A strong culture of learning, hard work and collaboration has been cultivated at TM; it’s engrained in everything we do and everything we are. Starting with our CEO, a serial entrepreneur, who began teaching himself Microsoft Front Page and how to hand code in 1996. Dwight’s motivation stemmed from an opportunity- his customers at the time, who were mostly graphic design related, wanted to do “some internet stuff.” Really, they needed a website and had a desire to be on the “information super highway” and Dwight was up for the challenge.
Fast-forward 19 years to Trademark today.
When Josh Bourke began working at Trademark a year ago, he already embodied many of the things TM was built upon. He began his career by teaching himself, mostly by reading literature covering HTML5, CSS3 and PHP. As he learned, he would try different things, sometimes failing, and then try again.
“My motivation to become a developer stemmed from an appreciation for companies with clean, polished and up-to-date websites. I found it easier to trust the company and to believe in them when they had an established web presence. Alternatively, I began to realize there were so many bad websites out there. Now, perhaps the design of those websites wasn’t terrible but, the actual functionality? If a website was clunky or the page speed wasn’t up-to-par, I couldn’t help thinking that I could do it better!”
The road to becoming TM’s Lead Front-End Developer wasn’t easy; anything worthwhile never is.
“When I was freelancing, I went through a period where I was simply flat-broke. I was often waiting on clients who were dragging their feet and it was hard to make ends meet.”
Now, having put those days behind him, a typical day for Josh looks something like this: he arrives at the office and reviews all of his team’s tasks, as well as his own. He begins to put a plan of attack together and after a quick meeting, his team splits up to begin working on their assigned tasks. Usually, smaller items are tackled first and then a chunk of Josh’s afternoon is spent working on larger, and more complicated items.
“We all work very well together. If there’s ever a problem or a situation where they need help, we collaborate in order to figure out the best and quickest solution. Sometimes there’s an emergency with a client and we’re always able to deliver.”
Since starting at TM, Josh’s quest for knowledge hasn’t diminished. In fact, it has become both the best and most challenging part of the work he does. As a boutique web agency, our work life is often very fast paced, with a plethora of tasks to work on in any given day, requiring you to understand the complexities and differences of each project you’re working on. It becomes an adventure for people who thrive in this kind of environment.
“Learning about each website is simply part of the learning curve at any agency. You make frequent transitions between projects and, while there are similarities between them, they’re all different. I love learning new things frequently; the web is in a constant state of rapid evolution and that’s not going to change. A common scenario is finding yourself in a scenario where you’re forced to interface with code you’re unfamiliar with. There’s always something new and cool to try out, learn and then integrate into your process!”
Having climbed a proverbial ladder that he dreamed about, built himself and then ascended, Josh has a bit of advice for aspiring developers:
- Familiarize yourself with basic coding principles such as DRY (don’t repeat yourself) and the Single Responsibility Principle. Keep things simple and modular, you’ll save yourself a ton of time.
- Use version control. Bit Bucket, by Atlassian allows you create a limited number of private repos for free. You should get used to making feature-based commits.
- Learn to reuse your code. Github offers a product called Gistbox that is like Evernote for code. Always be familiar with your personal library of code.
- Choose an IDE that you can use for at least a few years. I personally use PHPStorm. It does everything I need it to and more.
Part of the magic that makes TM tick is finding like-minded, motivated and passionate people- those that have the same drive our CEO had 19 years ago. Our core values couldn’t say it better:
We build and create authentic websites from scratch.
What you see is what you get, full disclosure and transparency from the start.
We always lead with an empathetic and understanding attitude, no matter the situation.
We are passionate: creating, innovating and reinvigorating every project.
We empower each other, our clients and the world through education.
We are a collaborative group of partners, team members and friends.
If you’re interested in working for, or with TM, don’t hesitate to contact us. The more the merrier!