"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life"
Having started our series with Fred Brown, Draw's Managing Director, our second interview looks into the wonderful world of developers, through the eyes of our very own Corina Callan, Lead Developer at Draw.
Corina has been with Draw since 2014, here she gives us an insight into the 'cool' coding, the importance of getting the developers involved from the start and just how wrong a rollerblading disco social can go...
From the cheese counter in Tesco to the Official Charts, Corina tells us why making websites is much more than just 'making websites'.
Now sit back and enjoy!
1. How would you explain your job to someone who doesn't have any technical knowledge?
The party line is "I make websites". In actual fact, we do a lot more than that at Draw but it's normally pretty clear from that line whether someone wants to hear more or not.
2. Have you ever worked in a customer support or client facing role?
Well, thinking right back to university days I worked on the cheese counter in Tesco.
- Hold on, don't you hate cheese?-
Yea, I do hate cheese! Quite ironic. After that, I was very fortunate to land an absolutely fantastic job at BBC Radio Foyle. I got straight into providing the daily support that we offer. Since then I've been very lucky to be part of client meetings across the world. I'm not one of these developers who likes to hide in the corner and just code, I think it’s really important to get to know your client and understand first hand why they want things and what their frustrations are to help implement the best technical solution for them. It’s also a massive advantage to have met with them in person and have a good relationship which enables you to move things along much quicker.
3. Have you got a guilty App?
I’m a sucker for sudoku and plants vs zombies, those are the apps that make my hours disappear. I had a spell with Fitbit for a while but the novelty of that has worn off and much like the rest of Draw, I’m now all over the Vitality health insurance app! The company set up some health insurance for us all but I think at the minute we’re all a bit more interested in upping our points to get free coffee and cinema tickets, it’s a daily conversation in the office, but hey if it’s making us healthier then it’s working!
4. What do you enjoy the most about your job?
The variety of projects we get to work on keeps it all very interesting and challenging!
I also appreciate the fact that my days are never the same! I could be writing spec documents, coding, reviewing code, implementing continuous integration, testing, client meetings, you get the point. That is what I enjoy!
5. With what stereotypes of people working as developers would you agree with?
I think all these stereotypes are gradually disappearing and it’s now actually quite cool people who code, well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway!
What I will say is that IT crowd “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” - that’s definitely a thing!
6. We've heard you love rollerblading, would you recommend it?
Haha. Yea, that’s become a bit of a famous story in the office. Last year, when the roller disco was organised I was well excited. Turns out I am not Jane Torvill and our then Lead Developer, is not Christopher Dean, he left with a fractured elbow and I broke my ankle quite severely.
I remember phoning Dean, our Technical Director, the next morning telling him I was going to be late when really I was still on a hospital bed dosed up on morphine about to go into an operation.
7. Tell us a client you would love to work for.
Selfishly I would like to work on something that involved bikes. Something where I could have the opportunity to test ride some amazing bikes maybe? Haha.
I’m not sure I have a specific client but I like when we get a project that poses technical challenges.
8. What is the work you have done you are most proud of?
The one that I always name drop to people who pass the “I make websites” stage is Official Charts. It’s a beautiful website with social integrations, artists search, chart archives etc but what people don’t see is all the hard work and all the moving parts that had to come together for that project. It began with a huge back catalogue of artists and chart information, an enormous data cleansing exercise, then we needed a technical solution for the chart import process and integration with media streaming services. I think I’m also a bit nostalgic about it as my first project with the team!
9. What would you say to someone joining Draw?
Welcome! Haha. It’s like that saying “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I love my job, not many people can say that. Draw has got the best talent in the industry, we work on interesting projects with fantastic clients, I work with a great bunch of people and there are so many perks from the simple things like fresh towels and cold beers to unlimited holidays. Plus, we have two little dogs that are so much fun to have around, well, most of the time!