I am Paul Marshall, a junior web developer here at Fishtank Creative.

My placement here has been a very valuable learning experience and I have vastly increased my knowledge in web development learning from senior developers: Barry and Chris.

Over the last 9 months I have been involved in projects that have utilised the Content Management Systems Perch and WordPress. On top of this I am now creating manageable CSS by using the BEM methodology and gulp compiler. BEM which is an abbreviation of Block, Element and Modifier is a naming convention which brings modularity, reusability and structure to CSS.

Projects

The first big project was for Daniel Lloyd Photography. This involved using what I had learned so far to build a portfolio website using Perch CMS. The most challenging aspects was the initial planning and solving complex layout issues using Perch. I found the process of taking mock up designs in Photoshop to build the website to be very intuitive which, helped the project run smoothly.

Another project to look at was for Bedzonline which was similar in terms of the process however, this was built in WordPress and utilised the plugin WooCommerce to make it a functional online store. Challenging aspects included; creating custom widgets and re-building WooCommerce templates.

In most of the projects I have been involved in, I have used Tower and Beanstalk for version control. This was all new to me however, after working in a team environment I have realised the importance of version control. Being able to work on multiple team-based projects has massively improved my communication and team working skills.

How I’ve Improved

I have improved my technical competence in the following areas:

  • Implementation
  • Designing/creating websites
  • Administering/maintaining websites

I have also improved my personal/social competence in the following areas:

  • Technical/business knowledge
  • Professional conduct
  • Motivation
  • Communication
  • Initiative
  • Working with others
  • Self organisation
  • Judgement
  • Adaptability

Going into my final year at Huddersfield University in September, I feel very confident at being able to use what I’ve learned to get my degree in ICT. My placement at Fishtank Creative has also helped me decided what I’m going to do for my final year project; I’m proud to say will be re-building the Fishtank Creative website.