It’s national coding week and congratulations are in order!

Posted: 17/09/2021

Author: Fishtank

First joining Fishtank in 2016 for his placement year, we have watched Paul grow and flourish from a young placement student to a highly skilled developer working across a wide variety of projects for our clients, putting forward his valuable insight and personal style into the web development work.

From building new websites from the ground up to taking charge of bug fixes, adding new website pages and overseeing the functionality of a site, Paul has worked on a number of projects that have tested his knowledge and required him to use his creativity to solve problems. He believes as a developer it is crucial to keep up to date with the latest technologies, and you can usually find him reading an article or two a day to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing world of web development.

As a creative agency, we love to get involved in placements, providing young people with invaluable life experience and opportunities to become an elevated version of themselves. Under the guidance of our professionals, we aim to open their minds into the working world and take them on a journey in which they are ready for the next step in their career path: we are really proud to have offered this opportunity to Paul five years ago and to see him now thriving in his career.

We sat with Paul and asked him all about his time at Fishtank, his excitement about his recent promotion and what it’s like working as a developer in an agency environment :

  1. How are you coping working in an agency environment full of all different personalities?

It’s great, we are a mixed bunch at Fishtank and that definitely helps when it comes to contributing with new ideas.

  1. Why did you get into coding and how?

I first uncovered my passion for web development when I was studying ICT at Huddersfield University. Learning HTML, CSS and JS in my first year was so much fun and it was then when I realised how much I enjoyed coding.

  1. What do you code in?

The core stack of our coding setup is HTML, CSS, JS and PHP. But we also use a variety of different frameworks and build tools, like Bedrock and Sage for WordPress and build tools such as Webpack and Gulp. I write all my code in Visual Studio Code editor.

  1. In your opinion, what is the next big thing in web coding?

Building sites with a Headless CMS is becoming more common and seems to be the direction that things are heading. It offers a different approach to building sites whereby you split up the CMS and the code, opening more options for your choice of tech stack for building your site.

  1. Do you think you need to have a degree to have a career in web development?

I don’t, the thing about web development is, you never stop learning. That said, going to University is a great stepping stone for getting into the industry, especially if you take a placement year, which was how I got my job at Fishtank.

  1. What is your favourite thing about working at Fishtank?

No day is the same and neither are the projects, there’s always something different to take away, to learn and improve upon.

  1. How do you feel about your progression and promotion at Fishtank?

I have learnt so much in my time at Fishtank not just from a technical level but personal skills as well. The promotion is amazing, I’m super proud and grateful for the opportunity.

  1. What’s the most difficult thing you’ve coded/what’s the most fun thing you’ve coded?

One of the most difficult things I’ve coded was a filter system for a product lead site we built. It was the first site I had built a fleshed out filter system for. It allowed you to filter from multiple places on the site and making sure they didn’t clash with each other was difficult.

One of the most enjoyable things I have coded would be for our very own Fishtank website where I was tasked with bringing in animations/microtransactions to various places around the site. This is the stuff I enjoy the most, it’s all about re-iterating and tweaking the timings and overlaps of different animating elements, it’s time-consuming but so much fun!

  1. PC or console and what’s your favourite game of all time and why?

A difficult question honestly because I play both, but I would say PC because it’s so much more diverse. My favourite game of all time has to be Destiny which is interesting because it was actually on console! This game brings together the best parts of gaming genres such as FPS, RPG and MMO elements. You can play it solo but if you want to experience the full game it’s all about teamwork, there’s nothing more satisfying than overcoming challenges through teamwork!

  1. What has been your favourite project to work on during your time at Fishtank?

It would have to be the Fishtank website, although I have worked on so many great projects with our clients it would be hard to choose between them, as it is those projects where I have learned and improved my craft as a web developer.

Our Founding and Managing director Damien Fisher talks about what it means for him to provide work placements and how he thinks staff recognition is so important :

“In 5 years, only one person has left our development team, and we have always promoted within the company instead of outsourcing a replacement, of which I am incredibly proud!

Work placements are crucial to the business and to the development of young talented individuals. They bring exuberance, energy and above all a willingness to learn. By taking them on a learning journey and setting them up for the working world, we are then often in the position to offer them a full-time role, which benefits the business long-term – by enabling us to deliver creativity and results using modern and youthful mediums in our sector.

We make a conscious effort to recognise our employees’ achievements not only with the award-winning solutions they achieve but mostly the curve they are on. It’s so important from the top level of the business we set targets for the juniors so they can really excel and improve their craft. In turn, the business will flourish and the employees blossom and love their job as we enable them to deliver innovation through their personal strengths. We make it a priority to regularly check-in and have monthly follow-ups with each member of the team in which we look forward to hearing their ideas to aid in driving us forward”

Our Head of Development Mike also offered us some insight on what he has loved about working with Paul and coaching him over the years, and the new responsibilities he will face in his new role of Senior Developer :

“Paul (AKA Pablo) has been nothing but hard-working and a fantastic addition to the development team as a whole and his promotion to a senior role is a testament to that. We’re proud to promote from within the business instead of looking externally as it’s always important to recognise and appreciate the amazing talent we already have.

Amongst other things, Paul’s promotion will see him more involved in the overall direction of the development team and become a mentor to our junior team members. I’m pleased to have him on board in his new capacity and excited for the future of our team. Well done Pablo!”

Fishtank is so proud of Paul’s progression, after five years he has worked hard to progress from a placement year to Junior Developer, to Mid-Weight and to now our Senior Front End Developer.

Paul will be actively going into his new role from the 1st November, we are confident that he will continue this record of innovation in his new position: continuing to produce outstanding work for our clients and offering high-end solutions on all mediums that make a difference to our loyal and devoted partners.

Do you want to be part of our ever-growing Fishtank family? We’re hiring a WordPress/Full Stack Developer.

We are looking to grow the development team due to all the new, challenging and exciting projects secured. From private healthcare to flexible and remote working, Fishtank Agency is a modern workplace that values its workers and clients, putting people at the forefront of everything we do.

To discover more about the role and the award-winning work we do here at Fishtank, visit our careers page :

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