Spotlight on Development

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In our latest Spotlight blog, we are chatting to the newest members of our Software Development Team, Junior Developers David Warren, Rich Heneachon and Scott Roberts.

We like to shine the Spotlight on our brilliant team and find out everything about them, from their career goals to what they do in their spare time. Have a look here!

Tell us about your roles at Claritas

David: Currently, my role is largely focused on web development, creating pages that talk to a database to display and update information. However, as my training progresses and I gain more experience, I would expect my work to diversify to include app development.

Rich: As part of the Development team, using a variety of different programming languages, I contribute towards ongoing projects and occasionally may need to do research into different aspects that we need to include in a project.

Scott: I work on new and current applications in the Development team; programming and testing code in multiple programming languages. I started using HTML, PHP and a bit of JavaScript and have more recently been using C# as this is my preferred programming language.

What prior experience do you each have?

David: I was working as a Web Developer, creating bespoke WordPress themes based on designs made by a colleague. This was the first step for me in changing my career, having spent seven years studying, researching, and teaching Theoretical Linguistics at University.

Rich: I studied Interactive Media Design at Northumbria University, covering the basics of web development and areas of programming software. After graduating, I was keen to keep my skills up to date, so I kept training by taking online courses and expanding my skills even further.

Scott: I previously worked in an aviation consultancy after graduating from Teesside University with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Games Programming. Although my day-to-day activities did not consist entirely of programming, I was tasked with creating a company database and used my C# knowledge from my university degree to create simulations and animations for presentations.

What does a normal day at Claritas look like for you?

David: This is a little hard to answer, as only two weeks after I started at Claritas the country went into lockdown! I spend most of my time at the computer coding – which is just the way I like it. I also attend training workshops to develop my skillset, and regularly collaborate with others as we work towards a solution to a problem.

Rich: It is definitely more varied than normal, which is how I like to work! Every day is different, you could be working by yourself or as part of a team, one day I might be working on a project and the next I could be doing research. It keeps me busy!

Scott: My day normally consists of adding a couple of features to one or sometimes two projects, going from a blank canvas to a full webpage or application page with validation included. This can involve some database work also, and as I am still learning my role, more often than not, I’ll be talking to a colleague getting some valuable advice.

What do you enjoy most about your roles?

David: It turns out I’m a bit of a techie nerd (okay, that may not be such a surprise!), I love making stuff happen with code, especially things that initially seem a bit more difficult and challenge me. I find it immensely satisfying when the program runs and does what you want it to do.

Rich: It is great having the variety and having the chance to advance my skills.

Scott: On a day-to-day basis, I love the teamwork and how happy everybody is to help and offer you new ways to overcome obstacles. The busiest person will happily drop what they are doing to guide you and that really makes you feel part of the team.

The most rewarding feeling comes from a completed webpage or a project, knowing that what myself and the team are working on will be used by lots of people. It gives you the feeling that you have accomplished something important and all the obstacles you had to overcome to get it working right was all worth it.

What are your career goals?

Rich: I hope to learn as much as I possibly can, work my way up to a Senior Developer role and one day be able to share what I’ve learnt with others who are looking to follow the same path.

Scott: I would really like to work towards gaining the experience and knowledge across different programming languages to become a Senior Developer. It may be a fair few years away at the moment but ultimately that is where I want to be, I’d love to be able to pass my knowledge down to Junior Developers just as I have had knowledge passed down to me.

Do you have any advice to give to others looking at a similar career?

David: Don’t be intimidated by the stereotypical images of code editors, with lots of colours and random punctuation marks everywhere. The principles of coding are relatively simple; if you can think logically, then you can code. University degrees help, though they aren’t the be-all and end-all.

Rich: Be ready to learn. There is always something new to learn, whether it is by yourself or when working in a team, if you’re ever unsure, just ask the question.

Scott: Don’t feel down when you can’t do something, mistakes and errors are not bad, they’re just part of the learning experience. Your peers are your most valuable asset and if you are learning alone there are so many people online that are willing to help teach you how to program to the best of your ability. Most importantly, there is always something new to learn!

What do you enjoy doing when not at work?

Rich: I try to keep active as much as possible; I love to go out for a run and I hope to take part in the Great North Run one day, which will be my first half marathon.

Scott: I love to play video games as you could probably guess from my university degree; it’s a nice escape on the evenings I find. I also love to play my guitar and make music on the weekends. I also love my cars, although currently I don’t have the space to buy any more, so until I have more space, I’ll continue improving my current cars.

Thanks for speaking to us! It’s been great getting to know more about the newest members of our team.