#43 — WorldSkills 2017, One Year Later

Things worth sharing each week.

Hi there,

It has been 1 year since my last #42 newsletter. I kept my email writing steak until I broke it because of intensive WorldSkills training.

Skills Competition

The high intensive teaching session drew all my attentions. It’s an 11-month long training for an international skills competition.

The training started at 2017 February. There were 10 students in the first round of basic training. Then we picked one candidate in June. In second round, the candidate and I had training every evening to explore different kinds of web app development approaches. Then we went to the WorldSkills competition at Abu Dhabi in October.

4 days of test projects

The competition in October was a 4-day-long competition with different test projects. The competitors were required to know the web design and development inside out. They were required to complete the test projects within 20 hours, with 2 to 3 hours for each module.

The candidates needed to be familiar with the full stack of web development, from client-side interface design to backend PHP API server implementation. They needed to build responsive layout with HTML and CSS. They also needed to program the javascript single-page web app with VueJS or Angular. Besides technical skills, candidates also needed to be good at communication to collaborate with team-mates and present the projects to customers.

The candidate not only needed to know each techniques well, but also needed to fully integrate what they learned to complete the test project. There is not much rooms for mistakes during that 4 days. They needed to be well prepared, both technically and psychologically. In case something went wrong in first day, we ensured their performance won’t be affected in the other days.

So you can imagine that’s a long year for me. I spent literally every evening on training after my day job. Fortunately, the training and time spent paid back. During the closing ceremony in Abu Dhabi, my competitor standed on the stage holding a gold medal of the web design and development skill. It’s the first time in Macao team to earn the gold medal.

The WorldSkills 2017 was over.

We took months to summarize the event. We had lots of fun and tears. We had fun evenings and also long nights debating. It took me some time to wrote down the journey and lesson learned so that we can improve next time.

Looking forward, I am taking on a new role for the WorldSkills 2019 Kazan. It’s a management role that I will not directly teach candidates any more. That is a big challenge since my first time as competition trainer in 2009. We are setting up a whole team for the skills training instead of one-man-band. This is a lot of work to do. During the transition of roles in the WorldSkills, I would take the chance to share more details on what is skills competition and write more posts on web techniques.

I feel the urge to promote the importance of web design and development. More on that next week.

Things worth sharing this week

  1. 5 tweets about differences between UI and UX by Ryan Singer.

  2. Also by Ryan Singer: Tracking uncertainty of work, and the related Running in Circles read.

  3. Slack, I’m Breaking Up with You. I don’t buy real-time chatting for project management since day one. Works need time to think to come up with good solutions or good suggestions.

  4. The above slack post reminds me the signal-v-noise post which I shared in #10 newsletter.

  5. PWA for iOS is finally here, since my #30 newsletter in 2016.

  6. A tweet about how to achieve things yet don’t get burned out. It reminds me the productivity hack with notebook battery that I used since 2009.

Until next week,

Thomas Mak