As a company, we’ve had an amazing 2014. While we’re in the midst of the holiday season, it’s important to be thankful for our accomplishments but also to give back where we can. That’s why for this blog post, we’re talking about something new for us that’s already become near and dear to our Envoceans: Envoc Teach.
Back When I Was Your Age...
Before we explain Envoc Teach, we’ll give you a little background as to why it even exists. Back before we Envoceans were developers, designers, programmers, and Project Managers, most of us had no idea that our industry existed—much less the possibilities of all that could be done within it. When we were young middle- and high-school students, most of us were not exposed to the software, web, or design industries at all. Almost all of us found our way here by accident, or through some self-discovery happenstance. And even after high school, many of our web developers and designers are self-taught simply because the specific technical skills needed for our industry are so rapidly changing and so new that college programs simply do not cut it in many cases.
Upon realizing this, we discovered that there is a great need out there for awareness and education about the exciting fields of software, web, and design. And those concepts need to be introduced to young students so they can take the right steps to great careers in our industry. There are so many promising students that show interest in the STEM/STEAM fields, but may not know how those skills can be applied in the real world or what cool opportunities await them if they pursue these passions.
Our thoughts are this: if we can get young students excited and interested in our industry by talking about the awesome things we build and design, we can get them headed in the right direction much earlier than we ever were.
Ultimately, we hope that with enough student interest and advocacy, colleges will work toward making programs in these fields where there are none, and students won’t have to go the self-discovery and self-teaching route as many of us have. We want to set students up with as many resources as possible for them to be successful.
Paving Paths for the Future
With our goals set in place, Envoc Teach was created. Starting small, with only a loose plan, we set out to do our first Teach workshop at Catholic High School back in October. We spoke to a web class (a very impressive one!) about how we got into the industry, shared some awesome websites that showcased great design and animation techniques to inspire them, gave them some helpful resources for them to continue learning, and gave them some pointers on pursuing web design and development after high school. The workshop was a hit, and we had tons of fun doing a Q&A session with the students. It felt great to inspire them and feel like we may have helped a few students in their journeys forward.
Since then, we’ve done another class workshop (also at Catholic High) for a programming class that the students really latched onto. We also gave a presentation about the possibilities of a design and development career path at the "Voyage to Careers" event hosted by VIPS Baton Rouge at Glen Oaks High School, and we hosted a group of young Girl Scouts to help them out with their design badge. Additionally, we had one of our Project Managers head over to a Project Management class at LSU to present on the pros and cons of managing projects using either AGILE or Waterfall SLDC’s.
Let's Do This Thing!
It seems the opportunities are abundant and the support for Envoc Teach has been tremendous. In just the few months we’ve put ourselves out there, we have been in touch with several amazing (and local!) organizations that are similarly aimed. We plan to partner with them as appropriate opportunities arise, and to get more involved in STEM/STEAM education advocacy for the Baton Rouge area.
Envoc Teach is still new and still forming, but it is something we’re proud to have started and definitely want to continue. Education is important to all of us at Envoc and we love to give back. We’ve got a microsite for Envoc Teach in the works to offer more information, but if you would like to get in touch about opportunities or to learn more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.