy the sunshine. For reasons unknown, the holiday destination of this summer seems to be France.

So the office is pretty quiet with only a handful of us left.

Which is actually not a bad thing.

It’s a perfect opportunity to catch up on things, reflect the past academic year and tie up all the loose ends of projects we’ve been working on.

Roll the cameras!

Last week, we had a final development push to finish creating e-learning materials with the team at South Tyneside College. We’ve had a fun year with them (we’ve blogged about it earlier) and it’s been great to be able to put our skills to test and the things we preach at our workshops into practice.

On Wednesday, we rounded up the remaining troops in the office to do some audio acting. For those of us who are office-bound, there tends to little bit of slack in the diaries so we’re able to ask our colleagues to do something like this. We had five different scripts with seven characters so practically everyone chipped in.

DIY audio recording station

Who needs a tripod when you have a stack of Wired magazines?

For the record, speaking in front of cameras or into an audio recorder is never easy so hats off to the team at STC and our own colleagues who’ve been great at throwing themselves in and learning as we go.

A new mobile-optimised site

I’ve also been able to catch up on the sort of work you do on the side in addition to the normal day-to-day stuff. The projects you just find the time for because of personal interests or simply because it’s fun.

During the spring and summer I’ve been involved in a project that’s looking at optimising our website for mobile devices.

It’s been a slow burner. With a team of two we’ve been doing bits and pieces of mock-ups, development and testing here and there. And now, we’re finally getting closer to the finishing line and will hopefully be able to roll it out as soon as the bosses are back to sign it off. More on this once it’s all official and live.

Team building

It’s not been all work though. The summer lull also means time for reflection and team building. So before half the team migrated across the Channel, we had our annual planning day.

The purpose is partly to take stock of what’s been going on in the past year but, more importantly, to plan new exciting stuff for the upcoming one (more about that later!).

The meeting ended with a game of rounders, which, not so uncharacteristically, turned from a relaxed team activity to a fierce competition with some heated discussions about the details of the rules.

We made up in the pub afterwards.

And my team won.

Out of office

Once everything on the summer todo list is ticked off, it’s time to switch off the computer. There are still a few of us that have saved our holidays for August.

For me that means a trip to Finland to catch up with family and friends and after that, I’m off (of course!) to France.