Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mark!
I’m a Senior Developer and I’ve been in the industry for 15 years, 9 of which have been spent here at Venditan. I mostly work on back-end development building web apps in PHP and Ruby. I’ve been known to dabble on the front-end, too.
I’m from Rossendale Valley, which is about 30 miles north of Manchester. You’ve either never heard of it, or know of it because of the ski slope.
I’m a football fan (Burnley, up the Clarets!), a fair-weather runner and, most importantly, I’m soon to be a first-time father which is pretty exciting!
Tell us something about yourself that people might not already know.
I’ve been playing guitar on and off for about 20 years, I particularly enjoy playing along to the likes of Muse and Arctic Monkeys.
I started my career as a designer having studied graphic design at University, rather than as a developer, which I originally taught myself as a hobby.
What does your average day at Venditan look like?
A typical day will start with my checking my schedule for my workload and any meetings I may have.
My day can vary depending on the week and the number of projects we’re involved with. As a senior member of staff, my role is to assist my co-workers on the development team, work on my own assigned tasks and input into architecting decisions.
Throughout the day I’ll check in with the development team to see if there is anything that requires reviewing or assistance, as well as keeping in close contact with our account managers, providing answers to any technical questions our clients may have.
What’s the best advice you could give someone starting out in your line of work?
I would say that being a software developer is about more than just coding for the sake of it. I would encourage them to consider how the code solves real problems and makes the users’ lives easier. I find having this mindset helps me build better software.
As well as that, I believe everyone has some level of imposter syndrome; so, don’t let that stop you. Keep learning, keep building and your confidence will grow.
Are there any eCommerce or retail trends that you find particularly interesting in 2023?
Nothing specific to eCommerce to be honest. The huge rise of AI, such as ChatGPT, has been very interesting and will affect every sector including eCommerce. We’ve not seen the full impact of this will yet, that may take another few years, but it’s already something I use daily.
Give us an example of something you have learned since joining the Venditan team
As we know, I’ve been at Venditan for nearly 9 years and that time has spanned a few different roles, so I’ll try to summarise as best I can.
The scale of the Venditan Commerce ecosystem has meant working with many different technologies while the longevity of the software has taught me discipline and to think for the long term when architecting solutions.
I’ve also had the opportunity to speak to clients and stakeholders directly about their businesses and turn their requirements into solutions, which has taught me to think bigger about the software we build and the impact it can have.