Student Experience | Why I’m Taking Web Development | Lauren McPhillips

By Lauren McPhillips June 21, 2016

Hi, I’m Lauren!

I’m a freelance content creator and the editor of lifestyle website I launched this site after quitting my job, leaving behind an eight-year career that spanned magazine editorial and travel PR in Canada and the UK. With my two feet now firmly planted in Toronto and doing my own thing, I’ve never looked back.

What course are you enrolled in for this cohort?

I’m enrolled in the Intro to Web Development course – coding for dummies! 🙂

How did you hear about the program?

I found out about BrainStation after having coffee at Quantum and wandering into the shared space. I then interviewed BrainStation CEO Jason Field for my site (who has a crazy interesting entrepreneurial story), and the interest just grew from there.

What made you decide to take the course?

Since I was a web editor at Style at Home, I’ve always been interested in websites – how they work, the user journey, the immediacy of connecting to people. I love the fact that you can create your own little space on the internet for free and share your ideas or market a product. When I saw that BrainStation offered part-time courses and I didn’t have to do a university course to learn the fundamentals, I was like, “This is sick – where do I sign up?”

What are you most excited to learn?

I’m most excited to learn how to take visual design elements and have them come to life online. My friend is a designer, and I have long-term plans to work with her on some cool branding projects – her taking the lead on the aesthetic side of things and me dealing with the technical stuff.

How do you plan on applying your newfound skills, personally and/or professionally?

Completing this course will be huge for maintaining my website and expanding my brand. I have big plans for taking This Renegade Love in new directions, and learning how to code will save me a hell of a lot of time and money!

If you had to pick a favourite tech company doing awesome things – who would it be and why?

Even though I’ve never launched my own campaign, I absolutely LOVE the idea of Kickstarter. I’m a big believer in creating your own destiny, and Kickstarter allows you to connect directly with your audience and fund a project that you’re passionate about. It’s also a great way to raise money for charitable initiatives. All around, a solid company.

Favourite spot to spend an afternoon in the city?

The east end…. starting with a spin class at Torq, then a glass of wine at Boxcar Social and dinner with the awesome staff at Saturday Dinette.

What entrepreneur or thought-leader inspires you most and why?

Garance Dore. She’s an OG fashion blogger and illustrator and now author. I had the amazing opportunity to interview her for her book tour and she was the exact same in real life as she is online (which is unfortunately a rare attribue for online personalities). From her blog, she’s built a global personal brand that spans all different lifestyle pillars, but has never compromised on her authenticity.

Describe your current hobbies and interests – do you see your course lending to these?

I have a lot of love for photography, design and writing, so I’m always looking to combine those three things into online content. Having knowledge in web development will help me to better understand and build upon the technical part of my website so that I never have to compromise the quality of my creative content.

What will you be accomplishing in 10 weeks? or What will you be capable of in 10 weeks?

Yet to be determined! I’m hoping that I’ll be able to take the foundations of web development and continue to learn on my own through trial and error. That and taking over the world one landing page at a time 🙂

Lauren is taking Intro to Web Development at BrainStation in Toronto.

Lauren is taking Intro to Web Development at BrainStation in Toronto.

Intro to Web Development
460 King Street West