Why I Work In… is a monthly feature, sponsored by Huddersfield-based Scriba PR, where we ask people about their jobs and the industry they work in. John Bell deals with the Website Development at The Bigger Boat in Mirfield. We put our questions to him.
Tell us a little bit about The Bigger Boat
The Bigger Boat is a creative digital agency based in Mirfield – the birthplace of Sir Patrick Stewart! Just like the great man himself, we pride ourselves on striving to be the best we can be and ‘boldly go where no agency has gone before’…
Over the last 10 years, we’ve built up an impressive portfolio of clients, including Little Tikes, Zapf Creation, Company Shop Group and Duckhams.
And what’s your role there – how would you describe your job to an alien?
My role within the company is to breathe life into our creations. It’s my job to make sure all the working parts of a website work – from the animations to contact forms, to all the links and call-to-action buttons.
How long have you worked in this sector?
I’ve been working professionally in this sector for over nine years, but it’s been a hobby for more than two decades.
What skills make someone a good web developer?
A keen eye for detail, a streak of creativity, a propensity to problem-solve in a methodical fashion – the art of deduction – and, most importantly for me, a drive to never stop building my knowledge.
What’s your advice for people looking to get into web development?
Jump in and start learning! Codecademy has a great resource of introductory learning material to get anyone started. There’s also an app on Google Play called ‘Mimo’, which makes learning web development incredibly easy and laid-back.
If I have any advice it would be to not let confidence affect your progress because we’re all eternal students. Additionally, inspect web pages – to see how others have done it – practice CSS, follow subreddits, use Stack Overflow and read documentation like the Bible. There are no secrets to learning how to do this job as everything is available online – and for free. The biggest learning curve is knowing where to look, and what to search for.
If you could describe your job in only three words, which would you choose?
Hard cache refresh.
What do you most love about it?
I love the mix of creativity, logical thinking, and the fact I’m able to do something different every day. I enjoy being part of a supportive and collaborative team in which I can positively impact a project.
What word would your colleagues use to describe you?
Where do you hope your career may take you?
I hope that I can continue to learn so I can help push us into new technologies and methods of building websites, while sharing the spoils of those efforts with my colleagues.
If someone is reading this and thinks, I’d love to work at The Bigger Boat, what should they do?
Click on our new website and send us your details. Even if we’re not looking right now, we’re always interested to hear from talented people. One last piece of advice though… make sure you bring cake if you do get the job!