TEACH YOUR­SELF NEW SKILLS

Luke and Jody share their tips for smoothly in­tro­duc­ing new tech­nolo­gies into projects

Computer Arts - - Pentagram -

1. Use re­search time wisely

While you can’t spend hours of client-bill­able time on teach­ing your­self some­thing new, there is scope to do some learn­ing on the job. “There’s al­ways a pe­riod at the start of a project where you are test­ing and com­ing up with ideas,” says Jody. “In that pe­riod of time we will do that ex­per­i­ment­ing.” At this point, try to get some idea of the scale of the new process, and make the call if it’s some­thing you can re­al­is­ti­cally take on your­selves, or if you need to out­source it.

2. Get help from ex­perts

If you’re work­ing within an agency where there are peo­ple with the skills you need, take ad­van­tage of that fact. “Be­cause we have peo­ple that are work­ing in so many dif­fer­ent fields, there will al­ways be some­body that goes ‘I know some­body that can do that level of type re­fine­ment; I know some­body that knows that area of cod­ing…” says Jody.

“We’re not scared to re­alise our lim­its and reach out for help and col­lab­o­rate,” adds Luke.

3. Don’t worry about knowl­edge gaps

When you’re pick­ing up a new tech­nol­ogy or tool, don’t try and be­come an ex­pert from the start. “We learn enough stuff to al­low us to make that one thing,” says Jody. “We don’t nec­es­sar­ily learn the en­tirety of it. You do it enough times and you learn all the bits in­be­tween even­tu­ally, and you be­come bet­ter in what­ever lan­guage or tech­nol­ogy.”

4. Work out the pos­si­bil­i­ties

A key as­pect – es­pe­cially if you’re in charge of other de­sign­ers – is to be able to un­der­stand how a new tool or techol­ogy might slot into a project. “A lot of our learn­ing is learn­ing to the level at which we un­der­stand pos­si­bil­i­ties within a medium, as op­posed to ac­tu­ally be­ing able to do ev­ery sin­gle bit of it our­selves,” says Luke. “It’s un­der­stand­ing it so you un­der­stand what the lim­i­ta­tions and the op­por­tu­ni­ties are,” adds Jody.

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