Select Page

About a month ago we published an article highlighting our work with states to run their web design and development competitions in anticipation of the national competition in Atlanta, GA this June. Today, we are looking at how we helped facilitate the state competition that Illinois ran on April 25th. 

Since we started working directly with states in 2022, we have seen the level of competition improve significantly at both the state level and national level. Students are better prepared than ever to hit the ground running on day one and contribute to team success. Each year, more and more states sign up for the package we offer that includes the following:

  • Online web design exam similar to what the competitors might see at nationals 
  • Competition project with client assets and judging rubric 
  • Handouts for competitors with overview and links to resources
  • Online development environment “IDE” for each competitive team
  • Support for judges and competition chairs 

State SkillsUSA programs enjoy working with Web Professionals Global because we enable them to facilitate the competition rather than have the burden of creating the competition from scratch. Competitors and judges can participate either in person or remotely using our support tools. This enables states to utilize a wider range of judges, as many enjoy participating but cannot take the time from other obligations to join in person for a full day or more. In addition to helping run the Illinois competition, we helped the following states in the spring of 2024: Washington, South Carolina, Arizona, Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas, Nevada, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Oregon and Oklahoma. 

Running the Competition

Let’s look at how the IL competition ran to see how our package makes life easier for the teams, volunteers and judges that make each state competition happen. What happened in Illinois is similar to what happens in each state choosing the Web Professionals Global package for their competition.

First, the Illinois SkillsUSA team contacted Web Professionals Global to schedule the state competition and receive the competition kit. In the following days, the Illinois SkillsUSA team met with the Web Professionals Global team to get trained on what to expect on the day of the competition and how to ensure it went smoothly. 

On the day of the competition, teams showed up to the venue and received handouts outlining how the competition would run. This included an introductory video outlining the online development environments, also known as IDE (although most teams don’t need to review much as many are already with online coding environments *such as VSCode). The team members also logged into their IDE to make sure they were ready to go when the competition began. The IDE also contained the client assets along with a readme file explaining what each team needs to focus on if they want to win the competition (for example, make certain to preview your work to verify images are linked properly).

Students were then introduced to their client for the competition and began to analyze the client’s needs, target audience and images and logos they would be using. After this introduction, students began the competition in their teams and started building their websites. Teams are not allowed to use frameworks of any sort (or help from AI), and doing so results in disqualification. We want competitors to use their knowledge and skills to demonstrate their understanding of responsive design, web accessibility and much more. Relying on a framework can hamper this demonstration as frameworks can be relied upon as a crutch.

Upon completion of the competition, the judges used the online judging system provided by Web Professionals Global. This included a fair and easy-to-use rubric for judging the work of each team. Judges are able to review all teams’ work from a single view and can examine the end result or the code directly in the browser. This system ensures a transparent judging process that is consistent with the process that winning teams experience at the national competition. The winners of the Illinois competition were then submitted to the national competition and invited to participate in June. 

We are proud to be a part of this growing network of state competitions. Feel free to get in touch with us if you are interested in learning more and having your state take advantage of our solution next year.