For the Facebook generation, internet work is an increasingly attractive career choice. Building up and personalising your own profile page or blog can be a stepping stone as an interest turns into a vocation. With enough interest, young people can start to cross the threshold between web user to web creator. Anna Debenham, a speaker at the recent Future of Web Design conference, started up her own freelance web design company when she was just eighteen, and the internet is a hot destination for ambitious, technically-minded young people.
The capital is the centre for most of Britains most progressive industries, including web design. London is a hotbed for web design talent, and every year young designers flock from all over the country to kick-start their careers in the capital. They include Dhubs Design Director, Josh Butcher. Josh was fresh faced and full of beans when he first moved to Dalston, but he got a nasty shock when the first thing he saw was a Wanted For Murder poster. Since then though, hes risen through the web design ranks to work with an impressive list of clients. London might be a big, scary place, but its also the hub for most forward-thinking careers in the UK. Navigation of the big city goes hand in hand with navigation of a fast-moving web career.
One motivation for young people to get their careers started in London is the amazing variety of web design and related courses on offer in the city. One hundred and thirty-four London colleges offer courses in web design; London Metropolitan alone offers forty-eight different courses. Web design students can work on their skills full time or part time, as a post-graduate qualification, first degree or vocational skills course. A lot of employers use these courses to keep their staff up-to-date on the latest IT and internet developments, but increasingly clients are realising that web design is something which needs a professional brain. And once qualified, talent is what counts; young people dont need to have put in years of experience to succeed in this innovative field, but they do need spark and initiative. After starting her web design company in her teens, Anna Debenham hasnt taken long to become an authoritative voice on freelance work, and many of the highly experienced speakers at the conference where she recently delivered her speech, the Carsonified Future of Web Design in London, were in their twenties or early thirties.
The conference was held from the 17th-19th May of this year, and was packed with top-notch speakers from places as diverse as Manchester, Brighton and Massachusetts, all specialists in web design. London, however, is where these folks come every year to get together and discuss the future of web design. It seems easy to stay connected when you work in web design the internet is the art of communication, after all. Still, being geographically close is important for events like these, and the recent conference was a great example of the innovative style of London-based web design. Featuring a host of young speakers, it was revitalised for 2010. Taking place in exciting new venues The Brewery, near the Barbican, and Wallacespace, a venue which has only been open since last year, the conference offered 33 speeches, workshops and events over three days. Its gathering points like these which demonstrate the vividly changing dynamic within this industry, one which is at once diverse and full of concentrated talent. Web designers will continue to develop and share their skills all over the world, but for taught courses, top-level clients, and face-to-face community, London with its conferences and meeting points, will remain the UK web design centre.