Blog article

20th March 2019

Life at Merchant – A Junior Dev’s Story


We interrupt our regular blog post feed to bring you a story written by the guy who built this very blog, me.

Hello blog readers. My name is Rich, and I’m currently a Junior Developer here at Merchant. At the time of writing, I’ve been with the company for 7 months, and let me tell you – it’s been quite a journey.

My story starts in Bournemouth, where I completed my degree and my master’s, both of which were software-oriented degrees. Having spent many, many days and nights in the library, Student’s Union, and occasionally the odd bar or two, I finally left Bournemouth with a master’s degree in Mobile Software Development. When my time at Bournemouth was over, I headed back home to Southampton so I could start looking for somewhere to start my career.

Enter Merchant.Digital Marketing Jobs logo with characters

Merchant’s job listing caught my eye. Perhaps it was the excellent graduate opportunity, or the brilliant level of support, or the beautiful office location. Or maybe it was the yacht.

So, I applied.

Fast forward through a couple of phone calls, one code test, and one face-to-face interview later – and I was offered the job!

Digital Agency group photo on company yacht

My first month or so consisted of a lot of training and reading, and generally familiarising myself with the existing projects and tools. There was a lot to learn!

I quickly found myself learning as much as I could about Umbraco, EPiServer, Entity Framework, as well as familiarising myself setting up automated builds and deployments.

Shortly into my third month, I was asked to put Merchant’s website onto Umbraco. Not having had any experience writing .net (dotnet) web apps, I knew I had a bit of a challenge ahead of me. Despite the challenges that presented themselves along the way, I got it done. Just over two weeks of building, testing and content population, and the new site was online. It was amazing to see my project come to life, especially as I was the only developer that worked on it (with support and help from the team, of course). Since then, I’ve been taking good care of my little project, adding in any new features that get requested, or making small bug fixes here and there.

Digital Marketing Jobs Benefits company trip to Lisbon

Following this, the next major project I was involved in was the launch of Tricon Energy’s new website. At the time of launch, this was a static website, with no CMS. However, there was still a lot of work involved. This was one of the first projects where I gained a lot of experience using Gulp to aid in the building of pages, styling and JS needed for the website.

Commodities Website Build for Tricon Energy examples of pages in rows

Since then, I’ve been heavily involved in manning the support desk: responding to, and fixing any issues that our clients raise with us. These can range from questions about a project, to bug fixes and feature requests.

2019 looks to be a promising year for Merchant, with lots of exciting new opportunities over the horizon, so I’m hoping to get involved in a lot of new and interesting projects soon.


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