Author Archive

A fancy name for helping out

Posted on: February 4th, 2019 by thisishel No Comments

This is the second time we’ve been asked to help out by Ahead Partnership and after our last experience we jumped at the chance. Not only does it get you out of the studio and into the real world but it can be very rewarding as well.

The last time I went back to a school I was judge, sat behind a desk, in a position of authority. This time it was as a mentor, working one to one with students who were not getting the grades they should be getting. I feel I can talk from a position of knowledge here as this was most certainly me when I was younger.

In all I mentored two young students coming up to their GCSE’s who were both falling short for very different reasons.

One was simply too smart. She’d fallen into the trap of thinking she could do it without trying. A few frank conversations later and we had a plan. She went home, promptly made a new plan, and nailed her exams. Obviously I’m taking all the credit here, even if none of it is actually due to me. (She later confessed that she discovered all she really needs is some pressure. I am convinced she will make a fabulous doctor)

My second student was tougher, but knew what he wanted to do. We simply focused on the things that mattered and relaxed on the things that didn’t. (We also had a revision plan that involved playing FIFA which alarmed some of the more conservative teachers)

In the end I’m glad to say the last time I met them they were both very positive and their mock results had improved! Again I’m taking all the credit but don’t really deserve it at all. Sometimes it appears just speaking to a new person with a new perspective can help you. Something I have since adopted to try to make myself a little better.

Alex Berry
Digital Strategy & Design

Ahead Partnership

Me? A judge? In a college? Why not?

Posted on: November 4th, 2018 by thisishel No Comments

I was recently invited to be a judge for the Premier Farnell Tech Challenge and had the pleasure of going back to my old school as well as my old college to help decide a winner. It’s always a pleasure to be asked by Ahead Partnership as I really believe they do good work.

The challenge was simple – to design and write software for Farnell’s famous Rasberry Pi which would make a disabled persons life easier. Not an easy brief.

First of all – I surprised how little my school had changed. It’s been twenty years since I sat in the same classroom, building a small wooden box which I’m sure my mother still has somewhere! It might have still have the same chairs – but the computers and most especially the circuit board printer are definitely new.

Second – I was surprised how much Bradford College had changed. The brand new, state of the art technology hub can only be a good thing for Bradford.

The third, and final surprise, was not that the students where engaged with this – I’ve done enough work with schools and colleges to know they would be – but that the quality of the work would be so high! From voice activated plant diaries to help dementia suffering gardeners (this could be my grandad – he would have loved it) through to automated dog feeders and even a vest that would let you play football blind I was thoroughly impressed. And is wasn’t just ideas – these things actually worked.

Anyway – I shall watch the final with baited breath and more than a little pride.

Alex Berry
Digital Strategy & Design

Ahead Partnership

Rather enjoying this…

Posted on: August 1st, 2018 by thisishel No Comments

“PowerPoint is symptomatic of a certain type of bureaucratic environment: one typified by interminable presentations with lots of fussy little bullet-points and flashy dissolves and soundtracks masked into the background, to try to convince the audience that the goon behind the computer has something significant to say. It’s the tool of choice for pointy-headed idiots with expensive suits and skinny laptops who desperately want to look as if they’re in command of the job, with all the facts at their fiddling fingertips, even if Rome is burning in the background. Nothing stands for content-free corporate bullshit quite like PowerPoint. And that’s just scratching the surface…”

from “The Jennifer Morgue: Book 2 in The Laundry Files” by Charles Stross

Why social media is like your mum

Posted on: November 21st, 2017 by thisishel No Comments

We were very kindly asked recently if we would do a talk at the PA Hub Conference. As it didn’t really seem like work we jumped at the chance and in the time honoured fashion of trying to make the day interesting we chose not to talk about anything we knew and to poke fun at other people’s social media channels instead. We had a grand day out and met some lovely people along the way, as well as rekindling our desire for a PA.

So – enough about us. What we really wanted to say was that Steve Robinson is an absolute legend. If you get chance to hear him speak please make time. He’s got some excellent stories that will make you smile. Much respect to him. (Of course there were other great speakers as always.)

We also wanted to say think you to Marion & Jon at The PA Hub for having us along!

Woop woop Northern Digital Awards

Posted on: December 8th, 2016 by thisishel No Comments

Well. Isn’t this nice. We’ve been shortlisted by the lovely folk at the Northern Digital Awards 2017 for Best eCommerce site. We couldn’t be happier and we hope Paria will be pleased too. It’s their site after all and it’s their sweet gear that got us this far.

It’s also given us an opportunity to have a peek at what everyone else is doing and we’re impressed to say the least. Power to the North!

Check out all the shortlisted companies and entries here…

They’ve only gone and done it

Posted on: May 19th, 2016 by thisishel No Comments

As if cycling across South Africa isn’t tough enough the frankly crazy lot at Blood, Sweat & Gears have raised over £250,000 for Help for Heroes in the process.

We wanted to say congratulations to all the team. It’s safe to say we’re pretty impressed.

Watch some cyclists suffer for a great cause on the Blood, Sweat & Gears website.

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