Go back 10 years, and I never would have imagined what I would achieve over the next decade.
I've had the pleasure of working with some very talented people, I've worked on some exciting projects that have won best in class awards, and also been part of a project that took out the best website in Australia at the Australian Web Awards.
After dropping out of further education when I was 17, and deciding the university route wasn't for me, I was always sceptical of how far I could go. But here I am, writing this post from a cafe in Western Australia, proud to call myself a freelancer. A goal I had as soon as I started working for someone else.
First job in the industry
After a weeks work experience at Guernsey digital agency, Submarine, I was offered a job as a web developer. I had no qualifications or previous industry experience, but Submarine obviously saw potential in my adolcesent face.
Ever since I built my first website at the tender age of 12 (a fan page for the Los Angeles Lakers), I knew that this was what I wanted to do, so I didn't hesitate to accept the job offer.
Over the 3 years that I spent at Submarine, I further developed my knowledge of front-end development and learnt the basics of server-side programming languages. I regularly designed static and animated banner ads, created numerous websites in flash and developed HTML emailers. A real broad experience of the industry at the time.
Catching the trade winds
After 6 years of working for agencies in Guernsey, I decided to go travelling, with no real intentions other than booking a one way ticket to the southern hemisphere. After spending two months in New Zealand (a trip of a lifetime), I decided to head to Perth and see how I would fair applying for a few jobs. I had an interview and was working for Perth digital agency, Equilibrium within a week.
I will forever be grateful for the guys at Equilibrium. Just like Submarine giving me the opportunity with my first job, Equilibrium helped me obtain the necessary visas to stay in the country permanently.
I feel my time at Equilibrium helped me develop my skills as a web developer immensely, and I worked with some very talented people during my time there. We collaborated to create award winning work, and during my final year there, we won Campaign Briefs inaugural Digital Agency of the Year, which I am proud to say I was apart of.
I reluctantly decided to leave Equilibirum after almost 5 years, to pursue my dream of (finally) working for myself, and to do another stint of seeing the world.
Don't burn bridges
I have kept in contact with the two agencies that have helped me along my career path. I regularly do freelance work for Equilibrium, and whenever I am in Guernsey, I'll pop in to see the guys at Submarine, and more often than not, bump into someone down the local pub.
It's always best to leave a job on good terms. One, they'll be more than willing to give you a good reference to future employees, and two, if you decide to go it alone, they may be your first client, which is what happened with me and Equilibrium.
I'm not sure what the next decade holds for me, or for our industry for that matter. I still have a passion for creating websites, and I can't see that going away anytime soon, but a website as we know it might become a thing of the past. So I fully intend to keep up with the latest technologies, attend as many conferences as I can, and try to stay ahead of the curve.