The University of West
England [UWE] is a public
research university, located in and around Bristol in England. With around
30,000 students spread across three campuses, it’s one of the largest
universities in the South West.
UWE offers over 650
innovative programmes of study on a wide range of subject areas, including
Biosciences, Design, and Health and Social Care. With a large number of
international partnerships and students working on accredited degrees across
the globe, UWE is proud to be an ambitious, collaborative, and inclusive university
with a high graduate employability ranking.
UWE is undergoing an extensive IT change programme which includes major improvements to its systems and business processes. The programme will modernise the university’s approach to application development, provide a digital experience for students that meets their expectations, and build on the existing legacy technology.
For Lee Jones (Acting Head of Systems Analysis) and Tom Peake (Principal Engineer, Applications Development and Testing), two key drivers for the programme are; (1) to update UWE’s tech stack so it enables their development teams to be agile and responsive and take advantage of emerging technologies and (2) a skill set modernisation for their technical engineers.
Selecting Framework Training
UWE had previously used our services to train their engineers on a specific web application security update. We delivered a bespoke, relevant session run by experts that were not only trainers, but practitioners. Tom had considered this a unique part of our offering.
When the need for upskilling arose again, Tom chose Framework Training for a second time. He valued the way we could tailor our services to UWE’s specific needs and provide trainers already working at the cutting edge.
As the Solutions Architect on the project, Tom had a clear vision of the team's project deliverables, knowledge of their existing technical skill set and an idea of the desired structure of the training. However, at the time he hadn’t worked with the technologies and the platform itself.
experienced developers who were moving from full-stack platforms such as Java
Spring MVC with existing skills
in semantic HTML/HTML5 and CSS. Prior
to the training they had undergone some self-paced coverage of Modern
Although UWE’s engineers have worked with a variety of different programming languages, Lee and Tom realised that challenges can arise where there are several different decisions to be made when working with a new technology, and understanding the implications of those decisions. This is where Framework Training came in.
Kevin took a blended learning approach with presentations and instructor-led coding balanced with hands-on, interactive exercises, shared learning opportunities, and regular contact with the trainees in the virtual setting. This was crucial to maintaining a high level of engagement and delivering all of the content.
We proposed that the training followed a sequential set of technologies and recommended the following building blocks for their project (in order):
With a bespoke solution in mind, we wanted Lee and Tom to also have ownership around course content and the opportunity to feedback from the outset. This early dialogue meant the training was focused and efficient and would allow the technology to drive them in the direction they wanted to go in.
UWE were delighted with the
training and believe it couldn’t have gone any better. They were particularly
impressed with Kevin’s delivery style, his passion and expertise, and the high
quality, practical course content he delivered.
Tom said, “Kevin's awesome! We all loved Kevin’s knowledge and humility. He clearly knows the subject but his style is very humble”.
Kevin took time to clearly explain each layer of the tech stack, and how they interconnect, which provided a clear story for the trainees. “This approach was fundamental to understanding why the layer above worked in the way it did,” explained Tom. “By taking us on a journey around each part of the technology, everyone in the room felt like there was a really good reason why we were learning this.”
Kevin created a supportive learning environment and coded with clear and easy steps to follow; to demonstrate that it was achievable and to allay any fears or possible self-doubt. The engineers felt motivated and engaged.
Lee was also impressed with Framework Training’s excellent communication, our flexibility, and the standard of our administration.
At the time of writing, the IT change programme at UWE is still underway. Although it’s too early at this stage to effectively measure the impact of the training against project deliverables, the engineers immediately started working with the new technologies, and Lee and Tom have already seen a business benefit.
Recruiting skilled technical staff externally has been difficult, but as a direct result of the training, UWE have made the decision to upskill internal staff who have the aptitude and potential instead. Additionally, their trained engineers will share the skills and knowledge learnt to other technical teams at UWE.
Lee and Tom would definitely use Framework Training’s services again if they had training needs we could deliver on. Tom said, “Framework Training was very good, and so was their administration. I came away thinking they were a good company to work with”.
"It was a fine tuned training that was fully customized for our needs to learn modern js. The understanding and practice I have acquired from this course is immense, that too in a short span of time. All the concepts were well explained and doubts were clarified. I did lots of coding (hands on experience) along with Kevin and also through the exercises set for us, which made me feel very confident to start using modern js in our new web application development.''
"good examples, good explanation, good knowledge”
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