Making Passenger

A sea of ones and zeroes

27th Oct 2016

Originally posted on our ‘Base’ Medium account.
In September 2019, Base became Passenger.

At Base we build apps that help people, every day. Innovative approaches and open minds are key to our success, and as part of that we know how important it is to encourage young adults to join the industry.

As a company we know we are stronger if we’re part of a thriving local industry. To that end, we’ve contributed by running 3 years of the re:develop conference and opening up the world’s largest Open Device Lab. On my part, I’ve run hackdays both big and small to bring people together — which Base, among other excellent agencies, has supported.

For the industry to continue to grow, we need eager and enthusiastic new talent coming through our colleges, universities, and apprenticeships. The amount of jobs available in digital will only increase in the future, and we need talented, unique individuals to fill those gaps.

One event looking to help fill that gap is Digital Wave, a conference designed to inspire students to the potential of a career in the digital industries. Now in its second year, it has grown to an audience of a thousand 14–19 year olds from schools and colleges in Dorset, all descending on the BIC.

I was delighted to be invited along to speak on Digital Wave’s panel, alongside Claire Crombie (Rarely Impossible), Megan Austwick (RNLI), Matt Butcher (Bournemouth & Poole College), Thor Mitchell (Crowdcube) and Andrew Henning (Redweb). Each brought a unique perspective to their advice, whether from years of experience in the industry or fresh adventures from Uni or an apprenticeship.

The overall theme of the day was advice and approaches to careers in the very broad sector of digital: VFX, web development, app development, digital marketing, social media, and tonnes more. Each talk focused on lessons learned and advice for young adults.

One of the key topics of the panel was the debate between going to University or straight into work through an apprenticeship. For me, I found that the best way to get ahead in the industry is to go to events, get to know people, and be someone people want to work with. This can be achieved no matter your approach.

My favourite question was “What have you worked on that people might not know you have?” It was a great question to highlight the people behind some of the biggest projects, right here in Dorset. I asked the room who uses the Yellow Buses app, to which I was pleased to see a large number of hands go up.

It may have come as a surprise to the room to hear that the app was made right here in Bournemouth. At Base we’ve been building a digital transport product called Passenger, and the Yellow Buses app was the first of several apps to be released on the platform.

Core to Passenger is helping people get from A to B every day. To see so many young adults finding their way to school and college (and hopefully work or uni, soon!) was a great moment for me. The team enjoyed hearing about it as we’ve worked so hard to make moments like that happen.

Digital Wave’s goal was to encourage young adults to enter the digital industry. Only time will tell on that front, but I feel it’s done a great job to highlight academic and career opportunities to those with challenging choices in their future. For myself, I’m already looking forward to 2017’s Digital Wave.

Photos by Redweb. More photos from the event: flickr.com/photos/redwebltd/sets/72157671929931103

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