Andrew B.

Web Development Manager
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Andrew B.
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Web Development Manager
TLF Research
United Kingdom
Digital and IT services / Finance and consultancy
Medium-size business (50-249 employees)

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A day in the life of a Web Development Manager in the United Kingdom

Writing web applications and enjoying the challenge of transforming ideas into working applications

How I looked for work

Before taking up this job, I worked in Transport consultancy and the squeeze on public spending in 2010 led to dramatic downturn in workload. I was ready for a new challenge and was searching websites for suitable positions. I saw this job advertised in the local newspaper.

How I found out about the job

Local/regional press

The recruitment process

The application simply consisted of a CV and covering letter. I was called for interview which consisted of a an IQ test, programming test and a face-to-face interview. I later learnt that I was the only applicant who provided a covering letter, which surprised me, as this is the ideal place to convince the prospective employee that you're worth interviewing

My career goals when I graduated

To get a job where I could use my mathematics and not be an accountant

My career history

Worked in transport planning for 11 years - doing mathematical modelling of transportation systems and cost-benefit analysis.

What has helped my career to progress

Working hard, learning new skills and not being afraid to use the time outside of work to expand my knowledge

Courses taken since graduation

Open University course in Web Applications

How my studies have helped my career

I have had to be highly numerate in all my jobs, so studying mathematics obviously helped. More importantly, however, the mathematics degree taught me to think logically and to construct rational arguments.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Not sure at the moment

My advice to students considering work

Whilst big companies have clearly defined graduate entry routes, there are thousands of smaller companies who are willing to take a punt on hiring a graduate. These companies won't have massive training budgets, so be prepared to devote your own time to your personal development.

My advice about working in my industry

A common mantra in programming is that we need people who are smart and can get things done. You need to be able to think logically and almost get an instinct for doing things in the best way!

The book "The Clean Coder" by Robert Martin gives excellent advice on how to act as a professional programmer - and it goes way beyond writing code.

Contacting me

I'm happy to answer questions on web development and related subjects. If there is a maths student looking for a mentor, I'd be interested in helping.

What I do

Write web applications that assist the company to undertake market research, and to allow our clients to access and analyse the data we have gathered for them.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Most days, I write and test object-orientated PHP code. I learnt PHP from books and on-line resources whilst in my previous job, and then did an Open University course in order to gain more knowledge and to obtain a qualification.
In this job, however, you learn new skills simply by turning ideas into working applications.

What I like most

The intellectual challenges of transforming ideas into working systems

What I like least

Imprecise requirements

What surprised me most

I found out that that there are lots of web application developers who do not understand how to write programs correctly.

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