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Love Your Job Guest Blog #3: Why the Ocasta Team love working on mobile and small screen apps...

February has been the month of love! I’ve been asking local talent how they got & why they love their jobs, so they can inspire you. This is the third in a series of guest blogs from members.

Three members of the team from Ocasta Studios in Brighton, share with us what makes them love their working day:

Melanie Menard - Front-end Developer

I originally studied for an MSc in Digital Signal Processing and wrote audio-processing low-level (C and assembler) algorithms for mobile devices for 6 years. While keeping my full-time software job, I studied part-time via online learning for a MA Digital Arts at Camberwell. Like the vast majority of creative souls drifting to Brighton I couldn't find a paid arts job and turned to the digital media industry. At first I looked for a design job but, with my newly acquired MA, I would have had to start right at the bottom of the career ladder, while my transferable software experience enabled me to start slightly higher up in development

I gradually learned front-end skills on projects: HTML/CSS in my first job, jQuery/JavaScript for websites in my second, Object-Oriented JavaScript for web apps in my third, and now Ocasta where I get to use various technologies. I planned to try and switch to design as soon as an opportunity arose, but I came to really enjoy the middle-ground between dry logic and creative intuition that front-end requires.

It enables me to use both sides of my brain. One day I get to satisfy my dry, logical, efficiency-obsessed streak by tracking down a really wacky bug, researching JavaScript best practices or refactoring messy code.  Another day, I get to satisfy my creative streak by translating designer concepts or client wishes into actual products, making pretty pictures align flawlessly on any screen size or animate smoothly. I value both sides of the job equally, and particularly enjoy any opportunity to use interdisciplinary thinking, such as explaining technical problems to non-technical people, or having in-depth discussion with a client or a designer until I manage to pinpoint exactly what they want.

What I look for in an employer is the right balance between an intellectually challenging job, that pushes me to learn new things and solve new problems on a regular basis, and a good work-life balance that enables me to do personal art projects in my spare time, and a company culture that gives responsibilities and challenges to all employees, not just the most senior, without unfair blame culture or unrealistic expectations. I am pleased to say that Ocasta strikes the right balance on both counts!

David Richards - Developer

Having had my first experience of programming whilst studying A-Level Computing at college, I moved to Brighton in 2011 to study BSc Computer Science at the University of Sussex. During my time there I not only fell in love Brighton but also got my first taste of working as a software developer, taking a placement year with local company Mobbu. I worked on a number of web and mobile applications for government and security organisations.

From then on, I knew I had made the right choice of career. I’m happiest when I’m scribbling frantically on a whiteboard and bringing ideas to life through code. For me, there’s something so satisfying and exciting about solving problems and my job lets me do this every day.

Being the most recent addition to the Ocasta team hasn’t stopped me from already getting stuck in to a number of interesting projects. With an impressive portfolio of projects keeping the team busy, Ocasta has to run a tight ship and there’s a well-oiled process in place…

Joe Palmer - Android Developer

I genuinely really enjoy working will the ragtag bunch at Ocasta, and I do think it is the people who ultimately make the organisation. Ocasta is a happy place; that goes without needing any qualification.

It feels like we are a group of friends working on projects we are all passionate about. Although, most of us specialise in one area, we are all multi-disciplinary in our experience and approach. This allows us to tackle projects in a flexible, dynamic and collaborative manner. I’ve spent a lot of time creating and looking after Virgin Media's WiFi Buddy app.

So what is the secret sauce that makes Ocasta such a happy place? Maybe it is the cashew nut butter on crusty brown, the Lotus Biscoff, Bagel Mondays, the secret sweet stash in a till drawer, the way information is communicated through the office’s ambient Hue lighting, the bugle announcing meetings, the option of standing or sitting desk space, the beautiful sunsets we can see from the office, the excellent coffee, the monthly artisan chocolate delivery (vegan options included), or something else.

Ocasta Studios create and launch apps for small screen and mobile. Clients range from Virgin Media, to Harvey's Brewey, Food for Friends and Easy Car club.

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