We like to keep in touch with industry experts to show where learning to code can take our students.
To date we have focused on careers in the tech industry, but coding skills are valuable in many other industries as well! This week we had the pleasure of speaking with Jay Eckert, founder and graphic designer at Parachute Design. His company specializes in hand-made website design, mobile responsive web design and custom logo design. We talked to Jay about Parachute Design, how he integrates coding into his work, and why he thinks coding is an essential skill for the next generation.
Coding and graphic design go hand in hand. Whenever you visit a website or an app, a positive user experience depends both on good design and functionality. Both components must work together for the experience to be successful. Graphic designers sometimes do their own coding, or work closely with developers who bring their website concepts to life.
Jay founded Parachute Design in 2008 as an expansion of his successful boutique graphic design company in Toronto. Where he has been a well-regarded designer for over a decade, working on exceptional projects and sharing his skills with others as a blogger and author. When Jay started his business he personally designed and coded for his clients. These days, he spends the majority of his time “juggling both design and project management.” Jay is no longer involved front-end coding, but he employs developers who specialize in web development. We asked how coding fits into his business:
Development is a huge part of what we do. Marrying both visual design and development to create a functional finished project is the core of our business. We’re of the belief that a true design is a harmony between both the visual and functional.
We couldn't agree more, in fact we think coding and design should be connected whenever possible! Design is an exciting career path for young coders to pursue. We asked Jay what he looks for in the designers he works with.
First and foremost, we look for people that are passionate about design. No matter what their skill level is when we meet, if there’s passion and appreciation for good design, we see that as a key building block to becoming a better designer. Naturally knowing the software is a must, but another important trait we look for is time management. One of our guiding principles is “do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it." We live by this code in everything we do at Parachute Design.
Jay believes encouraging children to learn how to code is vital, as a solid background in coding is a stepping-stone to future creative development.
I think the fact that coding is in the spotlight right now for elementary and high-school level students is fantastic. Creating more interest at a younger age will help push the advancement of the web design and digital technology forward faster and more creatively. By the time students reach the post-secondary level, they’ll inherently spend less time learning to code and more time learning to be creative with their coding skills.
We totally agree - learning the basics while your brain is still forming changes the game. Understanding coding from a young age will influence how you problem solve and think in the future, giving you the chance to dream big and bring your creative ideas to life.
Thank you so much for your insights, Jay! We hope your interview will inspire Hatch Canada kids to pursue careers in design.