Recently, we were fortunate enough to take 13 students to Treatwell for a day of workshops. The aim was for students to gain an insight into different aspects of day to day life in a tech team. Treatwell ran sessions on product design, development and Agile principles and the day finished with a Q&A session attended by various members of the Treatwell tech team.
Rather than bore you with our blow-by-blow account of the day, we thought we would let one of our students do the talking!
“Treatwell is a multi-national company that joins Spas and Salons around the world into a simple and easy to use service; the Just Eat of salons if you like. After travelling down from Liverpool, we arrived at their offices at roughly 11.30am and began with a talk by Colin, an Agile coach. Colin began by telling us about what Treatwell do and how they do it which was very fascinating. After this, we went on a tour of their offices.
I found this interesting because it wasn’t anything like what I imagined when I pictured offices; it was very open and encouraged people to work together. On first assessment, there was a strong and young workforce, which were hard at work on developing the website. We were  introduced to some members who were very helpful and guided us on a tour of the offices, which was very interesting.
While we were there, we met web developers, coders and business strategists, who each provided us with information on what they did and how they contributed to the daily running of the business. We took part in a series of workshops each testing out our technological knowledge.
We then ran through the coding aspects of our websites including HTML CSS and JAVA script also using the computer terminal in order to create our HTML file. The use of the software Atom (which I have previously come across at home) a text editor that allowed us to write in both CSS and HTML on the same programme which was extremely useful as you don’t have to keep switching between programmes in order to edit small things.

Three Computer Science students were left with two software engineers who split us into two groups while we worked on tasks, such as FizzBuzz and a program that drew squares. During this section, Treatwell provided us with pizza which we enjoyed for lunch.

The members of staff allowed us to see ways to break our code up into modules and ways to test the code in a much easier way. It also showed us ways of making our code more efficient.
We then took part in Agile Development Task which showed us that working directly with a customer is much better than following text instructions. The task involved us getting into 3 groups and drawing an image that was being described by one member of the team.
We had to create written instructions that described how to draw this image. We passed these instructions on to the next team and they had to recreate it. The images were not exact but had some similarities and other differences. This has shown me that communicating with a customer is vital.
The purpose of the game was to state that sometimes there could be miscommunication when reading tasks. Treatwell attempts to sway from this problem and have face to face contact with employees.
Then we had a 30 minutes segment with Jonas who was the Head of Product Design. Jonas gave us a crash course in design. I now know that good design is about keeping things simple. The tech guy reviewed some of our websites and we discussed how we could use good design to improve them. I will be reviewing my website and fixing my layout, changing the colour scheme and picking some really good images.
One piece of such advice was the importance of font based upon the purpose of our websites, for example a website about books would use a ‘classical’ font, whereas a website about technology would use an ‘ultra-modern’ font, we were also told that we should never use ‘comic sans’ in any case. We then had a meeting of sorts with all of the different staff who talked through how they got to where they did and the qualifications they had or in some cases the lack of and how it was difficult for them.
I found the day at Treatwell both fun and interesting and it gave me a unique opportunity to see what life is like in the modern working world. I look forward to getting more opportunities in the future with computer science and to going back next year.
I enjoyed my experience at Treatwell. It gave me an interesting insight into what IT is like in the real world and a first-hand look at a office environment. The office wasn’t how I imagined it would be, it was very calm and relaxed, but I thought it would be very loud and busy. Having the chance to learn from professionals and receive advice from them regarding how to advance my website further was very insightful. Itallowed me to develop my website and change things in the same manner that theemployees of a successful company like Treatwell would do, which has improved my website. Overall, I enjoyed my day at Treatwell, the environment was calm and friendly, the employees were welcoming and I learned a lot which has furthered my knowledge about IT. I thought that trip was very helpful and gave me a lot of useful insight into the varying jobs and tasks within the technology part of a company.” This was the first experiment Treatwell has done with school students in tech and they weren’t sure what to expect. They thought our students were fantastic and full of enthusiasm for all the tasks set. In fact, so successful was the trip that Johnathon Ackers, a Y12 Computer Science student, is spending a week with Treatwell in June to gain some valuable work experience!
Mrs Looker, Teacher of Computer Science.