My first six months at 26: Front End Developer

David Arrowsmith, Front End Developer,

Day one

My first day at 26 was a bit of a blur! I met Sam, the senior developer who would be my onboarding buddy during my first few weeks as a Junior Front End Developer. When I joined, COVID precautions were still in place, and while the office was largely empty, a few friendly faces had come in to help me settle in (and take me for a lovely pub lunch!).

Although I was working remotely at first, I had frequent calls with my workmates to help us stay connected and work through any tricky tasks. Because 26 has a diverse client portfolio, there was always something to get stuck into – and support was always on hand if I needed it. 

I worked at my own pace while I found my feet – allowing me to explore new projects - building my understanding and confidence. Having the time and space to learn and understand is vital for good-quality code. 

Returning to the office

Once it was safe, we started to return to the office. Office attendance isn’t mandatory at 26 - instead, we go into the office when useful, enjoyable and social. 

As people returned, the office bustled with activity and friendly chatter. The first thing that struck me was how proactive yet casual it was. I met people from different departments whom I had only seen via teams.

We had an Engineering day for all the software development teams. There was a series of meetings, discussions and workshops, all followed by a slap-up meal. We discussed upcoming projects and how to improve our development projects. Overall, the day was great for helping me bond with my team and helping us feel comfortable sharing our opinions and ideas.

The Engineering day has become a permanent fixture, happening once every couple of months. I’ve also attended a Pride social and an End of financial year party during my first six months.

Day to day at 26

I wanted to join an agency as no two days are the same because 26 has clients in a range of sectors we’re able to work on all sorts of projects using lots of different technologies. Not only is this great for personal development, but it also keeps things interesting!

We’re encouraged to keep learning at 26 - Pluralsight lets us access a wide range of online courses and have daily meetings to discuss technologies and approaches as well as fortnightly lunch-and-learns (organised by yours truly). We also attend conferences to stay up to date with the latest trends and innovations. In June, I attended CSS Day 2022 in Amsterdam - it was an immensely enriching experience, and I learnt far more than I expected.

Improving together

26 is always looking for ways to improve its processes, both from a commercial perspective and in terms of employee happiness. When I joined, the company moved from a department-based team structure to Cross-Functional Teams (CFTs). This has meant that where departments may have been siloed, they now interact daily – improving our professional relationships, communication and awareness of other departments’ practices and needs. 

We have teams working on everything from improving our estimation techniques to refurbishing the office. Importantly, these forums are open to everyone, and everyone’s input is appreciated. Being able to help forge processes helps foster a sense of ownership and inclusion.

From day one at 26, I felt supported. I was given opportunities to improve myself, not just as a Front End developer, but also as an active participant in a self-managing production team within a vibrant digital agency. Thanks to 26’s encouragement and commitment to investing in its people, I  was promoted to mid-level Front End Developer – and I can’t wait to see where my journey with 26 takes me next.

To find out more about our current vacancies and how to apply - click here.

Want to know more?

Let's connect