WorldSkills C-2

Today is C-2 (Familiarization day for competitors). This is the day where each person spends up to 5 hours reviewing the provided infrastructure. Competitors are provided with access to a server and have individual workstations with a fair amount of software (ranging from Adobe products to open source products) that they can use to develop their websites. They then communicate securely to the local server (for example using sFTP or SSH) to place their work (and try their code). All files created today will be removed before the competition starts. This is just a day to connect keyboards in specific languages and verify all the software is working to the liking of the competitor. I am glad to see the use of security certificates for this competition.

There are 39 competitors and they are divided into two groups. 4 countries were unable to attend at the last moment (or we would have had 43 countries). During each day of the competition, one group will work on one project; the other group will work on the other project. After lunch, they switch. One project is 2 hours in length, the other is 3 hours. When the competition begins, I have plan to post the competition work order for that day (both of them) on this website. If you are reading this and you are a current or former CMWEB student, I challenge you to review each of these work orders and try to complete them in 3 hours. Frankly, there are some challenges that I would have a difficult time completing in the allotted time (and I have been working with HTML since 1992 and CSS and JavaScript since their inception on the web). And those who know me, know that I can write equally bad code in over 50 programming languages.

Let’s see who is up the the challenge! That is why I leave this weblog open for comments. Let me know if you complete the challenges (and provide the URL to your working code). The first set of challenges will appear in a couple of days.

After an overview of the ground rules, each expert introduced their competitor. We were listed in alphabetical order by country. It was a bit challenging to compete with the background WorldSkills “symphony.” Those who have been at our national web design contest have often asked that a microphone be used during the initial briefing. Trust me when I say that even  with a microphone (and the speakers at full volume), it was hard to hear in this venue. There is still a great deal of construction. Keep in mind we also have vehicles driving on the competition floor (as well as forklifts, hoists, and many other things happening today).

Here is Marcelo introducing his competitor from Brasil.

Marcelo instroducing Brasil competitor.

It was fun to introduce Nick. We provided basic information (including a photo) which was included in a PowerPoint listing all countries. There is an incredible diversity represented. Some competitors seem to have very strong backgrounds in user experience design, others in JavaScript, others in HTML and CSS, and others in server side development and databases. I learned that one competitor is one of the top 100 contributors to the Drupal project. During my introduction of Nick, I stressed the fact that he has a lot of knowledge about many aspects of front-end and server side technologies and is always wanting to learn more. Frankly, it is because of his initial knowledge (and commitment and desire to learn) that he was selected. Note to any potential job candidates reading this – always do more than is expected. “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” If you are not constantly improving and learning new things, how do you expect to thrive in our current culture? This is precisely why I am here at the competition – it is a great opportunity to connect with many others and to learn and grow.

There were also presentations on health and safety issues. All experts signed a commitment to ethical behavior document in front of the competitors. We then broke for lunch. Here is Nick in the dining tent (Brasil Restaurant) with a part of the crowd in the background. People from Russia were sitting behind him; people from India were sitting behind me.

Nick in Brasil Restaurant

When we returned form lunch, Nick continued his familiarization process. I was asked to help review the technical description of this contest for the next venue – Abu Dhabi in 2017. We had some great discussions and I think we made some useful improvements. Obviously, this is just the start of the process.

Tonight, Marcelo (the expert from Brasil) arranged for a Brazilian barbeque.We finished in time to catch the bus back to our hotels. To be brutally honest, I am gaining weight on this trip. So much good food (and so many different flavors I have to try). Yes, I have been taking a lot of photos of food. I plan to share many of these over time. If you think you have experienced different foods in central Illinois, you are sadly mistaken. Here is a hint of what this restaurant was like. Note the waiters bring out various cuts of meat on a continual basis until you say no.

Meat being served at Brasilian restaurant

More meat being served

In case you are curious, this is what my plate looked like (meat with an extra helping of meat). Each spot at the table held a small sign – turn it red when you do not want any more meat, leave it green if you want the waiter to continually deliver various cuts of meat. We had the choice of beef, chicken, sausage, fish, pork, and lamb.

My plate

Of course, I had to have papaya ice cream with a special topping for dessert.

Papaya ice cream

The opening ceremonies are tomorrow. The competition starts the next day. I have created a special weblog post so you should be able to view them live. The feed should be live around 5 p.m. Central Time tomorrow. The new post should appear about an hour before the actual event. Just refresh your screen if you are on this page. I encourage you to check back periodically tomorrow and in the future. Much more information to come. I think we made some great progress today. It is fantastic to have so many great discussions about web technologies with people from all over the world.

I appreciate that the Adobe Education Trainer community also sent out an  email message encouraging others to follow these weblog updates. I am most appreciative of Adobe publicizing this event. They did have one minor error (they listed me as the competitor instead of Nick Taylor and me as the expert).

As always, I look forward to your comments.

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