Shipmate spotlight: John Bell.
Web developer John Bell joined the crew in 2018 and has brought his expert coding ever since. He’s turned his hand to some of our most intricate web projects. Here, he gets a grilling about what he can’t live without and what he thinks is so great about working for The Bigger Boat.
What quote do you live your life by?
Treat others how you would like to be treated yourself.
10 years ago, what did you think you’d be doing now?
Thinking back, I’m probably exactly where I hoped I’d be today.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Apart from my family and friends, it would have to be cups of tea and chocolate covered pretzels.
What are you listening to/reading/watching at the moment?
I like to listen to a lot of classical piano music. It’s probably inspired by my late grandmother who was a classical pianist. It becomes addictive and it’s perfect for concentration while coding.
At the moment I’m mostly reading technical blogs, and studying a Python programming course in my spare time. I’m also learning ReactJS and DevOps flow methods to bolster my knowledge and offer something more to TBB.
I’m watching The Last Kingdom and Vikings at the moment. I’m really interested in history as a general rule, and both these shows are gripping and have good storylines.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Having three kids, I spend a lot of my spare time helping to look after them or enjoying time with my wife. But if I do get any time to myself, I like to read/study to improve my programming skills. Out of lockdown, I’m also a member of a pool team and enjoy a few frames every week.
What’s your favourite thing about agency life?
I like the fact you could be working on something completely different day to day. I also like being part of a team and doing my bit to contribute to producing something great for our clients. Aside from that, I enjoy the camaraderie in the office and that everyone is almost always smiling.
What’s your previous working experience?
There’s an ongoing joke in the office that I’ve literally done every menial job you can think of from textile worker to naked gardener. But from a career aspect, I started off modelling databases, ETL and back-end automation. Eventually, my creative flair took hold and I decided to move into web development and front-end.
What are you working on at the minute that we should know about?
Most of my time is focused on building a new learning and webinar platform for one of our clients. But I am also working on the finishing touches to the Location Collective website, Company Shop Group corporate website and providing support for a couple of ongoing ecommerce builds.
I’ve also been working on overhauling our development process and flow over the past six months using DevOps techniques, and working through a list of our existing clients to move them over to this process. This will ensure that we can provide amends and development work more efficiently and accurately than ever before.
What are you excited about during the next year at TBB?
We’ve expanded our team recently and I’m excited to welcome them properly once we’re all back in the office. I’m also really excited to apply new skills and knowledge I’ve learnt into future projects and offer our clients an even better experience.