My name is Craig Pryde, I'm 21 and I am a Front End Developer here at After Digital. I build the interfaces that are used to drive powerful user experiences and bring designers visions to life. “Pop”, “Swoosh”, “Weee” are a few of my animation catchphrases.

Fun Fact: I’m a black belt in Taekwondo.

How did you become a Front End Developer, what made you pursue this as a career?

I'm a self-taught developer that started coding software around the age of 13/14. I just followed whatever sparked my interest and gradually I moved into web development, which is where I found my passion for Front End Development.

I also managed to get a few bits of paper on my career journey: HND Interactive Media @ New College Lanarkshire & Bsc. As well as Web & Mobile Development (Court Medal & Distinction) at the University of the West of Scotland.

During college, I competed at the World Skills UK Final representing New College Lanarkshire for web development, where I placed 2nd, winning a silver medal.

Craig Pryde, a day in the life of a web dev

In the zone at World Skills

I Loved building things as a kid, I can still remember the days of building projects with K’nex and turning the crazy ideas I had into working toys. The curiosity of building whatever popped into my head led me towards development and drives my passion and love for what I do - that's the main reason I became a developer, to keep building ideas. It's just a bonus I get to do that for others now as well.

If you weren’t a Front End Developer, what would you want to be?

If I wasn't a Front End Developer I would most likely be doing a trade. I wanted to be a joiner when I was younger, so most likely something along those lines.

Then again, a Lego toy designer would be a cool job too!

As a Front End Developer, what is it you do at After Digital?

As a Front End Developer, my job is to work alongside designers and convert their ideas into working interfaces that meet the needs of the client/end user.

I am also responsible for maintaining and improving solutions after “go live” and ensuring the best quality code reaches production.

Describe an average day for you at AD.

9:00 - 10:00 - Help Desk/Admin
Providing support to clients that are on a retainer and providing scopes for any new work. I also have time here to reply to emails.

09:30 - 09:45 - Standup
Daily standup with the team to discuss the plan for the day and any blockers.

10:00 - 12:00 - Project Work
The first block of development for the day.

12:00 - 13:00 - Lunch
Lunchtime - Woop Woop!

13:00 - 16:30 - Project Work
The second block of development for the day.

16:30 - 17:30 - Sit down
Time to answer questions for DP’s, provide estimates for work, update work log, reply to Jira tickets and finish up work for the day.

My day varies from day to day, usually, I will work on project components for most of the day, with time for chatting to design and communicating with DP’s. Each day brings new challenges, Which keeps the fun of the job alive.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Finding a good place to eat at lunch, Too much choice in Central Glasgow.

What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of being a Front End Developer at After Digital is getting to work with a talented team taking projects from the vision stage and turning them into powerful end-user experiences.

How do you get ready for your working day each day?

I have a motivational alarm set on my phone, So I usually wake up to different inspirational speeches. This morning it was the Jay Shetty impact theory talk.

Between waking up and getting to work, I listen to music, plan out my day and journal down any thoughts or ideas I have for projects I want to build or tech I want to try out.

How do you unwind from your working day?

To unwind after a working day, when it's in season, I watch Ice hockey (Go Bruins!), play video games and I'm currently learning how to cook.

Craig Pryde, a day in the life of a web dev at the hockey

Supporting the Braehead Clan with my mum!

Top 5 tips / top 5 tools that you would recommend for everyday use?

Pesticide - Easily view the alignment/positioning of elements on the page.

GitKraken - GUI for Git, Allows for easy branch tracking, Glo boards allow for easy project tracking.

VS Code - Code editor of choice, Allows my development workflow to be fast and streamlined.

Lightshot - Screenshot tool that makes supplying the desired preview nice and easy.

Muzli - Great resource for seeing cool new techniques used within design/frontend.

What advice would you give someone thinking about pursuing a career as a Front End Developer?

  • Don't jump on a framework just because it's the new cool thing, Choose what's right for the project.
  • Keep up to date on trends and tech. A few channels I follow are Fun Fun Function, Google Chrome Developers, Linus Tech Tips, Strange Parts, Dev Tips and Addy Osmani.
  • Never Stop Learning, I spend a lot of time on 'udemy,' learning new frameworks, languages and techniques.
  • Learn a language before learning a framework, for example, learn Javascript before learning jQuery. This will provide the knowledge behind what the framework is achieving and give a base understanding that can be applied when using any extension or framework.
  • Never be afraid to ask, you will be shocked by the number of opportunities you can get by just asking.
  • Finally, Have Fun!