This year’s Winter school of programming and design for high school students – IT Fest was held entirely online, via Live stream technology. The future IT experts and designers had the opportunity to attend interesting lectures and workshops held by experienced educators between January 31 and February 4, completely free of charge.
A large number of students showed interest in this year’s Winter school, which proves that a growing number of young people see their professional future in the IT industry. Current IT topics and in-demand occupations were in the focus of this year’s lectures, so participants were able to extend their knowledge of cryptography, image processing in Photoshop, learn how video games are made, write their first code, and many more.
Introduction to the crypto market, building mockups, color web and editing in Photoshop – introductory topics at IT Fest
On the very first day of the Fest, high school students had the opportunity to learn more about the crypto market and cryptocurrencies, how to use light adjustment tools in Photoshop, create mockups, and they were introduced to the PHP language.
The introductory lecture Examples of applied cryptanalysis – Breaking codes, held by Velimir Dedić, touched upon the history of this phenomenon, as well as the modern study of cryptanalysis and its applications.
The next event was a lecture by Professor Zoran Grubišić, who introduced students to the current situation in the crypto market, which enabled them to follow the current share prices in the global market, and the value of cryptocurrencies, with special emphasis on Bitcoin.
In addition, the lecture by Danijela Grujić taught them about tools that can be used to create artificial light in Photoshop, whereas the workshop Color web held by Professor Valentina Kovač demonstrated how to style an HTML page and link it with PHP code.
Students were introduced to problem solving in the Complex problem solving – The most important skill of the 4th industrial revolution workshop where they solved detective challenges so as to prepare for real-life problems. The workshop was held by Ivan Anić, Professor at ITS.
They also had the opportunity to see a real-life example of designing a conceptual solution for the FIFA World Cup 2022 database in the workshop held by Miloš Lalić Designing a database for the FIFA World Cup, and master the basics of creating databases and the principles of translating PMOV diagrams.
All those who wondered what visual effects in the music industry look like could attend the workshop How we see sound – Visual effects in the music industry, which was dedicated to the appearance and color of sound – Professor Biljana Veslinović explained the relationship between these components, and students could create a graphic solution to accompany a music number.
Topics of Day 3 of IT Fest: From social media to the applications of AI in the real world and video games development
The central day of the festival was dedicated to social media from a business aspect, applications of AI in the real world, and video games development. Students had the opportunity to learn more about the profits of the IT industry, and the highest paying jobs in it.
Although most of us use social media for entertainment, their importance in the business world is increasing as well. Students had the opportunity to learn more about tools that will help them utilize the full potential of social media for marketing purposes in the lecture held by Nevenka Popović Šević, How to start a career as a SOCIAL MEDIA, ONLINE PR & COMMUNITY MANAGER. In addition, although the concept of artificial intelligence is well known, students were able to use it directly, and better understand its applicability in all areas of life.
In the lecture by Professor Miroslav Knežević, ’Game Engine’ and how video games are made, participants were introduced to the software for making video games. Those who wanted to know how startups operate could attend the lecture Startup Way by Šemsudin Plojović, where he used business models and the value of successful startup companies as examples to illustrate all the necessary elements for launching and improving this model of project management.
Another lecture the students could attend was The Highest paying positions in IT by ITS Professor Milena Ilić, which explained the current situation in the labor market, with emphasis on the IT sector in Serbia, EU and the US. Participants could also learn about the most in-demand and highest paying positions in IT, whereas Nikola Mehandžić explained the concept of freelancer and the principles of telework in the lecture Can anyone be a freelancer, and how does it work?
Day 4 of the IT Fest was dedicated to data protection, project management tools and website development
During the penultimate day of the festival, students had the opportunity to develop their knowledge of cryptography, i.e. data protection, and applications of cryptographic techniques. In addition, they learned how to shape composites in Photoshop, create a website, and use project management tools.
In the lecture by Svetlana Jevremović, Data protection through cryptography and steganography, participants were introduced to one of the most important questions of the 21st-century digital world – security, i.e. data protection. The workshop Using the ProjectLibre tool for project management by Milica Jevremović explained how to correctly define a project, its basic elements, and how to manage each stage of the project.
Design professor Ana Stanković introduced students to the necessary tools for creating composites in Photoshop in a demonstration exercise that required no prior knowledge of this software.
Closing day of IT Fest dedicated to design – drawing, interactive CV and animation
Students who see their future in the field of digital design absolutely loved the closing day of the festival, because they had the opportunity to create an interactive portfolio in Indesign on their own, and to familiarize themselves with the importance of drawing as the basis of animation, video and film.
ITS Professor, Snježana Torbica Prvulj, held a workshop Interactive portfolio created in Indesign, explaining how students can express their creativity and implement the skills they possess by creating an interactive portfolio in Indesign, to attract employers’ attention during job hunting, and present their knowledge.
Professor Mihajlo Mlinar showcased the creative process, recognition of different artistic styles in digital form, technical approach and applied design in his workshop Applying artistic styles in graphic design. The workshop was designed both for beginners and students who possess a certain level of experience in design, and it proved to be very interesting.
The IT Fest was successfully closed with an animation workshop A short school of animation in AutoDesk Maya 2020 held by Maja Radulović Petrović. She presented the great possibilities of artistic expression on film, where the new moving forms were first created.
Knowledge and skills necessary for successful education and career
This year’s workshops and lectures in the IT Fest had a great turnover among the high school population from different parts of Serbia, which shows that IT is by far the most popular choice among younger generations when it comes to education and future career. Thanks to the Winter school, participants acquired valuable knowledge and skills that will prove useful in their continued education, but the festival also provided guidance and career advice that will bring them a profitable job and a secure future.