Please Support - Ride for the child

Well the New Year is here and I’m a little late but here is my summary of last year.
2012 was possibly the most important year of my life to date. Although a vast majority of it was spent drunk, some very significant things did happen.

  • Graduated from university
  • Employment

I graduated in May 2012 and it was such a good feeling. All that hard work really was worth it in the end. In January 2012 I started working at fourdegreeswest.co.uk on a voluntary basis and I must admit it was possibly the best thing I ever did. Not only did I develop my skills in a real working environment, but it also gave me experience, which is invaluable on any undergraduates CV.

I started applying for graduate jobs very early (March) to try get a feel of what it is all about and what employers are looking for. I applied for a number of jobs and managed to acquire an interview almost immediately. I was incredibly nervous and it was a daunting but nevertheless exciting experience. I passed the interview and managed to advance to the next stage, which was a test.

I may as well mention at this point that I really managed to get my act together in January and I was reading and learning things faster than I ever had before. I would spend literally 14 hours a day studying, reading and coding. The important thing is that I had really developed a passion for web design at this point and those strenuous hours were actually really enjoyable to me.
Anyway back to the test. I had to make a simple webpage (I had spent dozens of hours practicing), which tested my HTML and CSS. I must have done ok because I was offered the job.

So I was employed around 16 weeks before I even finished university. I had to commute two days a week around 60 miles to Leeds (from Scarborough) on the train, then three days hard study at University. It was tiring to say the least. The company, MadeByPi, are an established award winning digital agency who have a great team featuring some very clever people. It was fantastic to bag such a great first job.

I’ve been at MadeByPi around 8 months now and I have learnt absolutely loads. I am ten times more skilled than when I left university and I am improving every day. Although I’m at a very early stage in my career I feel much more competent. I’m excited to learn more and continue to improve and develop my skills.

I am heavily involved in personal projects and tend to code all day and night. All of my websites has been re-designed at least once this year and I can happily say that I am now going to leave them as they are for at least another 6 months.

My resource website www.worthyofnote.co.uk managed to obtain 6.5k uniques and 30k pageviews this year which I was delighted with. It’s nice to see that people are looking around the site and making use of the featured resources. I have had countless tweets and emails and it feels good to give a little something back to the industry.

This blog fell just short of worthy of note with just under 30k page views and 5.2k uniques. The figures for both sites seem to have rose steadily throughout the year with a significant rise each time I was featured on an inspiration website.

I have launched some great personal projects this year including Moustache, my charity website for Movember raising almost £280. I also made a front end HTML template which was very well received and has been downloaded over 250 times in the two short months it has been live. I often check the IP addresses to see who is downloading and it’s great to see people coming back more than once!

WebKnit, my freelance website, is currently being re-designed and is very close to launch. It is easily the best website I have ever made and I can’t wait to show it off.

I’m very active on twitter and I’ve now somehow managed to obtain 476 followers! This is increasing everyday and a quick calculation tells me that if this rate continues I will have over 1000 next year.

My main aims for 2013 in are:-

  • Continue to develop my skills and broaden my knowledge pushing me out of the “junior” zone and into a competent front-end developer
  • Write at least one blog post a month.
  • Fully get to grips with LESS and SASS
  • Develop my JS/jQuery skills so I can write fluently without any reference
  • Improve my writing skills and stop writing how I talk!

 

I do have tons of other aims but these are my main ones which I have to meet by 2013. By that time I will have had two years industrial experience and I hope to be an overqualified junior 😉

I will finish this post of with some good news. I will be leaving MadeByPi towards the end of January and moving to a global advertising agency. It’s a fantastic career move and I’m excited about having the chance to work at a very high level and for such a reputable company. Expect a February blog post about this.

I wish everyone a Happy 2013.

Shane