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How did you get that job? Junior Web Developer at Yard

7th February 2017 by Phil Treen | Data

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Unlike most of the people I know who work in the digital sector, I didn’t take what would be considered a conventional path into the job. In fact, my undergraduate degree was actually in contemporary music, which I reckon must be about as far away from computing as you could possibly get.

I remember a stage when I absolutely hated anything to do with computers. My I.T GCSE result was average at best and I dropped out of my Computing A level, so it’s no wonder I’m surprised that I now find myself sitting in Yard’s Cardiff office working on websites for some pretty big clients.

After receiving my undergraduate degree I thought quite a lot about returning to higher education, eventually committing to the idea and after much deliberation settled on a conversion degree that Cardiff University were offering; an MSc in Computing. The degree seemed ideal for someone in my position – a music undergrad with zero experience with computing so I took the plunge and a few weeks after applying I was accepted onto the course.

The first year of the degree came and went without a hitch, and after achieving some solid results I started thinking about applying for some placements. If attending the careers fairs Cardiff University were hosting had taught me anything, it was that having just the degree was no longer enough – more and more employers were also looking for work place experience.

I heard about a web developer internship being offered at Yard through a one on one with a careers adviser and after a brief chat peaked my curiosity, I decided to do a bit of research. Yard’s involvement with National Coding Week and Programming for Primaries interested me (an organisation that has an interest in helping others develop can never be a bad thing) so I applied and was completely taken back when I was then offered the position!

The first couple of months at Yard were certainly eye opening. I had never worked in an office environment before, so while it was quite some time before I got involved with any client work, there were plenty of other things to keep me occupied. A lot of this time was spent becoming accustomed to my colleagues and how the company operated.

As I was settling into my role I became aware of how my team functioned and integrated with other teams, and noticed that a lot of the conventions and practices I had learned as part of my degree were put to good use here, and being able to apply these skills with tangible results was a great feeling.

The role required me to have at least a basic knowledge of JavaScript, which in the beginning I had no experience with. My saving grace however was that I was familiar with other languages that existed in the same spectrum; Python and Java, meaning many of the concepts were transferable. I learned JavaScript on the job, the obvious advantage being that I was applying my new skills to real work situations as soon as I learned them. I also had the added benefit of having my colleagues review my code, so any bad habits likely to develop out of self-directed learning never materialised.

As it stands I am still studying towards completing my degree but I am now also working part time at Yard as a Junior Web Developer. The course I am studying is great, it helped me land the role after all, but I’ve definitely learned more from my time at Yard then I could have learned on any course. My degree set everything in motion, but it was only through my time here that a lot of the things I had learned started making sense.

If you’d be interested in joining our team of Yardies, we’re currently recruiting – you can find more information here.

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