SuperHi is an online school and worldwide community of creative people learning to code, together. The world of coding can be an incredibly confusing one. It’s a minefield of symbols and terminology with what feels like an infinite pool of knowledge you’re expected to learn, however, SuperHi explains this intimidating world in manageable online courses.
SuperHi’s students are international and come from a variety of creative industries. The course provides them with the opportunity to take advantage of, and understand, the inner-workings of code and see how this creative medium can help bring their ideas to life. As well as providing their service in 37 countries, SuperHi endeavour to create opportunities for all backgrounds and stop women in tech being asked “you’re a developer??”
When asked about her experience, Meara Withe, a student from the UK stated that “SuperHi definitely go the extra mile and you’ve made coding seem human and doable (and not just for dudes who already know how to code)!” Taby Cheng from Canada describes how the courses break down technical subjects making them accessible to all: “I would recommend this course to any creative individual who wants to learn more about how they can tailor their websites to fit their creative vision.”
We spoke to another of SuperHi’s students, Matt Vernon, in more depth about his career, his experiences with SuperHi, his side projects like Funemployed, and how the skills he’s learned have impacted his practice as a designer.
Why did you want to learn to code?
I always wanted to learn how to code but when I worked full-time, not knowing how to really wasn’t an issue. It became a problem when I started freelancing though. For most projects, I’d send my designs over to the client and when I’d see the live implementation nearly everything was wrong, sometimes to hilarious extents. I’ve therefore been focussing on learning to code so I can be in charge of both the design and development and make sure everything is implemented properly.
How has learning to code effected your design process?
I am learning more and more about code each day, and I believe my design process will continue to develop further when I learn more techniques on the development side. Learning to code has also opened up a whole new world of ways that I can structure and design my work, especially in terms of interactivity.
As a designer, you work on a lot of “side projects” as well as work for clients – how do you keep all of these active and running?
A massive benefit of freelancing is the amount of time it frees up for you. I’ve found that I need to put in around three hours of solid work a day to keep myself afloat. The rest of the day is mine to do what I wish, allowing me to give solid focus to my side projects. My ambition is to make a living from these projects.
Has learning to code impacted how you think about and manage these projects?
Definitely. Before learning to code my side projects were always bound by things I could provide – a piece of written content, or a physical good. Now I have ambitions to build digital software products, which I think have much more potential.
Having completed the SuperHi course, what would you say was the biggest reward?
Their Slack group was a big unexpected winner for me. Being able to get get 1-on-1 help from SuperHi instructors has been incredibly valuable. After completing the course I’m at the point where I can now say to my clients “Yes – I can design, and code!” which is very empowering.