A Day in the Life of a Web Developer

Are you considering a career in web development? Looking for a new and challenging opportunity in a rapidly growing, exciting area? Or just want to find out more about being a web developer? Today we caught up with one of our Senior Developer’s, Martin, to give you an insight into his journey and some tips & advice!

When and why did you decide that you wanted to become a web developer?
To be honest, I didn't. I have always been fascinated by how things work. As a child, I was always taking things apart to see how they worked. Growing up as part of a very tech-heavy generation, I quite often found myself frustrated with not being able to find the software or tools for simple tasks that I wanted to do on my computers. This lead to me starting to tinker with computer programming, which in turn lead to an obsession with code, how systems work and what work goes into creating them. I was very lucky to find a career path that let me explore that further, take my programming knowledge to the internet and produce systems with a global audience.

How did you get to where you are today?
Passion and obsession. Obviously doing my degree helped, certainly with getting my foot through the proverbial door, but wanting to constantly learn (both new technologies and from my mistakes) and having a good team of like-minded people around me is what has landed me where I am today. Having the ability to bounce ideas and problems off other very skilled developers is a real help!

What skills do you think are required to be a good web developer?
Communication skills are key. The ability to adapt very technical problems into non-technical terminology so that people are able to understand them can be challenging.

I would say that problem solving is important too. If you find yourself in a problematic situation, you have to be creative and think outside of the box. Can you simplify what you’re doing? Can you build it in an alternative way? A lot of people seem to have the misconception that computing is all logic – there’s only one right way and that’s that. But this is not true at all. To be a really-good web developer lateral thinking is essential!

Of course, there are the technical skills too. Here at CSI Media, we programme in C# .Net, although this will be different for other web development companies. It’s also important to have an appreciation for other aspects of the web because your code will be interacting with other technology including the HTML and databases.

What would you say to aspiring web developers? Have you any advice or tips?
Be prepared to be constantly learning - any qualification you may have is only the start of the learning experience. I have lots of pet projects at home so I am continually learning new skills.

Can you describe a typical day in the office?
I don’t have a typical day - that’s what keeps it exciting for me. Throughout the day, I could be working on programming, deployments, creating system diagrams. I could also be scheduling resources and dealing with clients.

What’s the best thing about your job?
I love it when an idea goes from the initial “lightbulb moment” through to fruition. Whether that’s my idea or one I have invested in. There’s a great sense of achievement, to see something you’ve put a lot of work (and emotion) in to go live, where thousands of people can see or use your work daily.

Is there a piece of work that you’re particularly proud of?
I’ve worked on lots of great projects here at CSI Media but one that really stands out is our work for the Priory Group. I have managed this from the initial concept, we have had lots of ideas and we’re really happy with the work we’ve done so far.

How do you feel about working for CSI Media?
It’s a really-nice, friendly environment. I probably learned more during my first six months here than I did during me three years at University - this is echoed by some of my colleagues too. CSI are very supportive of graduates! (See our latest grad opportunities here.)

Finally, which 3 songs help you through those coding challenges?
I’m not sure I can narrow it down to 3 songs! Could we do artists instead? It depends on the challenge too…

Generally, I’d go for any heavy metal music but if I need to get something done urgently, it’s HollyWood Undead.

However, if a task needs maximum concentration, I’ll choose the London Philharmonic Orchestra because it really engages the mind.