My passion for computing started at a young age with the family computer where I sunk countless hours in to various games (Warhammer: Dark Omen, Age of Empires II, Disciples to name a few). My passion was not only for games however, as I fascinated over how the computer was making these amazing and captivating stories come to life as well as the "simpler" functions of storing all those thousands of words or letting me baffle my parents with digital-dexterity!
I didn't really know what programming was until, in a school IT lesson in my teens, we were tasked with creating a simple web page using Microsoft FrontPage (even then, knowing nothing, this was a drag to use). One of my fellow students had some knowledge in HTML and CSS and, as you may imagine, this blew my young mind!
After leaving school with some adequate GCSEs I started working part-time for a small local web design company as a “junior web developer”, this taught me things like ASP (Active Server Pages), HTML and CSS and my main task was to do small updates for websites. Changing a spelling mistake a customer had called with, placing some banners on a new page or my crowning glory at the time – implementing search functionality on a local business lookup website.
Approximately one and a half years later I was made redundant during the late 2000s recession and struggled to find work. I saw an advert for a course called “Train 2 Game” and after doing all I could to determine its credibility signed up to get a "degree equivalent" qualification in game development!
This was great! I learned a lot generally about programming and the game development process as well as more specifically in coding C++ and using libraries. I was also an avid forum poster and interacted with many others doing the development, artist or designer equivalent courses. I was quite adept at creating simple 2D games such as side-scrolling platformers with parallax scrolling or maze games with worms trying to find apples.
I was two years into the T2G course and about to start the final year on 3D game development when unfortunately, everything in my life had to stop as I was taken ill. Although the company running the course would offer an extension, I was unable to take them up on the offer.
On my recovery I was again looking for work and during a job centre mandatory course I saw an advert on Gumtree for a website administrator and applied. I received a phone call later that day, went for an interview a few days later and have been working at that company ever since. I have seen the company grow from one website and two employees (including myself) right up to the multi-million, 3 websites (and rising), 10+ employee business it is today.
Starting as a web administrator I was in charge of making small changes to the website, updating prices, text content, images etc. My role has evolved with time and currently I manage all the local network devices, provide desktop support to employees in each team, work with other IT personal to improve SEO and content authoring statuses of each website and also find, tweak, test and deploy new software.
In-house I occasionally create programs in Python, Java or C++ to aid in updating, retrieving or publishing data as well as integrating 3rd party systems (for example: importing quotes from one proprietary system into another).
If you wish to get in touch, the best place is my contact page. I look forward to hearing from you.