Graduate Case Study – Jonny Haynes & Oliver Farrell – Ledgard Jepson

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Ledgard Jepson — Branding, Marketing & Digital Agency — Barnsley

Jonny Haynes and Oliver Farrell graduated from the FdA Web Design course eight years apart, but joined forces last year to form Ledgard Jepson’s front-end development team.

Ledgard Jepson were established in 1989 and have since evolved into a full service agency specialising in branding, digital, marketing and PR. Jonny joined them in 2011 after working for Technophobia and eBuyer, and was happy to acknowledge the role that the course had played in his development: I truly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the course and the solid foundation it gave me back in 2006.

Oliver, who was something of a child prodigy, started working in the web industry at the tender age of 16, firstly with Statement, and then Genius Division. It was whilst he was at Statement that he joined a Graphic Design Diploma at Wakefield College, but was fast-tracked onto FdA Web Design when its teaching team recognised his talents.

Oliver commented: FdA Web Design isn't like most web design courses. It prides itself on its ties with local web design businesses to ensure the course content is always up-to-date and relevant. In some cases, industry professionals are drafted in to teach particular modules such as WordPress or Responsive Design.

Oliver graduated in the Summer of 2014 and joined Ledgard Jepson a few months later. Jonny explained: It's an obvious choice to look at graduates from FdA Web Design, especially knowing how well the course has served me over the last nine years.

Dubbed the Front-End PowerHouse™ by their former tutor, Jonny and Oliver now specialise in building responsive websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and integrating them with a number of other technologies such as PHP, .Net and Ruby on Rails.

In an ever-changing industry, teaching and learning these diverse technologies can be a challenge, especially with the increasing number of e-learning platforms. Oliver, however, feels that traditional education still has an important role to play in producing the next generation of web designers:

The University Centre provided regular support from experienced tutors who gave us plenty of constructive feedback to help our development. We were presented with good routes into employment, which were developed through years of networking with local web professionals, and we had access to a large support network of past and present students.

Oliver continued: The course didn't just enhance my understanding of the theory behind web design; it also provided me with the opportunity to further my career. That's something I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the confidence or ability to do if I hadn’t chosen to study on a traditional web design course.

Jonny concluded: From my own experience, and the fact that it now has an enviable reputation for 100% employability, means it’s an easy to recommend the course to any prospective students looking to get a solid foothold in the creative and digital industry.

Jonny and Oliver are now regular visitors to the course, providing students with valuable insights into current web design technologies and techniques.

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