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Media release: Young Hamilton local wins web design gold at national competition

Young Hamilton local wins web design gold at national competition

 July 2014

Damian Small, 18, has won the gold medal for web design at the intensive two-day WorldSkills New Zealand 2014national competition held in Hamilton this month.

And as acategory winner Damian is in the running to represent New Zealand as part ofthe 'Tool Blacks' team at the biennial international WorldSkills Competitionnext year.

This year thenational competition in Hamilton saw 90regional competition finalists from across the country showcase their talentacross 18 industry categories. Web design is a new category added to thecompetition this year.

Damian, whocompleted a one year Diploma in Web Development and Design at Vision Collegelast month, heard about the competition through his course tutor and decided to“give it a go.”

“I guess mytutor and other people in my course had always said I was good at what I do. Ientered because I wanted to see if I really was as capable as they weresaying.”

For the web designcategory Damian completed four 3-hour projects across two days in examconditions.

“The firstwas design. I had to plan and design the look and feel of a website for anAustralian winery. The second was layout where I took a Photoshop design andcreated a website to match.

“The thirdand fourth projects were programming and interactivity. I had to build a fullyworking blog from scratch, then I had to take a supplied data file and make aweb display version that makes that data look good,” he said.

“Winning goldis awesome. It has really encouraged me and will hopefully influence my abilityto get a job now that I have just completed my study,” he said.

Accordingto Damian, his passion for the web industry stems back to his intermediateyears.“Inintermediate I was first interested in what you see on a webpage. Then, in highschool I became more interested in the server side of things.

“Ileft high school in Year 13 because I wasn’t going to achieve the required NCEAresults. Mum told me about the Diploma in Web Development and Design at VisionCollege and it sounded really ‘me’.”

“Icame into the course self-taught at a lot of things. But it definitelysolidified my knowledge and exposed me to new things too. In just one year youlearn how to design, build and implement complete websites from scratch.”

Damian’sVision College tutor speaks particularly highly of Damian’s skills.

“Damian is an outstanding student withparticularly good programming ability. The diploma was an opportunity for himto fill in the gaps and become a more rounded designer and developer providinghim with the breadth of skills needed in the WorldSkills competition. Hedefinitely deserves the gold and I hope he gets the chance to represent NewZealand. 

Laterin the year, Worldskills selects and names a team from across industries torepresent New Zealand in the New Zealand “Tool Blacks” team at internationalWorldSkills Competition next year.

“It’sjust about waiting to see what will happen. They choose the best candidatesfrom across industry categories, so I’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.