My beginnings with web design started back in sixth form. I owned an eBay shop selling skateboards. With the desire to take on the major online stores but with minimal budget I looked into investing in a new online store made with the help of an ecommerce template bought from Lycos.
The shop was a total flop. The cost of the package far out weighed the money I got in. It was a terrible setup with almost no acknowledgement from Google and a clunky checkout process. One thing it gave me in return was HTML. Much the same as wordpresses html view for the content editor itv allowed me to start at the most basic level of coding.
Through high school I’d been heavily design oriented, my sixth form studies were much the same. Html seemed completely alien to me arc first. But with the determination to work around the difficult ecommerce template I looked more and more to my own abilities make the site a more complete site than was available.
A year later I started university with a course in multimedia, I closed down the shop in the 2nd year of university. My plan was to build a bigger better shop from my own skills once I’d finished.
3 years of university flew by. My course covered everything from web to 3d design to photography and back. Having finished the course my focus had shifted to 3d design and PhotoShop but I always kept good grades in programming.
A one way ticket to New Zealand
After uni I took a one way flight to new Zealand with my girl. We went out there with a pile of savings and no plan. We managed 2 amazing months living a free travelling lifestyle. At the start of the 3rd month we needed to top up some cash and tried to get some local work. This proved impossible. Unemployment in nz was at a record high, there was no hope for us with working holiday visas. We scoured the job listings for a chance to earn some cash, the only glimmer of hope was for a web design role in whangarei. I’d managed to get an interview by bodging together all the scraps of web design I’d done in the last few years. I was stunned they wanted to see me. It gave me a good boost.
A desperate call to parents to get money resulted in us being able to stay in nz for another month and then spend another month in Australia with relatives. I’d not got the job in nz but the hope was there.
Back in the UK we were unemployed and desperate for work. With the knowledge that my bodgy portfolio could get me interviews I started looking for more web work. I took on freelance contracts when I could and started making sites for friends. With my portfolio gaining a few odd pieces of half decent work I finally managed to get some interviews lined up.
Having almost pleaded with Miramedia to give me a part time job learning the ropes as a web designer, I was in!
He year that followed had a steep learning curve. The guy who was training me left the company a few months in which left me to fill his shoes. It was tough, I had to stay one step ahead of the clients questioning and ahead of my bosses expectations.
Now I’ve been with Miramedia almost 18 months and have worked on every site in the portfolio, done all of the in house design work and built every site. I’m proud of my work and feel I’ve made a good contribution to the company.
I’m still working there each day and always on the look out for the next big WordPress development.