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Love Your Job Guest blog #10 Pragmatic Web - Wordpress Design & Development Agency

This is the ninth in a series of guest blogs from members, this time from Pragmatic Web. I’ve been asking member employees how they got into & why they love their jobs, so they can share their wisdom & inspire you:

Michael Rochester - Back-End WordPress Developer


How did you get into Back-End WordPress Development?

It all started when my uncle recommended a “Teach Yourself C++ in 30 Days” book for my 12th birthday. Lets just say, it took a longer than 30 days! The book gave me an intense interest in programming, which led to me moving to Brighton to study Computer Science at Sussex University. At university, I took many modules that built toward full stack web development and I specialised in building fast, efficient and well-maintainable backends.

Tell us about the projects you have worked on that you’re most proud of and why?

I'm most proud of creating an internal dashboard at Pragmatic that gives a live view of all the team’s projects. In this project I needed to delve into my UX knowledge to develop a simple to use system that still had all the customisability that our Project Managers required. This project was a great opportunity to flex my backend expertise but also push my UX knowledge to its very limit. This project was more vast than anything I had created on the web before and I feel great accomplishment whenever I see it being used around the office.

What are your three favourite things about your job?

  1. Pragmatic values best practice over easy solutions. This environment encourages deep discussion over new technologies and techniques and helps foster an environment of learning and self-expansion.
  2. The work is varied and interesting. From the large, high-power sites, to small, lightning-fast sites, there are always new challenges and technologies to work on.
  3. The Team. Every Pragmatitian is friendly and always willing to help. No matter what their position, everyone gets involved and supports everyone whenever they can.

What advice would you give to younger self, knowing what you know now, about your career path?

When it comes to starting your first Web Development job there will always to be tons of new things to learn. There will always be days when you feel so far behind or ill-equipped to do any sort of work, but with a great team around you, those feelings won't overwhelm you and others will help you turn those experiences into more drive and expertise. Moreover, finding an environment that encourages growth and self-improvement at every stage will leave you feeling accomplished and satisfied.

Adam Hollister - Front-End WordPress Developer at Pragmatic


How did you get into Front-end Development?

I started getting into Front-end Development after finishing university. Pretty much by making some really basic HTML and CSS and messing around with styling, trying to get different layouts to work.

At around the same time I built an app for replacing homescreen icons on Android by following a really detailed tutorial I found online, which helped me get a job as a trainee Front-end Developer.

Then I learnt how to really use the stuff I'd been playing around with in a production environment, using a content management system for content, deploying code to servers, and building websites using WordPress.

A few websites for friends and a freelance project or two later I moved to Brighton and started working here at Pragmatic!

Tell us about the projects you have worked on that you’re most proud of and why?

One of the projects that I've enjoyed working on involved a client who used a CRM system to store a lot of contact data that they wanted to display on their website.  We built a new section of their website showing a searchable listing of contacts, their details, and a map displaying their business addresses.

We also set up a way for the client to import the data from their CRM system in bulk, by exporting a spreadsheet and importing it into their website.  In turn this adds the new contacts and their details to the listing, and their locations to the map.

I thought it was really cool that we could set something up for a business that can save them as much time and effort as possible whenever they're trying to add huge amounts of new data to this search feature.

What are your three favourite things about your job?

My favourite aspect of my job is learning and improving. As soon as I feel like my learning and development is starting to plateau, I know I need to find a new project or piece of work that is outside of my comfort zone.

Another great thing about working at Pragmatic is the social aspect. We go out for monthly meals and the occasional Friday pub trip, I think things like this are vital to really get to know the people you work with.

Finally, I also really enjoy knowing when we have delivered a great service to clients and building good working relationships with people.

What advice would you give to younger self, knowing what you know now, about your career path?

The main piece of advice I'd give my younger self would be not to limit yourself to one aspect of development. If you start from a Design or Front-end perspective, getting into Back-end development or other more complex code can be quite daunting at first, but if you stick with learning something outside of what you would normally be capable of, you can surprise yourself.

Such great advice and inspiration, thanks guys!

I’ve been running a series of Love Your Job Guest Blogs in 2016 by members. Take a peek:

I’ve got a full schedule of Love Your Job blogs for the next 12 months – so watch this space for more inspiration!  If there is a specific area of work you’d like to hear about then let me know

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