Q&A with Jacob Gardner-Shortall

Author: Jacob Gardner-Shortall - Junior Developer

Date: 5 April 2023

What did you do before The Wonder Agency?

My career has been quite varied. After leaving school, I went straight into an apprenticeship in Digital Marketing and Business. I continued on with the company I received a placement at for a couple of years, but I fancied a bit of a change. Eventually, I ended up at a large instrument retailer, where I did a wide range of things from stock management to eventually mainly testing and doing work on a variety of instruments. 

I had a passion for technology and found an admiration for software development. It was something that had always fascinated, but eluded, me. I began programming for fun alongside work and I sunk more and more time into it until I decided to take the leap and join a software development bootcamp, which helped me land up where I am now!

What do you do for The Wonder Agency?

I’m a Junior Web Developer at Wonder, which means I’m helping our Tech Director, Sam, work on all things concerning websites, and more! I’m lucky to have a variety of interesting things to work on, from getting to turn designs into code for email templates, to making updates to existing websites, to seeing a project through all stages of development. 

I’ll also occasionally get to sit in on design meetings to see how something could be brought to life in code, or write the occasional blog. There are plenty of hats to wear!

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your role?

For me, the most challenging parts are often the most rewarding. Learning new technologies and solving new problems with them can be tough at times but extremely satisfying. 

There’s a lot to learn but that means a lot of personal victories! I always loved learning new programming paradigms and tech so I’m grateful to do it professionally.

What advice would I give to others starting out?

Keep your head down and focus on yourself! Imposter syndrome will have you setting yourself unrealistic goals and expectations. Take your time to really learn about what you’re doing and don’t worry about how long it’s taking you. 

I’d recommend being active with your coding, and making real things that interest you. Don’t fall into tutorial hell and find yourself not actually programming!

What do you get up to outside of work?

I try to stay on top of my coding, as much as possible for someone doing it at work daily anyway! Most of the time, if I’m not hanging out with my friends, you’ll find me playing guitar or spending way too much time on video games… And if I’m not on one of my guitars or the PC, I’m tinkering with them! I sink plenty of time into setting up my instruments and keeping them fresh to play. 

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