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Dipping The Toe In To The World Of Web Development!

Posted in General News on 25th May 2022

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A couple of years ago Harry Botton joined Candour Solutions as a Recruitment Consultant looking to specialise in Web Development within the Yorkshire / North East region.

Mand Cashin & Harry Botton
Mand Cashin & Harry Botton

He was determined to try to understand the web development market and gain a knowledge of some of the (many) technologies that currently dominate nearly every advert out there.

Candour suggested he spoke with Mand Cashin. She is an ex “Candourian” who, 5 years ago, made the move into Web Development and now works for Dept in Manchester.

Not only did Mand pay a visit to our office on her day off to speak to Harry about the technologies he needed to understand and be aware of, but she was also kind enough to sit down with him afterwards and talk to Harry about her own personal journey to becoming a Developer.

1. Can you describe your career path from leaving University in 2009?

“I graduated from MMU with a BA in Fine Art where on paper I had specialised in painting although my final showcase was an installation piece because that was what I enjoyed most. This led me to pursue a career as a junior set designer/stylist at a top photography studio in Ardwick, however this was very short lived due to being made redundant within my first 6 months. Following on from this, my plan was to work as cabin crew for one season as a ‘stop gap’ until I could decide what my degree was actually relevant to. One thing led to another and I ended up working at easyJet for 8 years as I was promoted to Cabin Manager and Sales Champion at my base. Due to personal reasons in 2018 I decided to walk away from flying for good and joined Candour Solutions as a trainee web development recruitment specialist”.

2. When did you first become interested in a career in Web Development?

“I began to learn about the day to day role of a Web Developer whilst working at Candour and found it all really interesting. I would read job specs during the day then go home and watch YouTube videos to try and understand what all the different languages and frameworks were. Off the back of that, I attend a meetup for Manc JS which was hosted at Code Computerlove as I was really keen to learn more. Manchester has a really great tech scene so just chatting to other Developers was a big inspiration to me.

3. What did you do to take the first step in becoming a Web Developer?

“After 3 months of working at Candour I realised that I wasn’t cut out for the world of recruitment, and with tonnes of support from Stephen and Richard (the Directors there), I decided to follow my new found dream of becoming a Developer. I went to an open evening at Northcoders and was instantly and completely obsessed with wanting to sign up for their developer pathway. I went home the same night, booked my entrance exam and began smashing through Codecademy online to try and get to grips with some basic JavaScript”.

4. Did you take to it straight away or was it a steep learning curve?

“No! I massively underestimated how hard it was going to be. Even passing the entrance exam for Northcoders was tough, but I guess it’s a test of commitment to see how much time you are willing to put in to learning to ensure they only have the best people on their bootcamp. There’s also a big element of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ that comes with being a Developer. You are surrounded by extremely intelligent people all day long and it’s easy to compare yourself and put yourself down”.

5. How did you get your first commercial position (at Code Computerlove)?

“Honestly, I do not know how I managed it. After messaging briefly on LinkedIn, I was invited in for a chat with them and I just loved everything I heard and saw on the day. In fairness, I already knew I wanted to be a Code Computerlover from having a friend that had previously worked there and having been in their office before for the Manc JS meetup. Even before I started learning any JavaScript it was already my career goal and I couldn’t see myself accepting a role anywhere else”.

6. What is your day to day role there?

“My job title is Foundation Front End Web Developer. Over my first 12 months, I am working across different teams to learn about team process and agile as well as actually learning to write good quality code. I take part in daily stand ups, estimation sessions and pair programming. I also get time to work on CPD to help develop my technical skills”.

7. What technologies are you predominantly working with?

“HTML, CSS and JS mainly. I enjoy working with React JS but my main passion is definitely styling so I’m currently improving my Sass skills. I really like building things on CodePen in my spare time – I feel it’s a good way to measure how far I’ve come and to showcase what I’m doing. Git version control is something I love too (big fan of micro-committing)! I also feel that at Code we have a good awareness of WCAG and accessibility (I’ve recently been looking into using the pa11y dashboard)”.

8. What advice would you give to anyone looking to break into Web development?

“Don’t wait to start! If you have an hour free in an evening then get yourself on FreeCodeCamp. That’s the best *free* learning tool that I’ve found for beginners. Learn bit by bit, go to meetups, and surround yourself with other devs. Codewars is also good to train yourself up to do katas. You don’t necessarily need to go to Uni to become a developer. A lot of developers are self-taught or have come through code bootcamps”.

PLEASE DO VISIT MAND’s website – www.githun.co.uk – It has her codepen and wordpress blog on there which you should find interesting.

If you are a client seeking Web Developers, or indeed a Developer who would like to be kept up to date with market news, analysis and vacancies on Yorkshire/NE, please do connect and contact our new web development team on – tom@candour-solutions.co.uk OR joe@candour-solutions.co.uk

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