News • 07.07.2022
14 maart 2022
Bart, part of the Touchtribe team for the last 1.5 years, wasn't always writing code. After his studie, he was able to put his creativity in marketing for a while. He made an exciting step by exchanging writing content for writing code. How did he experience this career switch? Bart will tell you here:
After studying International Communication and Media in Utrecht, it was a logical step to start working as a marketeer. I did this at a scale-up, with a small marketing team. As an online marketeer I was responsible for almost all aspects of marketing. Writing content, building and maintaining the website, SEO and creating campaigns. Because it was such a small team, I had to do a lot by myself. I built wordpress websites with drag & drop and I looked into the technical aspects of the websites myself, such as analytics and tag manager. In 5 years the company had grown a lot and the team was getting bigger. I strongly felt that this was the right time to make the next step in my career.
But what was that next step? I asked myself the same question. I noticed that I wasn't getting much enthusiasm from the various marketing jobs I came across online and that I actually wanted to do something different. When I started thinking back to what really makes me happy, I mainly came out to launching concrete things, like websites. Building products that really help the company move forward and with which the company can achieve good results. In addition, I always got excited about figuring out all the technical stuff. During some online research I came across many stories about Front-end bootcamps. Here, of course, building products and the technology come together perfectly, but there is also creativity in it and it’s connected to my marketing background. After a long time I decided to take the step, I quit my job and started the Front-end bootcamp.
You will also get to know different kinds of companies. Do you want to work within a large corporate in an IT team, or do you prefer a small company? I consciously chose to look at Front-end agencies. There you work together with a group of people who have the same specialty instead of working solo in a team with different specialties. I also wanted to work on multiple products within different projects and not just on one. Because of this variety you learn extra fast, also by interacting with the customer you develop yourself faster.
I knew anyway that the switch would turn out well, the knowledge I would gain is never wasted. But that this switch would work out so well I could not have imagined beforehand! I got much more out of it than I had expected. After my 6 week bootcamp I started with the basics of Front-end. I did a lot of research, did test projects, built sites and especially wrote a lot of code. It was mainly about trying and trying until you built something great.
After the bootcamp I came across the vacancy of Junior Front-end developer at Touchtribe. I thought why not, I'll just give it a try. That's when I first came into contact with the MakerStreet network, which includes a number of cool development companies. Touchtribe specialises in Front-end so I knew I had to be there. After a few interviews and a code assignment I was hired as a Junior Developer! Even though I didn't have much experience yet, my background in marketing was a plus. You've always been busy with websites and knowing the 'other side' is an advantage. I also work a lot with marketeers at the customer, who I can help more quickly because of my knowledge.
So the first project at Touchtribe was to build a website for one of the other labels within MakerStreet: Webflight. The project was a perfect fit for my background and I saw this as a great project to start with. From building websites I slowly moved to the more technically complex projects. Vidua is a good example. Here I am working on identification and verification of users. This variety is the main reason why I wanted to work for an agency. Every project and every client is different and that makes the development work very challenging. Plus you learn very much, very quickly because you work with 15 people with the same expertise and interests!
Every project at Touchtribe is a mix of junior, medior and senior colleagues. So you are never alone and you always have someone to fall back on if you are stuck. Also, there is always someone who checks your code before you actually use it in the project. In my case, that person was Linda, she is mentioning the following about Bart: "Bart and I worked together on the Webflight project. Where Bart had the biggest part and I mainly did the code reviews. In the beginning I had a lot of feedback, I'm really pixel perfect and I think it's important to teach Juniors that too. But I liked hearing that Bart really enjoyed it and could learn a lot from the feedback. He also picked it up super fast!"
Another thing that strikes me within Touchtribe is that I'm definitely not the only one who ended up in the Front-end world via this route. Colleagues Sven, Tim and Syakirah followed the same path. Syakirah says: "After my studies Arts and Culture I quickly found out that this is not the sector in which I saw myself working. Once I made the switch to development, it was like coming home. I was looking for a field where continuing to learn and develop is central and a place where my colleagues can motivate and inspire me to get the best out of myself. Following a boot camp helped me to lay a developmental foundation. It also gave me the motivation to persevere, since the beginning was not always easy. Such a bootcamp and fellow students helped me through these moments. I am very happy that I got the chance at Touchtribe to work as a junior frontend developer and keep learning from my colleagues."
I feel completely at home in the Front-end, but how do you know if this is also something for you? First and foremost, look at what gives you energy. What do you really like to do? What are you good at? These can be hard skills, but also soft skills for example. Do you prefer to work alone or in a team? Do you want to work on different products or rather on just one? Only by answering these kinds of questions and by doing a lot of online research you’ll find out if Front-end is for you. If you ask me, digital skills are always useful these days, so Front-end knowledge is never wasted.
Once you have decided to go for it I can only say, go try a lot! That way, in addition to learning the basics in a course, you'll learn very quickly in practice. Just look at the code when you go to a website, look at how designs work in relation to the code, and get knowledge from technical platforms. Especially rebuilding websites has helped me a lot, for example twitter cloning. Just try, try, try! And 1 year later I suddenly made websites for Scotch Whiskey and gave a demo in a Whiskey museum for the client. That's what you do it for, after all!
Fortunately I found out that Front-end suits me much better, but as you have read my marketing knowledge is never lost. Are you doubting whether Front-end is something for you? We are happy to answer your questions! You can do so by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you already have the basic knowledge to get started right away? Then check out our vacancies at https://werkenbij.touchtribe.nl/