Celebrating Programmers’ Day: Interview with the Framework Design Web Developers
Celebrating Programmers’ Day: Interview with the Framework Design Web Developers
Here at Framework Design, we’re celebrating Developers Day, a day launched in 2007 to honour all the great programmers and software developers out there and the work that they do. We are proud to have a brilliant team of experienced web developers within the Framework family, each with their own years of experience and unique skill set. This year to celebrate, we’ve decided to have a sit down with our web development team to find out a bit more about their ideas and experiences of the wonderful world of web development.
Q1. What got you interested in coding?
Paul: I was really influenced by my dad. He was a programmer and he would show me all these cool things he would do at work when I was a kid. He worked for the NCR Corporation which was before the internet was a widespread thing, so I was always so amazed to see him working with it. I ended up doing a bit of website development during my GCSE’s and that was when I really realised that I wanted to pursue development as a career.
James: I’ve always enjoyed tech and really I became interested in coding when I got a job as an IT manager. The company I was with at the time needed their website managed and I just sort of began teaching myself how to improve that and from there I knew this was something I wanted to do.
Will: I think for me, it was when I was in school and I was introduced to Adobe Dreamweaver. That just really piqued my interest. From there I was interested in just learning as much as I could and eventually I went on to study web development at University and here we are today!
Joe: I’ve always been quite a logical person and after some time dabbling in web development on my own, I realised it really made sense to me. I started out as a junior and just learnt as much as I could.
Emil: I was looking for something a bit different, I was looking for a job that would influence my life and future. I have a lot of friends in web development and they encouraged me to give it a go. I started building little bits on my own and doing beginners courses, then I was hooked.
Mounir: I’ve always been interested in the process of building things from scratch and I’ve always loved computers. For a while I would assemble computers, look into the hardware, but then I had a go at coding and I knew it was for me.
Q2. What would you say is your favourite part of web development?
Mounir: My favourite part is the very beginning of any project. The feeling of starting with a blank canvas and having the vision in your head of the goal and what you need to create. I love that whole process.
Joe: Problem solving on the daily. No two issues are the same in development, you can always approach things from different angles and it makes everything very interesting.
Will: It’ll be the fact that you get to build things that you know people will use. It’s a great feeling to make something that looks good and is interesting, that’s very rewarding.
James: Lunch! Not really. I think for me, it’s the organisational side of things. I love being able to work with design systems, it’s super satisfying when things work as they should and are well organised.
Paul: I think now, at this point in my career, I would say it’s the ability to build anything, any app or website, to just be able to envision it and do it. That’s pretty cool.
Emil: I have two favourite things. First, I like being able to find solutions for issues, it’s a great feeling to find a solution to something complicated. And then I also like the feeling of making something that will help a business and represent them in the best way.
Q3. Tell me about a project you’re particularly proud of.
Emil: The website I am currently working on. It’s a huge site made in Craft Ecommerce and I have learnt so much from it so far. I’m proud that I’ve been able to learn a new system and become really confident using it.
Will: I’m currently working on a website for a recruitment company. It’s the second project I had ever done, and I’m proud of how I’ve able to manage the initial set up and complete all the planning correctly. I learnt a lot.
Mounir: I think I would have to say a project i’m most proud of was one I did for a tech start-up company who focus on tools for electric vehicles . It was a long-term project which used a lot of new technologies. I was able to overcome any learning curves and work out issues, I learnt loads in the process.
Joe: I’m really proud of the work I’ve been doing on a site for an independent charity who protect UK wildlife and wild areas. I did a lot of the front end development as well as the logical side. It’s ongoing so I’m sure I’ll be able to learn loads more from working on it.
Paul: The Macauley Sinclair site. It’s a single page application and I just love how it looks, it’s very visual. It was a really cool project and even though it is a few years old now the code has endured with the site only needing an occasional update.
James: There’s a couple I really enjoyed and am pretty proud of. More recently, I worked on a website for a worldwide company who manufacture metallic thread yarns. This was a big project and allowed me to problem solve and find ways of achieving what was needed. I’m also very proud of the Framework website. We tend to be pretty busy and so our own website took a while to be refreshed, but I ended up up-skilling so much. It was a great learning experience.
Q4. What is the hardest part of coding?
James: I think it’s probably the time and code management. It’s knowing when to not go too far if there is little payoff from it. You don’t want to spend hours on something that maybe isn’t going to be beneficial.
Emil: Sometimes it’s tricky when there is an overwhelming issue and you need to have the guts to try things and find a solution. It works out but it’s a slightly stressful time.
Paul: One of the hardest parts is just keeping things simple. It’s so easy to overthink or over complicate things.
Joe: Especially when working in an agency, the hardest thing is trying to find the most efficient solution. Often the simplest solution is the best.
Mounir: I think for me, it’s when you start a project but then you realise there is a need for new technology to be used. It’s tackling the unknown which can be a bit tricky, but also part of how you learn.
Will: The dreaded learning curve! Coding is basically learning a new language or at least learning how to express yourself in a new language. A lot changes very quickly in the web development world as well, so you can often find yourself needing to have a read up on what’s new.
Q5. How do you keep yourself up to date with the latest in web development?
Will: I follow quite a few sub forums on Reddit and those are great for finding information. I also chat with friends and we’ll share ideas and tell each other about new developments in web development. I’m also part of a few communities on Discord which are a great way of exchanging knowledge with people all over the world.
Mounir: I watch a lot of Youtube, read articles and blogs. I try to have an hour everyday dedicated to reading up on things.
Joe: I learn a lot from the other developers, we’ll chat about news and exchange ideas, it’s a great way to learn.
Paul: I use Twitter a lot, I have a personal account and then one specifically for web development and I follow all the major companies like Laravel, Vue, Linux, Dev2 and Smashing Mag. I also try to have a read of articles at lunch or when I get a spare moment.
James: I read all day. I read on the commute to and from work, on the toilet, while I’m in the waiting room at the dentists, literally as much as I can. I love hacker news and I’ve signed up to various web development newsletters. I also use course websites like Laracasts to familiarise myself with new technologies.
Emil: I watch a lot of Youtube, especially the Google Dev Channel.
Q6. In your opinion, what are 3 of the best tools in web development right now?
Paul: General php on Laravel is great. Also, Ray by Spatie which is a debugging tool. I also love Postman which is used for API testing.
James: My top 3 at the moment would be Tinkerwell which is essentially a developer playground, it’s a great runtime for php. I also like Vue dev tools and VS code which is a brilliant text editor.
Emil: Best 3 for me are Chrome Dev tools, VS Code and Git
Will: GIT! It’s invaluable, it allows you to fall back if something goes wrong and you can share everything between the team. Total game changer. I also like Web pack or Babel and Visual Studio Code – they’re both great.
Joe: I really like Ray by Spatie and I think actually Discord has proven really useful for our team, communication is crucial and Discord makes it really quick. I also have to give credit to documentation, it’s crucial.
Q7. Give us an example of a website you really like.
Joe: I actually really like the Twitter site, from a technical aspect it’s simple but fast and easy to navigate.
Mounir: In terms of content, my absolute favourite site to visit is dev.to. A wealth of information and shared knowledge, definitely worth a look.
Paul: I really like Smashing Magazine’s website, it’s got some great content and they always consider responsive first.
Emil: One of my favourites is MidWam, such a cool site, very well made.
Will: The Josh Worth website is one of my favourites. The concept is great.
James: There’s a brilliant frontend developer called Aristide Benoist. His sites are always so polished and detailed, really nice to look at and use.