My name is Jake and I’m a Frontend Developer for Adapt Digital. I found my role in a bit of a funny way. I originally applied for a Web Developer role online for Adapt but due to my skill level at the time, Patrick and I instead met up and had a talk about what skills I should try to pick up / learn. I then kept in contact with Patrick regularly updating him on things I’d learned or asking him how to do certain things.
After about a year, Patrick got in touch with me and said that there would be a role opening up to which I, of course, was very interested in and ended up going in for an interview. Although this wasn’t like any interview I’d had before. It started off with some questions and getting to know each other followed by a quick test of my skills / abilities. All of this was accompanied by some pizzas. It felt more like a social get together than an interview! Hands down best interview so far, haha!
What do you enjoy about your role and working at Adapt?
I enjoy having the ability to work on something different nearly everyday. I also enjoy the fact that the team is pretty small, it creates more of a family / friendly work environment. My previous employer left it up to me to progress myself but with Adapt they’ve given me a ‘Progression Plan’ which they’ve carefully thought out (thinking about trends and the way technology is heading) to help me progress myself and to learn new things.
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
I can’t 100% remember what it was I wanted to be when I was really young, I think it was a Fighter Pilot after I’d been to a few Airshows with my Dad. I just loved the thought of being able to go anywhere in the world within a few hours. However, when I joined secondary school I started to enjoy my Graphic Design lessons which I think sparked my creativity and passion for the industry. This then led to me taking it for my GCSEs and then heading into College to study the subject further.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I think I’ve ever received that has actually proven true and I now say the same to others, is that going to College or University (or getting a degree / further qualifications) to be able to get a job in the creative industry is simply not true. I was told this by a Graphic Designer of 25 years just after I had left Secondary School.
The reason it’s really stuck with me is that I believe if you can show that you’ve got a real passion for the work and you’ve got some solid projects to back that up, then I think most employers would be more willing to offer you a job than someone that’s been to University but doesn’t have much of a passion for the work. Essentially what I’m saying is that getting a degree or higher qualifications won’t really help your chances of getting a job in the industry, it’s more about being able to show the passion you have and being able to explain the thought processes behind it all.
What are your hobbies?
One of my hobbies is Gaming. I game quite a bit, probably too much, haha. I think it’s often a good way to relieve some stress and often (*depending on the game*) another way to be creative. Competitive games with friends are also good fun and it helps to properly disconnect at the end of the day.
Another hobby which I would like to try and do more of is mechanics or building things like computers. Just over a year ago I bought a little MK1 Mazda MX5 as a project for me to learn more about the mechanics of a car and how to fix things. I just enjoy learning how things work and then building them or fixing them. I was going to do a part time mechanics course at a nearby college but obviously with COVID19 that got cancelled.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could choose a super power I think it would be to have the ability to fly. It would be pretty cool to be able to just fly up and around the clouds whenever you feel like it. Also having the choice to just go to a different country whenever you please without having to pay for flights etc would be neat. You would feel completely free to do / go wherever whenever… However you would probably have to wrap up as the higher you go the colder it gets, haha.
Tell me something about yourself that not many people know?
This is a tricky one. I think one thing not many people know is that prior to joining Adapt all of what I know about using different softwares and techniques / processes of designing and developing websites I had taught myself at home. Of course there were things that I picked up here and there at school but due to my massive interest in it anyway, I spent pretty much all my home hours working on my own projects etc.
Another thing that not many people know about me is that when I was in college my design work was featured in one of the top UK design magazines. It was a pretty crazy / weird achievement as I’d also only been reading the magazine for a couple months prior and then out of the blue one of their editors contacted me! I hope maybe one day I can get some of my development / programming work featured in another magazine or perhaps be involved in a project that wins an Awwward.