My Career Story

Development
I started building websites as a child in school and my own time with tools like FrontPage, Fireworks and Dreamweaver. I built them for school projects, to showcase my personal photography, and my (and other friends’) band websites.

At university, I did some Python and MatLab programming for modules in my Mathematics degree and always got the highest marks. I actually got 120 (all marks available) out of 100 (highest mark possible) for one module because I completed all of the optional tasks without any errors (nobody else got more than 100). It was at this point (and later whilst writing a program to simulate a gambling game for my final year project) that I started wondering how to make dynamic sites and applications that people could log into and have their own data, but after university, my attention left development and mathematics and turned towards my job at the time and marketing, and I didn’t get very far with this thought initially.

(see marketing below and for this part of the story)

A few years on, I now spend most of my time coding, programming, software engineering... whatever you want to call it, both professionally, and as the primary activity in my “free” time, building websites / apps and helping other developers in online communities.

Marketing
Whether helping friends, family, classmates in everyday life, or assisting colleagues / selling to customers at work, I have always had a different approach to most of the people around me. I have always done as much as possible to learn about the problem / solution / product I’m dealing with, and also the personality / persona / knowledge of the person I’m helping, and merge the two solve people’s problems and send them on their way as satisfied as possible after they come to me for help or end up with me as their assistant / salesperson.

After becoming somewhat unsatisfied with the environments I was working in and lack of respect/responsibility I was entrusted with by my employers, and after a few interviews for sales assistant positions at sketchy businesses, I decided to figure out what I could do professionally that would fit my approach to helping people and my desire to make a bigger contribution to whatever business I would be working in, that I could also utilise my aptitude for using technology. That’s when I came across the concept of Inbound Marketing.

I always thought of marketing like most people probably do. It’s all about billboards, tv and annoying website advertisements, cold calls, junk post and email, branded stickers and pens at trade shows, and wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube-men. Instead, inbound marketing was a revelation that fit perfectly with my own approach to helping people find and buy products and services that truly suit their needs.

It turned out that all the time I was a customer service or sales assistant, I hadn’t been selling anything to people; I had been using my extensive knowledge of products and services, and my natural ability to empathise and communicate effectively with different types of people, adapting my approach to each individual, to market the most suitable solution to them for their particular needs. I never did anything sales-y to get people to choose / buy anything. If they could afford it, they bought it, because they were satisfied, with my help, that they had found the best solution to their problem, or product/service that would best satisfy their needs / wants. As a bonus, they knew that they had someone they trusted to come back to that would help them if they had any further issues in the future. This is what inbound marketing is all about, and it’s what I am all about.

After this epiphany, I started learning as much as I could and applying for marketing roles (primarily digital so I could work with technology). See for more information on my journey and work since then, and for more detail on the things I learned and use today.

The Future
I love development and marketing, and I love using my skills and knowledge in these areas to improve and add value to products and services and the experience of colleagues, customers, and other business partners. I like to know all I can about anything that’s relevant to the work I’m doing and I can’t help but get involved in and take responsibility for duties beyond a single role. In the future, I see myself in either a Product Management or Technical Director / CTO position at a company either leading the way in or disrupting its industry (or possibly defining a new one).
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