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Thursday 18 October 2018

Second year BSc (Hons) Web Design and Development student Steph Barden has just returned from a summer work placement with 3 SIDED CUBE – a global app development company, and winner of Agency of the Year at the UK App Developer Awards.

We caught up with Steph, who told us how the opportunity came about, details on the Honeypot app she developed that aims to combat the diminishing bee population – and what she hopes to go onto after graduation.

How did you find out about the opportunity at 3 SIDED CUBE?

My tutor Martin Reid organised a seminar where staff from the company came in to do a talk on agency life. Having discussed the student internships and placement I soon applied and was invited in for an interview. I was super nervous beforehand and really terrified of messing up, but they kept everything so laid back that I felt more relaxed than any interview I’d previously been in. They asked me a few questions about my work at uni and how much I know about front-end development - it felt like more of a conversation than an interview. 

Steph in the 3 SIDED CUBE offices

How does the Honeypot app you developed work?

Inspired by the RSPB nature conservation app, Honeypot is an app that aims to combat the diminishing bee population, raise awareness of bee conservation and generate funding for charities making efforts to protect the species.

The main feature is a bee-themed game that users can play with their own personal profiles, using gamification to let users compete for pollenpoints with friends and family, including a Hive leaderboard to display their progress. On top of this, the app also includes a bee chatbot, which can be interacted with to take quizzes or learn facts about the bee population and species.

For every pollenpoint earned by a user, one penny is donated to charity. This way the app won’t rely on users making donations alone to raise money. These pollenpoints can be earned through interacting with games, learning about bees through the chatbot or spending time on the facts page.

How would you summarise your experience?

My time at 3 SIDED CUBE couldn’t have been more enjoyable, working on 'Tech For Good' projects which are fuelled by the team’s passion to create social impact on a global scale, help communities in need and leave the world a better place than they found it.

What were the biggest things you learnt?

I’ve learnt how to properly debug a problem using the inspect element to target exactly what I need to fix, rather than just having a guess. I’ve also learnt to put lots of comments so that other developers can understand the code we’re working on. But most importantly I’ve learnt how to work in a functioning team, using Sourcetree and gitlab to combine different people’s work and collaborate on team projects.


How do you feel Solent helped prepare you for this opportunity?

Solent taught me about modern technologies that are actually used in the industry today, which I was then able to apply on my placement. My teachers encouraged me to create a Github profile and some work to put on my portfolio, which further helped me to get accepted for the job. Before Solent, I hadn't heard of any frameworks, or anything past HTML, CSS, JS, and now I know so much more because of my teachers.

What do you hope to go onto after graduation?

After graduation, I'd like to work for an agency as a front-end developer, hopefully then becoming a lead front-end dev in the future, or maybe even creating my own agency.