Day in the Life of... A Senior Developer and UX Specialist

As promised in our last “Day in the Life” installment, for today’s blog feature we chatted to our Senior Developer and User Experience (UX) Specialist. Are you a junior or midweight developer wondering where your career path may take you? Or a business weighing up the benefits of giving your website a digital makeover? Decode all you need to know in our Q&A with Craig.


Q) Hi Craig, as another day at Red Hot Penny begins, tell us, what does a typical day in the life of a Senior Developer and UX Specialist consist of?

A) My role sees me bridging the gap between the design and development teams. As a long-time developer of websites in small and large companies, I’ve got a good grasp of what is required to bring a project to fruition from both the interface, to the nuts and bolts that hold an application together. RHP has some extremely talented people and I think it really helps to have someone who can speak both languages (User Interface and Software Development), on call to offer advice as and when it’s needed. A typical day for me can be anything from working with the other guys in the front-end development team bringing the latest designs to life in the browser, to getting knee-deep in JavaScript to add interactivity to our applications, to investigating the use of new technologies to add even more pop to our clients’ sites.


Q) What is the best part about your job?

A) I’m one of those techies who sees a website that’s difficult to use and just wants to fix it. I think that all computer buffs share the urge to solve problems using technology - I’m just happy that that’s what I get to do for a living. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of innovating a new solution to a problem, especially if we’re the first people to think of it!


Q) Have you always wanted to be a developer?

A) I’ve always had an affinity for computers. My first real job was in the early days of the web (1998) as a web designer. Compared to today, there wasn’t much to web design, so I picked up web development to fill in the gaps and I guess that just took over. I love the web and I feel privileged to have been a part of it, from pre-ubiquity to where we are today. It lends a useful perspective on where we are in the industry and where we’re going.


Q) What is the most difficult part about your job?

A) I guess the hardest part is that user interface work is inevitably subjective. We’re all very passionate about what we do. All developers and designers feel that their creations are a reflection of their individual personality. It’s important to remember though that we are just the architect and not the owner.


Q) What do you use to fuel the brain whilst at work?

A) My rocket fuel of choice is not conventional caffeine, but rock music - the heavier the better!


Q) What is your advice for someone looking to improve their website?

A) Always accept the offer of a second pair of eyes to provide impartial feedback. That doesn’t mean reducing to the lowest common denominator, otherwise we’d never innovate, but it can help shape your creation into being something that has the best impact on the widest audience.


Q) Has anything awkward/ funny/ embarrassing happened to you in your working life, whether at a previous company or ours?

A) Nothing I’m going to publicly admit to!


Q) Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A) I’m getting pretty long in the tooth as a hands-on developer, but the fact of the matter is, I still love it. I’ve been at this for 17 years now, and although I’ve less free time to keep up with all the latest news in the web development community, I still stay current in my methodology. Logically, this would lead me into a team-leader role, where I would spend a little less time writing the code and more time directing the newer talent to create the e-commerce sites of the future. We’re already halfway there as we have a compact sub-team of excellent front-end developers here that I spend a lot of my time working with, and I’m excited to see the new avenues created by this new working structure.


Thanks Craig!


We hope you’ve finished reading this interview with our Senior Developer and UX Specialist feeling more informed on the intricacies of the world of JavaScript and user experience design.


Next month, we’ll be chatting with our Managing Director, Darren Bull.  

related content