Last week I joined Candour Solutions as a Recruitment Consultant looking to specialise in placing Web Developers within the Yorkshire / North East region.
I am determined to try to understand my market and gain a knowledge of some of the (many) technologies that currently dominate nearly every advert out there.
The guys here suggested I contact Mand Cashin. She is an ex “Candourian” who, 12 Months ago, made the move into Web Development and now works for Code ComputerLove in Manchester.
Not only did Mand pay a visit to our office last week on her day off to speak to me about the technologies I need to understand and be aware of, but she was also kind enough to sit down with me afterwards and talk to me about her own personal journey to becoming a Developer.
I/we hope that her experience gives people looking to move into Web Development an idea as to how to go about it and inspires them to go out and do it.
1. Can you describe your career path from leaving University in 2009?
“I graduated from MMU with a BA in Fine Art where on paper I had specialised in painting although my final showcase was an installation piece because that was what I enjoyed most. This led me to pursue a career as a junior set designer/stylist at a top photography studio in Ardwick, however this was very short lived due to being made redundant within my first 6 months. Following on from this, my plan was to work as cabin crew for one season as a ‘stop gap’ until I could decide what my degree was actually relevant to. One thing led to another and I ended up working at easyJet for 8 years as I was promoted to Cabin Manager and Sales Champion at my base. Due to personal reasons in 2018 I decided to walk away from flying for good and joined Candour Solutions as a trainee web development recruitment specialist”.
2. When did you first become interested in a career in Web Development?
“I began to learn about the day to day role of a Web Developer whilst working at Candour and found it all really interesting. I would read job specs during the day then go home and watch YouTube videos to try and understand what all the different languages and frameworks were. Off the back of that, I attend a meetup for Manc JS which was hosted at Code Computerlove as I was really keen to learn more. Manchester has a really great tech scene so just chatting to other Developers was a big inspiration to me.
3. What did you do to take the first step in becoming a Web Developer?
4. Did you take to it straight away or was it a steep learning curve?
“No! I massively underestimated how hard it was going to be. Even passing the entrance exam for Northcoders was tough, but I guess it’s a test of commitment to see how much time you are willing to put in to learning to ensure they only have the best people on their bootcamp. There’s also a big element of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ that comes with being a Developer. You are surrounded by extremely intelligent people all day long and it’s easy to compare yourself and put yourself down”.
5. How did you get your first commercial position (at Code Computerlove)?
6. What is your day to day role there?
“My job title is Foundation Front End Web Developer. Over my first 12 months, I am working across different teams to learn about team process and agile as well as actually learning to write good quality code. I take part in daily stand ups, estimation sessions and pair programming. I also get time to work on CPD to help develop my technical skills”.
7. What technologies are you predominantly working with?
“HTML, CSS and JS mainly. I enjoy working with React JS but my main passion is definitely styling so I’m currently improving my Sass skills. I really like building things on CodePen in my spare time – I feel it’s a good way to measure how far I’ve come and to showcase what I’m doing. Git version control is something I love too (big fan of micro-committing)! I also feel that at Code we have a good awareness of WCAG and accessibility (I’ve recently been looking into using the pa11y dashboard)”.
8. What advice would you give to anyone looking to break into Web development?
“Don’t wait to start! If you have an hour free in an evening then get yourself on FreeCodeCamp. That’s the best *free* learning tool that I’ve found for beginners. Learn bit by bit, go to meetups, and surround yourself with other devs. Codewars is also good to train yourself up to do katas. You don’t necessarily need to go to Uni to become a developer. A lot of developers are self-taught or have come through code bootcamps”.
PLEASE DO VISIT MAND’s website – www.githun.co.uk – It has her codepen and wordpress blog on there which you should find interesting.
If you are a client seeking Web Developers, or indeed a Developer who would like to be kept up to date with market news, analysis and vacancies on Yorkshire/NE, please do connect and contact me – [email protected]s.co.uk
“After many years in a HR role, in Stephen and his team at Candour, I have finally found the recruitment agency that is totally attuned to what Phoenix as a company requires. Candour is my one-stop shop for technical candidates!”Trevor Hutchinson, Phoenix Software
“Stephen did a great job of filling a Lead Software Engineer role that was proving very difficult. He submitted a range of quality CV’s quickly and followed our process throughout.”Becky O'Farrell, Covea Insurance
“I’ve worked with Stephen for around a year and we have developed a good working relationship. The Candour team are always available so there is never a gap in communication. This is so important when time is tight and you need to find the best talent as soon as possible.”Abigail Aldred, CNG
“When first speaking to Stephen, he had an honest interest in us as a company, not just what we needed experience and tech-wise, but the culture and the type of person we wanted to join. He gave frank and honest feedback to us and he filled the role in less than 2 weeks!!”Sophie Elms, Arbor Education
“What makes them stand out is that they truly listen to what our requirements for the perfect candidate are. They deliver on what they promise, and I very much feel they are working with Phoenix Software to ensure the right person for the role is recruited.”Clare Metcalfe, Phoenix Software
“I receive numerous pitches from recruitment companies. All promise, very few actually deliver. Stephen and the guys at Candour definitely fall into the latter category. They have become a vital part of our recruitment process and act as an invaluable extension of our business.”Taryn Mitchell-Clegg, IDHL Group
“They have never failed to deliver and always goes the extra mile for their clients and candidates (having been a candidate for Stephen myself too). As a small business, Candour truly understands the importance of finding the right people and help you cut through the noise.”Claire Penswick, CNG
“Stephen of Candour have managed to fill 3 QA Test Analyst roles for my team in Manchester. I was impressed by the quality of candidates they supplied.”Isha Soni, Push Doctor
“Stephen and the team found a selection of good candidates in very short timescales, this gave my team good options and ultimately providing the person we were looking for.”David Topley, TSYS
“Stephen has helped us to find very skilled resources for our open vacancies. I presented him with some challenges and he delivered extremely good candidates that we were struggling to find.”Mauricio Farache, Piksel
“Stephen is laser-focused in understanding a requirement and then proactively identifying ‘best in class’ candidates. It’s clear that he puts in the extra effort to find only the best – whatever it takes – and this makes for a very effective partnership in any recruitment.”Joel Albyn, Cap HPI
“Stephen consistently finds quality candidates that others seemingly cannot. This has been no more apparent than in the last few months where I have given him two very difficult technical requirements that he has filled in less than a week.”Jonathan Hill, GameSparks
“If you are looking to partner with a recruiter who will actually add value to your business and do what they commit to doing, I strongly recommend Stephen.”Gabriel Page, Amazon
“Stephen is simply one of the best recruiters in the business. He understands my needs as an employer and how to get results with the minimum of fuss. He gets you what you need, when you need it on time and on budget.”Samantha Allen, SSP
“Over nearly 10 years I have been lucky enough to take on many Engineers that have been supplied through Stephen and his company. Many have been the most talented individuals that I have had the privilege to work with, and all have enhanced our business positively.”Bruce Cass, Piksel