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Becoming A Web Developer: An Apprentice's Guide
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Becoming A Web Developer: An Apprentice's Guide

Earlier in 2017 we employeed our first apprentice within the Development team. Today, we caught up with young Connor to find out why he chose to do an apprentice and what advice he has for others out there who are considering following in his footsteps.

Here at Pull we’re always keen to progress and develop our team. We do this because we believe in giving our employees a career path, which in return retains a lot of knowledge at Pull as staff tend to stick around for longer. So, what better way to do this that to hire an apprentice!

In this week’s blog we speak to Connor, our Apprentice Web Developer, who tells us what it’s like to be an Apprentice at Pull and how he got into the ‘dev’ side of things.

Me: So, Connor, why this career? Why computers?

Connor:  Well I’ve enjoyed being on computers from an early age, I played a lot of games when I was younger, FPS's mostly.

Me: So how did playing these kinds of games translate into computer programming and web development?

Connor: Well I started adding mod’s (modifications) to the games. These changed the files of the game and allowed you to do things like fly or shoot through walls, stuff you wouldn’t be able to do without modifying the game. I enjoyed adding in the code and making different modifications.

Me: And how did you learn how to make these modifications?

Connor: Well there are YouTube videos which show you how, and also you talk to people who play the game online at the same time as you and they tell you how to make the modifications

Me: Explain what you do at the moment for Pull?

Connor: Currently I’m focusing on web development, which is how the front end of the website looks. I’m enjoying it as it’s quite creative and nice seeing your work displayed on the website for everyone to see. I’m also learning some backend web development as well, which to put basically is all the code and functionality that works behind the scenes of the website. I’m trying to learn as much as possible to really develop my skills for the future.

Me: So how did you hear about the role at Pull?

Connor: I was doing my I.T BTEC at Guildford College when I saw the role advertised on QA. QA is the UK's leading I.T apprenticeship provider. I decided to give it a go and apply for the role as I liked the sound of the company. I had a couple of interviews and tasks to do, but I eventually got the job!

Me: What made you want to do an apprenticeship as opposed to going down the university route?

Connor: Personally, I didn’t want the debt that comes with a degree, I just wanted to dive right into working life, be debt free, get work experience and get paid. I’m doing a Trailblazer level 3 apprenticeship and I get time off to go and study which is ideal.

Me: Makes sense! So what kind of advice would you give to someone who wants to go into an apprenticeship like this one?

Connor: That’s a hard question. I think that you have to really throw yourself in, reading about how to do web design is not enough, you have to actually go and get some practical experience. Get as much knowledge as possible and do things in your free time to improve your skills.

I don’t think I realised how much depth there was to the industry before I started working here, there are so many different languages and technologies to learn. Before I started I thought there only a few you could learn, but in reality, it’s so much more complicated than that.

I also really enjoy working in a smaller company, I think you get more one to one attention and get to know people better. I can also see what the other parts of the company are up to, like the design team for instance, so it gives me a better understanding of how business works in general which is helpful.

Me: Yep, I think that’s very true

Connor: Be yourself would be my final piece of advice!

And it’s not all hard work. After weeks of planning, Connor is about to embark on a three-week European adventure. Apparently coordinating his travel – a mix of trains, planes and ferries - was every bit as challenging as building a website, but he’s finally sorted everything out. Let’s hope he doesn’t miss his flight home so we can have our Apprentice Web Developer back.