Turn On Your Future @ UWTSD's School of Applied Computing

Graduate Profile: Nicky Thomas – Web Developer @ Copper Bay Creative

NickyThomas
Q. What was your undergraduate degree and when did you graduate?
I studied BSc Computing and Information Systems and I graduated in 2014.

Q. What is your job title and role?
Web Developer – Backend programming to create database driven software and ensuring performance and stability is consistent throughout all devices.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for?
We are one of the fastest growing Design and Development companies in South Wales, Copper Bay Creative (Formerly Beach Software and Star In a Jar) in Swansea. We are a skilled team of designers and developers creating Websites, Apps, Bespoke Software, Promotional Material, Leaflets and various other print items. We are founding members of That Useful Company Limited which is a Marketing Co-operative with three founder companies.

Q. What modules are most helpful to you in your job?
Trying to point to specific modules is difficult, each and every module has been equally helpful: keeping a straight head and being open minded about learning bits of everything I have found really helpful. I have used a lot of techniques from Systems Analysis and Design, Database Management Systems, Application Design and Development to help plan and structure the types of database driven software which I develop.

Q. Where do you use your specialist skills and abilities?
The skills are used every day, as a CIS Student I specialise in Web, but I wanted a broader academic understanding of different things, hence I did not study Web Development, I find what I have learnt in the CIS programme extremely helpful.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
The typical day begins with a cup of coffee, always with a coffee. We have a regular morning meeting to discuss the week’s workload and the day of work ahead and we go through client feedback to ensure that we all are on the same chapter on what the client expects. After some more coffee we begin our individual day tasks, it could be working on a previous client’s website or starting a brand new project for a new client. A lot of research is done each day on the technologies and best methods to implement the clients’ needs and requirements.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
We work on some pretty high traffic and large organisation websites, such example is the recent revamp of Days Rental which we have done. Looking at our portfolio, we see successful client websites such as The Trade Centre Wales, Uplands Market, Days Rental, Bergoni, Goose Island, The Choice Is Yours, Cafe Twocann, DropAway, StudentDigz – just a small handful of such company websites which we have done. Seeing them finished is an extremely proud and rewarding experience as they are companies which are seen by millions of people.

Q. Any tips for someone wanting to develop a career in your sector?
Be competitive, give the employer a real reason to choose you, show them your willingness to prove yourself to them. Do background research into the company, the types of work they do and even the types of work they have done years ago, its always good to show them you have done your research when you can begin discussing how well the companies portfolio has developed with web technologies over the years.

University doesn’t teach you everything, you shouldn’t assume now you have your degree / finishing your degree you can walk straight in to a job with your certificate, yes it is a starting ground, but you need to show you can independantly develop and have the committment to do so. Set yourself regular goals to learn new languages, start little projects to build up a portfolio. A strong portfolio will ensure you stand out from the rest.

One of the most important tips I can give is, never give up, the right job will be out there for you.

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