Behind the Scenes Insight of Perth’s Biggest Web Community Event

Perth has been Mixin it up, with a new event to shake up the web industry.

Our city may be the most isolated in the world, but last month it was possibly the most connected – with the international web community coming together for a hugely successful one-day event called Mixin.

Mixin is a celebration of creativity on the web; with a mixture of guest speakers, workshops and plenty of networking aimed to inspire cross-discipline collaboration. It was created by a group of talented professionals from the web/design industry.

We caught up with one of the Mixin organisers, The Brand Agency Front end developer Josh Allen, and asked him about the impact he hopes to create from working on projects such as Mixin:

What made you want to get involved in Mixin?

I've been lucky enough to work with some fantastic designers in my time and I've always appreciated the ones with an understanding and respect of the development side of things. I've always been enthusiastic about learning about design and understanding the decisions made during that process. I saw Mixin as a place for creating more opportunity for learning and better collaboration between developers and designers.

Why is cross-discipline collaboration essential to the industry?

If there’s a more cohesive vision, it will always create a better product. My main passion is in development, but I had to learn the concept of design very quickly in my career (even though I didn’t at first understand it).

Collaboration serves all inputs, from the designer to the developer to the end user. Through Mixin we wanted to increase collaboration and inspire people to be open to learning things that are not part of their direct job, and also to respect what others do. 

Why are events like Mixin important for Perth? 

Perth needed Mixin, we didn’t know at the time that it would actually be Mixin - it was an evolving journey. I felt like it was a great opportunity for Perth, as it opens the door to an international stage. There’s not been anything on this scale in the city before. I like the idea that it may inspire others in Perth who may have thought about doing something similar, to go ahead and start their own events for the industry.

It’s also about letting people know that they are good enough for the world stage. In Perth there is a small-community focus, we seem to have a chip on our shoulders in that we’re not as good as other cities like Melbourne, London or New York. In reality, we’re doing exactly the same as them, it’s just that they’re bigger. This is one of the reasons we wanted to include international as well as local speakers at Mixin.

Where do you find job satisfaction?

My job satisfaction is in making things better. My aim is to make the internet a better, more meaningful place. Even something simple like creating a hover animation on a button – if it gives you a bit of excitement, then it’s satisfying.

Part of the reason why I love this industry is because it’s an unchartered, wild west frontier where anything goes. We don’t have the structure and rigidity of other industries.

What would you like to see in the future for the industry?

I want to see more structured learning in the industry, more meaningful education. There’s plenty of courses available, but people don’t put enough emphasis on it. Continued learning should be mandatory to any organisation in the industry.

What advice do you have for those looking to enter the industry?

I’d give the same advice that Alice Lee presented at Mixin. She spoke about travelling back to those weird obsessions you have, those things that keep you energized and lying in bed awake at 4am – because that’s where your passion lies. That’s what you should follow. If you love what you do you’ll be good at it, and if you’re good at it you can do anything with it. Don’t limit your dreams based on potential prospects. If you follow your dreams, you’ll be able to make your own prospects.

So will there be another Mixin? It hasn’t been confirmed yet but we hope so, the creative folk of Mixin are onto a winner. Considering the buzz created from the events’ debut performance, it can only get bigger and firmly stamp Perth on the web industry map.

Article posted by Lucy Helliwell