Software developers today need to have the full package of technical skills and teamwork. Headforwards Full Stack Developer Emma Grimes explains.
Our Meet the Team series is looking quite healthy now! We’ve recently added a profile on Headforwards Business Intelligence Developer, Louise Patch; Software QA Leader, Przemek Furtak, and one of our Full Stack Developers, Emma Grimes. This time we catch up with CXP Developer, Sam Perry.
Sam grew up in Cornwall and attended Redruth school. Despite having an interest in computers, he was unsure which career path to pursue, so on completion of his GCSEs he joined the family butchery business.
At the butchery, he was the main delivery driver for Newquay and Falmouth, delivering meat to hotels and working closely with chefs.
The pull of Cornwall and the business he knew so well was enough to keep him home; that was until one hot summer evening in Newquay.
“It was a boiling hot day; the Boardmasters festival was on so my usual route through Newquay took me twice as long, and I had to haul 300 burgers down the hill to the beach, sweating my socks off in a white lab coat.”
“It was at this point that I realised this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! I knew I had to make a change sooner rather than later, so in that moment I decided I would go to Uni as a mature student.”
Sam was successful in securing a place on the Software Engineering degree course at Buckinghamshire New University.
When the news of lockdown hit, Sam was in his final year at University. He packed up his small room and headed home to Cornwall.
“The last thing I wanted was to live in what was essentially a box, on my own for months on end, so I gathered everything together and drove home.”
“The Uni seemed to adapt very quickly to the changes and the move to remote lectures and communications was smooth. I was certainly on the right course – you don’t need much more than a computer to keep working away on a Software Engineering degree!”
With many of the UK’s businesses advertising fully remote positions, Sam’s plan of action changed dramatically.
“Coming back to Cornwall after graduating had never been on the cards – I had always planned to start my career in London – mainly because I was already in High Wycombe, so it felt like a natural progression. In 2020 however, suddenly what felt like overnight I had the option of returning home and still being able to apply for jobs in London, and in fact all over the country.”
As it happened, the first job Sam landed was a little closer to home, at Cornish Mutual in Truro, where he started as a Junior Developer working on the company’s Customer Complaints app.
“Cornish Mutual was a great start to my career and I learned a lot in the 12 months I was there.”
“I already knew about Headforwards and had actually written a report on the company as part of my degree; so, when a job came up, I leapt at the chance of applying.”
To me, Headforwards is like the Google of Cornwall – it’s the place to be as a Software Engineer, so suffice to say when I got the job, I was ecstatic.
A weight off his shoulders
Sam joined Headforwards in March 2022 as CXP Developer on the Cornwall Council account, creating apps for local people to use.
“My role is really interesting because the work involves operating behind the curtain of what goes into the Cornwall Council apps. I love working on real apps that I myself am likely to use at some point; it makes it all the more enjoyable – and I certainly want to make sure it’s done right!
“From day to day, we use a bit of an odd tech stack: a lot of what we do involves DOM manipulation, so my usual Tech-stack is Typescript, C# and sometimes when I have to do DOM manipulation I have to turn to the dark arts of jQuery.”
Sam goes into the office once every two weeks for in-person Sprint planning and the rest of time, works remotely.
“The work/life balance at Headforwards is great: we can do hybrid or fully remote working and there’s a huge amount of trust. We’re professionals and we’re treated as such, which is so refreshing. When I go in for Sprint planning, we usually go out for lunch and have a game of pool – it’s great for team bonding.”
When he’s not working, Sam competes as an amateur strongman, and in the 2022 winter season he will take part in a number of competitions across the UK.
“Strongman is very important to me and when I’m not at my desk I’m likely to be training or working on the build of my own private barn gym, complete with gym dog, Ozzwold Pawsborne.”
He also spends his free time working on a side project with NextJs, tRPC, Tailwind, TypeScript, Prisma and NextAuth with a Supabase backend.
Sam sees himself staying put at Headforwards, mastering different skills and taking on more responsibility.
“I’ve still got a lot of learn – I’m really comfortable with the whole coding side of things but there’s a whole Microsoft platform that I’m yet to conquer.
“It doesn’t feel like you’re trying to climb the ladder here as such, because it’s a flat management structure – so everyone is treated the same. I absolutely love the fact that my ideas are just as good as everyone else’s – some really experienced people at Headforwards still come to me for advice, which is very cool.”
Discover a fast-paced career that’s centred around your development
At Headforwards, we recognise everyone’s potential. That’s why you can expect a job with endless possibilities and fast progression. Head over to our careers page to find out more.
To find out more about the kind of roles we offer, read our other Meet the Team articles for inspiration.