31st March 2021

On switching careers and best web development resources with Bekah, our Developer.

by Bekah

Introduction.

What do websites and events have in common? Both are all about giving people great experiences, whether online or IRL! Bekah, the brilliant developer who joined KOTA in August 2020, is an expert in both areas, having worked in events management before she realised web development is her true calling. When she’s not writing code, Bekah loves to travel and play video games, and one day plans to live up to her namesake and buy a farm.

We interviewed Bekah about switching careers, post-pandemic plans (and her love for farm animals, of course!).

 

Why web development? How did you manage to completely change your career, from events management to web development?

When you’re an event manager, you tend to have a lot of really complicated spreadsheets and a huge amount of admin tasks. I used to get a kick out of automating my admin as much as possible, with Excel formulae and macros, and nerdy little text expansion tools. After a few years, I realised it was actually my favourite thing about my job, so I started teaching myself how to code using online tutorials. When I discovered JavaScript, I felt like I was doing magic. I spent all my spare hours learning everything I could, and it wasn’t long before I landed my first client and, later, a permanent role as a developer.

 

Where do you find inspiration?

Twitter, mostly. It’s funny because I generally consider it to be a pretty toxic platform… but dev Twitter is (nearly always) amazing. There are tons of people sharing amazing resources and code they’ve written, making very nerdy jokes and generally supporting each other. There are also a lot of really good conversations going on about mental health, inclusivity and the future of the internet.

 

What are your favourite tools or resources?

My absolute favourite resource on the internet is MDN Web Docs. I used to read the dictionary when I was a kid; now I read web documentation. (I’m fun at parties.) The MDN Web Docs are kind of like a big, web-specific dictionary that’s constantly being updated as we create new technologies and ways of doing things.

I’ve got so many little tools I use constantly to make my job easier. There are probably far too many to list, so here are my current favourites:

  • Zeplin – a designer/developer hand-off tool that makes it super easy to extract and organise all the information and assets I need from a design file.
  • ClickUp, a project management app which helps me confidently answer the daily question ‘Are you on track to meet the deadline?’
  • And my newest discovery – Inspector SpaceTime – for painlessly extracting animation timings and easings out of AfterEffects.

 

Why would you like to have a farm and where would it be?

I suppose ‘farm’ implies that I’ll be growing crops and keeping livestock… so what I really want is a homestead. I’ll still have a home office and keep my job, but being outdoors in my wellies with a bunch of animals is my happy place. (Calling it a farm makes having an absurd amount of pygmy goats slightly more socially acceptable.) We’re currently scouting locations, but as snowboarders, we’re pretty tempted by the Cairngorms in Scotland.

 

First thing you want to do once the lockdown is over?

Lockdown ruined so many of my travel plans! The day it started, I was supposed to be in Nashville visiting my best friend. I also had to cancel Christmas with my partner’s family in Australia, and I haven’t seen my own family in well over a year.

Once lockdown is properly over, I’m rescheduling all of my travel plans! But for now, I’d settle for a couple of pints in a sunny beer garden.


Interested in working with us? Call the KOTA studio on +44(0)20 3951 0562.

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