Skip to content

Week One – Starting my placement!

My name is Henry Wilkes and I’ve just finished the first full week of my summer placement at iSolutions, the University of Southampton’s IT department. I’m here until the end of the summer when I begin the final year of my MEng course, and until then I will be keeping this blog about my experience.

I applied for this placement through the University’s Careers Service Excel Programme, and in the short time I’ve been working at the office in Guildhall Square I’ve already learned a lot and have really been made to feel like a valued member of my department. I’m working as part of iSolution’s technical innovation and development team, making use of a range of web technologies in various projects related to the University’s websites and network infrastructure. This is a field I’ve previously not had experience in, so I’m having to learn a lot of what I’m doing as I go but I am receiving guidance from members of the team.

My task this week has been to update a set of HTML templates used for several Student Services websites to a more up to date look and feel, and in particular to make use of the Bootstrap framework. Bootstrap provides a library of CSS which define a consistent look for HTML pages, with an emphasis on providing a good experience on a range of mobile devices as well as desktops. The task involved replacing a older library of CSS files written within the department with Bootstrap and adapting the relevant HTML templates to make use of them.

As a starting point I used a template which was already written to use Bootstrap, and implemented the various features present in the original HTML templates which were being replaced. In order to test my changes I set up a virtual host running on Apache which allowed me to view the template’s test pages in Firefox. Here I could use the Firebug plugin to identify the cause of specific issues with the HTML and styles. By afternoon I was able to fully complete this task, having produced a template which can be applied to web projects.

Screenshot from 2015-07-10 16:22:04

An example of a page using the new template

That was my first week at iSolutions, and in that week I feel I’ve managed to settle in well in the department and make good progress on my personal goals to expand my range of technology skills. I’ve managed to produce something I’m proud of and I’m looking forward to moving onto new projects in the coming weeks.

Bootstrap is available at

Firebug is available at

Posted in Best Practice, Open Source, Team, Training.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.