Inside Look

YOUR WINDOW INTO THE AUSTRALIAN TECH SCENE

Wednesday November 13 2019

5 Things You Should Do To Kick Off A UX Career

Avatar

Written by Alex Holderness

November 8, 2016

How do you jump start a career in front-end development? And what are some of the things you should know before working in the field?

nathan-jwt
Nathan Gell (above right) recently joined iconic ad agency J. Walter Thompson as a junior front-end developer in its Melbourne office. Although his background is actually in marketing, he quickly discovered his passion lay elsewhere – coding. After returning to school to study it, he landed his dream first job at JWT. Here’s what Nathan’s learnt about the industry so far. Some of his insights might surprise you.

Expect the unexpected

Say the word ‘development’ and chances are you’ll think of a team pitching on big website builds. In reality, roles can be incredibly versatile. So be prepared to be flexible. In Nathan’s case, he mostly works on a string of small, day-to-day projects. These include coding HTML banner ads, building eDMs, and working with creative teams to solve digital problems. The fast turnaround allows him to work on diverse projects – and pick up fantastic skills along the way.  “I haven’t yet had a big website build, which I guess would be different if you were working at a digital agency or brand,” Nathan explains.

Get your creative juices going

OK, time to bust another myth now. Being a front end developer is not about being a tech geek. In fact, it’s highly creative. It’s about design and offering users an amazing, memorable experience. Whether it’s exploring new tools, technology, plugins or language, you’ll be learning new things every day. You’ll also probably work with a host of other creative minds to bring ideas to life in the online space. “The creative team will give us their ideas on how they want an animation or banner to look. We work together to deliver the final product,” says Nathan. The upshot is if you’re naturally curious, front end development might be the perfect job for you.

Stay on top of your game

It takes a certain personality to master development. Be prepared to learn quickly and be open to new things – all the time. You need to have an out-of-the-box approach to problem-solving. To keep his industry knowledge fresh and on point, Nathan goes to several meet-ups a month. He also enjoys listening to podcasts. In his spare time, he builds products and programs as his creative outlet. “I enjoy it. My hobby is programming.” At the end of the day, do what works for you.

A short cut to success

It’s not always easy to make a career change into development. For a speedy way in, you can try an intense boot camp (for developers). Nathan says: “If you want to do it in a couple of months, boot camp is very good because they teach you a lot in a short amount of time. One of my friends just finished a boot camp and she was successful in getting a job.” For a more leisurely approach, you can put yourself through an online course, once you’ve sifted through the maze of content out there to choose a quality offering.

Plan a few steps ahead

Have you thought about your next career move – and how you’d like to grow into that role? While you might be loving your current position and have no intention of leaving it, it’s smart to look at the big picture. Keep building your skills so you can make a fluid transition. Nathan has mapped out a very clear line for himself. “In the future, I’d like to be a full stack developer, so working on the front end and back end. The front end allows me to be very creative visually. But the back end is where the real code happens. So that’s my end goal,” he says.

Looking to make your next UX move? Join the marketplace today and check out 50+ of Australia’s hottest organisations doing innovative things with technology.

Avatar

Written by Alex Holderness

November 8, 2016

Recover Password

No worries! Enter the email used for registration and we’ll send you a confirmation link.

Get started as talent

Welcome , what describes you best?

This could be your current role, or where you want to work in the future.

What industries would you like to follow

Get on the radar of the companies doing amazing things in:

What’s your location?

Would you like to be contacted with relevant opportunities?

Skip talking to agency recruiters, skip the job adverts and let employers contact you directly.

What are your skills

Add your CV

OR

Microsoft Word .doc and PDF accepted

Email address

Set a password for your account

Minimum 6 characters long.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.