Where to get practical skills ...?
Oddly enough, only in practice.
Any experiences to share with you, is in any case subjective and specific. It is necessary to understand the fundamental (i.e. theoretical) approaches. From them will come already "practical" solutions depending on the situation. The development process in each case may be different. He must be flexible, adapt to change, solve emerging problems, etc.
The open day is hardly something to help. You don't see sitting at the computers people want?
In General, I can share our experiences (some on Skype). We at all points issues have long been closed. Recently was thinking about how to write an article for all these and similar issues.