Question Time with James Lock, Software Engineer
Our new recruit James Lock discusses what life’s like at Spicy Mango and how he went from gamer to software engineer.
What first interested you about computing?
My interest in computing initially came from my love of gaming. I was fascinated by how everything joined together, what made it work in that way and how. At the time there wasn’t much support in school for any coding or programming lessons, instead, we mostly focused on websites and excel. That’s when I turned to Youtube. I started learning all about HTML and CSS and built my own programmes just to see how it was done. After a two-year college course, I chose to do an 18-month apprenticeship as I felt I hadn’t had much practical experience. This proved to be a key decision as it enabled me to gain more hands-on knowledge and put myself ahead of other candidates when I entered the profession.
How do you think more young developers could be encouraged to enter the industry?
Any future developer will need to have a passion for computing, but it’s not always easy to find that passion if you don’t get exposed to all the options available. Although I really enjoyed delving into computing in my own way I think it would have also benefited me to have had some guidance earlier on during my education. Some schools are starting to teach their pupils more about coding, but it often comes under the umbrella of a generalised information communication technology class. While that might be a good starting point, it’s often the same in college, where the expectation is that the teaching will be more in-depth and specific, however often there isn’t any area diversification which means that becoming a specialist is more difficult than it might be. If we want to encourage more people to become interested in this sector we need to show them all of the interesting avenues they could take.
Why Spicy Mango?
The enthusiasm and diversity of the team make this a unique working environment. As well as being great coders and builders, everyone has their own speciality and areas of flare. I’ve always thought of myself as an implementer, stitching threads of code together to create the structures, while others are brilliant visionaries, able to design amazing aesthetics. The combination of skills we have is what helps us result in well-rounded projects.
We also work with a wide variety of people with a wide variety of challenges, no problem is the same and so you’re always pushing your own boundaries to make sure that you create something that doesn’t just fit the brief but includes those extra touches that add additional value.