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Web and App Developer Apprenticeship: 6 Months On

All Things Code website and app developer apprentice, Calum Smith
I’ve been in my apprenticeship for six months now

Hello! So, it’s been some time since my last blog post, but that’s because I’ve been so busy improving and expanding my skills in coding and designing websites and apps, as well as developing my ‘business mind’.

Since my last update in March my skills in HTML have grown considerably, and I believe it’s safe to say that they can now be considered Junior, or at least slightly below that – I’ve coded a few websites now, and spruced them up in CSS which I have been learning alongside the HTML – they do go hand in hand after all – and can proudly say that I am also pretty proficient with the CSS too.

I am still currently learning these so I can only get better with time, and integrate it with the limited jQuery I’ve been using.

I also feel like the way I explain things has improved, whereas before I could not pinpoint why I liked coding so much, now I describe it as a ‘magic’ language, creating something out of nothing but words and crucially placed syntax.

The journey so far

Seeing as my first strokes into programming were small steps, learning what a ‘<’ bracket did for example, it was overwhelming to me I’d learn anything at all in a few months, so I dipped in and out of writing and social media brand management for clients, but figured that wasn’t really for me, even though I love to write, business blogs and articles are still rather difficult for me to write.

Yet, six months down the line, I consider myself good enough with HTML and CSS, adding a splash of jQuery, PHP and setting up WordPress sites I can call myself a proper coder. Of course I’m not really a professional, yet, but I’m sure with the pace I’m going at now and the real professionals guiding me down virtual highways I’ll be a programmer before I know it.

I’ve also learned how to build mobile responsive websites through clever design, and will soon to be designing a website with this in mind myself from scratch. Google has disallowed websites to be featured unless they are mobile friendly. So with some of my own design cues, and some of the coding ‘magic’, I’ll be building mobile ready search engine friendly websites in no time.

What’s next?

Over the coming weeks I’ll be broadening my sights yet again, to have a go at designing and coding a website from scratch for a new client of ours. It will certainly be a challenge but I feel like I am up to the task, it will also contribute towards the NVQ so, two birds…

It will be a fresher experience for me and yet another challenge to set my aim on, as I continue to grow my skills, and develop my business mind.

Since I explained the last time how some of the NVQ will work, and I’ve changed the actual qualification I want to receive since then to an IT based qualification – based on evidence and more detailed proof since it is Level 3 and also more relevant to the career path I have chosen to go for.

The workshops run alongside the job, and time in the training room at Starting Off is lecture based with tied in with activities, usually based around groups due to what it is – Customer Service and the like.

It’s quite interesting stuff, and will help me in the years to come, not right now as my job does not require meeting with people all the time… thankfully. It will help build my confidence, and prepare me for the future. I may never get a job in retail but if I ever find myself dealing with a customer at least I won’t panic.

To wrap things up, I’m still excited working here at All Things Code and as time goes on I’m more and more involved with projects, which makes it all better at the end of the day – to another six months!

Calum Smith

Digital Office Apprentice