Hi I'm Stuart Bird and I'm a budding developer. After working in the electrical industry for 10 years I wanted a new challenge. I considered my skills, what I might enjoy and excel at, and which industries were hiring. As there were numerous news stories about a skills shortage in the Web and Software industry, I looked at the skills needed and started studying resources at home to familiarise myself with the subject. I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed the work I would be doing, to make the change rewarding. At the same time, I was also looking for college courses and entry level jobs.
After various online tutorials, a beginner's course in programming at Bedford College, and the help of an apprenticeship agency called Solveway, I managed to secure a job as a Junior Web Developer! This was an exciting time for me, with prospects of new skills and knowledge, and hopefully plenty of scope to continue my personal development. I started my new apprentice role in January 2018. At college I would study Software Developer Technician BCS Level 3, while at work I would be learning how to build websites using WordPress, CSS and HTML.
I successfully passed my first year as an apprentice this Spring, and I'm keen to carry on and see where I can go and what new challenges await.
It's not all work and college though. In my free time I like to go running, catch up with family and friends, play computer games, and do projects and general maintenance around the home and garden.
I go running with a group of friends where I live in Stotfold. I run 1-3 times a week and although it's tough, I always get a buzz and feel better for it afterwards. I also enjoy swimming and have a 3rd Dan black belt in Ju-Jitsu.
I'm very lucky to have a great family and great friendships. I see my family every week for a catch up and Sunday dinner. When I catch up with my brother and my best friend, we'll go out for drinks, see the latest films, or have an evening of gaming with food and drinks.
I've grown up playing and loving computer games, and although I don't have the hours to spare like I used to, I still enjoy spending time playing solo or with friends.
Although not naturally green fingered, I do like to keep the garden tidy and I also like trying out new recipes in the kitchen, whether it's new dinners, or sweet treats for me and the family.
As a junior web developer, I have been predominantly working in the development stage of a website life cycle.
I have been using the popular Content Management System (CMS), WordPress, to build websites. WordPress allows a user to create web pages easily, without the need of extensive programming knowledge.
I would use page builder plugins to build the structure of the page. I would then use CSS to style the structure and content. I would also make changes to the HTML and PHP in the files themselves if needed.
While studying at college and at home, I've come across a wide range of online and interactive educational resources. They have helped me learn more about different technologies used across Web Development, Data Science, and Computer Science.
I'm studying lessons from Codecadamy and Udemy to get as much exposure to these technologies as possible.
I am keen to develop my skills and understanding of Web Development and the technologies used. To learn more, I purchased the highly recommended web development course on Udemy, "The Web Developer Bootcamp".
I have now passed this course, and from what I've learnt, I've built: an rgb colour guessing game, a Patatap clone app, and a web app called YelpCamp. YelpCamp is a camp review website allowing users to review their favourite campsites. Users can add campsites and comments, and edit and delete their own content only.
I will continue to add more to the app as my skills grow. I built the app using Node JS, Express and MongoDB.
The next course I undertook was "Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3". This course focuses on HTML and CSS and with it I built a demo website called Omnifood.
The website is for a fictional company called Omnifood that sells healthy meal plans.
I want to continue and learn more about software and web development. I am very happy I passed my level 3 apprentceship and enjoy working in this industry.
I will build on what I have learnt up to now and look at learning and growing new skills, such as working with Git and GitHub. I have added examples of my work and study portfolio to my account on GitHub. It includes examples of:
I'll continue to develop this site adding more content as my skills grow.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my site. I enjoyed using my newly acquired skills in making the site, and I hope you've found it interesting too.