Digital is an intriguing industry to be part of. The constant flow of information, development of fresh knowledge and unique experiences make for an ever changing landscape that is sometimes demanding, yet always interesting. The ever-increasing demand for web design and development as online business continues to grow, prompted me to choose digital as a career path. Since making that decision I have never looked back.
Whilst studying Computing at York University, I got my first taste of the wonderful world of PHP. For those who are unfamiliar with programming languages, PHP is one of the most trusted and advanced choices for developers; often utilised to create complex web applications and dynamic web pages, resulting in exciting and interactive websites. Its robust nature and virtually faultless interaction allows PHP to communicate with multiple databases and servers; making it an increasingly popular choice across the digital industry for creating both innovative websites and apps.
I initially became familiar with PHP whilst constructing my final project at university. Qchat was created to assist those studying courses which involve complex mathematical equations; giving them the ability to interact using an intricate messaging system. The system allows users to discuss and draw equations, generate graphs and edit complex matrices, algebra and quantum equations. Whilst the information being discussed and shared is complex, the interface with which it is input is designed to be simple and intuitive. Using a database packed with the necessary programming features, Qchat has proven to be a useful tool for those studying courses which contain complex equations; allowing students to interact online at a much deeper level.
Since joining 9xb I have further advanced my PHP knowledge; learning from the more experienced developers. I have also found that creating websites in the real world is a great way to deepen my understanding of PHP, as I am set the challenge of solving problems that I have not encountered before. During my time at 9xb I have also been able to learn new skills away from PHP and have acquired a much stronger understanding of other scripting languages.
Thanks to a deeper knowledge of a range of scripting languages, I feel as though I have played a key role in the development and delivery of truly innovative websites, including; e-commerce superstores, brochure sites and blogs for big household name throughout local businesses.
The online world is constantly expanding and changing, making it impossible to predict what will be the next trend or favoured website design choice. What we must always remember is that both the desires of the client and the needs of the user must be weighed against each other.
A website that looks amazing aesthetically, will not deliver the desired results if the user finds it difficult to navigate. Whilst the appearance of a website may draw visitors in, it is the functionality that keeps them there.
In order to meet the ever growing levels of expectation from clients and users alike, we must constantly push the boundaries to find new concepts and ideas.
This is perhaps the overriding message that I have grasped since starting work at 9xb; I will never know all there is to know about developing websites.
There is simply too much information for a single person to master and that knowledge continues to grow and evolve. So, despite the fact my academic study may have finished, I know that as long as I am working in digital, I will be learning - which will hopefully mean for the rest of my career!