Hey there, so before anything else I’m going to give a full disclaimer… this is my first blog post ever so I apologise now if I get side tracked. Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s give this thing a go.

Who am I?

My full name is Edward Smith, but that’s far too formal, so I just go by Edd. I’m 19 as of writing this and I’m the apprentice dev at Big Brand Ideas. You might be thinking “An apprentice?!?! I don’t want to hear about all the cups of tea he’s made and all the bins he’s taken out!”, and that’s a fair assumption. But aside from making possibly the worst cup of tea in Macclesfield – my job very rarely consists of doing stereotypical apprentice things, so I’ll do my best to make this interesting.

How did I get in to web development?

Back to the times before I was a dev, to 2015. I was a young and naïve, typical 17-year-old. Stuck in college, with no plans to go to university.

My college had a mandatory work placement scheme. My friend had done his placement early and recommended that I check out Bright Futures Software. They offered me a work placement where I learned basic HTML and CSS. To my surprise I had actually found something that I wanted to do! One of the mentors there recommended I apply for the apprenticeship course. So, I went for my interview, took the entry test and I’m in! I’m officially an apprentice dev.

Quick side note. Before doing an apprenticeship and learning actual code I taught myself the basics of logic operators in a game called Little Big Planet – 10/10 fun game, check it out.

Fast forward two years and we’re back to present day. I’m currently nearing the end of my second apprenticeship after achieving a distinction star in my first, and I couldn’t be happier. I focus more on being a front end dev now more than anything, rather than tilting towards the back end as I did previously.

Working at Big Brand Ideas

After visiting Big Brand Ideas for the first time I was quietly hoping I made enough of a good impression for them to give me a shot. I kept thinking this place would suit me down to the ground and really help me to build a career. Not only being impressed by the creative aspect and the talent they had at hand, but also the entire atmosphere in the office. I felt like I’d fit in just fine.

After being at Big Brand Ideas for a fair few months now, I can safely say that I’m a much better dev than I was when I started. One of the best things about working here is the range of exposure to different work types I get, it’s always something new and fresh. So far within my time here, I’ve worked on upwards of eight sites; bug fixing, populating pages, or creating a new layout. I’ve worked with the search team to help with redirects, improved my photoshop knowledge exponentially by creating graphics for some sites, and even helped my line manager train for a ping pong tournament… he thrashed me. I couldn’t be happier with the role I’m in right now. I’m surrounded by people who are pretty damn good at what they do, so I never feel like I’m short of help if I need it.

What happens next…

People love the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” But I never understood planning everything out. If you had asked me said question five years ago, I would have told you I wanted to go to university to study journalism. Five years before that, I wanted to be a pilot (that would still be cool not going lie). Even two years ago, I still wouldn’t have told you I wanted to be a front end dev, I’m not even sure I knew what one was back then.

Now is the first time in my life that I can answer that question with confidence. I like being a dev, it’s the first job I’ve had where I don’t turn up to work and count down the minutes until I get to go home, I think it’s awesome. So yeah, check back in five years, let’s see what happens.

If you want to speak to us about joining the dev team, or about an upcoming development project call us on 0161 441 4740. We might even let you win at ping pong!

By Edd Smith

Junior Web Developer

Us Development