Here’s the latest installment on our ‘A day in the life…’ series. This time we’re chatting to Barney, who’s a User Experience Developer (aka a Front End Web Developer) here at Code.
Can you begin by telling me a bit about yourself, and your role in the agency?
I’ve been working at Code for eight months, and I’m a User Experience Developer, taking the concepts from Design and User Experience and implementing them over the top of the work that the Back End Developers do. I’m also responsible for ensuring the quality of the HTML, CSS and JS that comes out of my team.
Could you describe a typical day in the office?
I usually start off by catching up on emails from the day before, and then we do our daily team ‘scrum’. Then I’ll get on with coding, spec’ing out jobs and meetings; how much time I spend doing each depends on the stage I’m at with my current project.
What key skills do you think are most important to be a Front End Developer?
I think that you need to have an understanding of different roles within the company. You basically sit in the middle of Design, User Experience and Back End Developers, so you need to be able to effectively weigh up the priorities of each of these disciplines. As the role of the developer is constantly evolving, you also need to be able to look to the future and willing to learn new techniques to improve.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
My status as a ‘geek’ was evident very early on, given my preference for Lego, science kits and games consoles as I was growing up…
Skipping forward a bit, I did a degree in Computer Science with a specialism in AI and neural networks. My degree required that I spent a year in industry and I was lucky enough to get a job in the network team of Freeserve, building net-based reporting tools.
After graduating, I went straight into a Web Developer position, and worked for a couple of small agencies. Then I worked as a freelancer for about 18 months before joining Code.
Do you have a favorite part of your job?
The best part for me is when you first start showing your work to a client, and you hear the excitement in their voices when talking about their new site. It’s very satisfying to know that you’ve done a good job and delivered what they needed.
What do you find the most challenging?
From both an enthusiasm and an effort point of view, I’d say that the hardest part of my job is getting stuff to work in the older versions of Internet Explorer. We might have spent a while building a beautiful website, only to see it destroyed when displayed in one of those old browsers that developers love to hate — so then have to spend a while doing pretty arcane things to get it to function properly…
Is there a campaign or piece of work that you are particularly proud of, and why?
Can I have two?! I’d say that the new site we just launched for Oxfam International: Behind The Brands was a fairly ambitious project. It is a new direction for Oxfam in terms of branding, and the site is fully responsive to boot.
Another one I’m proud of is the Tree Disease & Pests site which we produced for The Woodland Trust on a very fast turnaround — three days from brief to launch for design and build of a responsive site. I still don’t know how we did it!
How would you describe working for Code Computerlove?
The nice thing about Code is that it has managed to keep a small company feeling while also offering all the benefits of working for a larger company. Everyone’s committed to improving themselves and the way that Code works; you feel able to make suggestions about things that you think could be improved, and know that your thoughts and opinions will be valued.
What attributes are you looking for in a new team member?
They should care about providing clean, beautiful solutions for projects, and be ready to jump in with new ideas when they see something wrong. It’s also probably a good idea for them to not take themselves too seriously!