Meet Charlie

By Toward,

July 2023

Charlie sitting on a sofa in the Toward studio

Charlie is a senior developer here at Toward. For four years, she's not only built amazing websites, but created numerous bespoke Craft CMS plugins and helped streamline our entire development processes. We asked Charlie how she got into web development, what her favourite projects are, why she loves it, and what advice she would give to new developers just starting out.

How did you get into Web Development?

I studied Media Arts at St Mary’s University College and really wanted to get into Design. After graduating I took a graphic design job, but they wanted me to learn code to help with the job.

I found that I actually enjoyed coding a lot more than design, and so I changed my career path!

What have been your favourite projects and why?

There’s quite a few in the pipeline currently that I’ve been working on that I’m really excited to launch!

I’ve been able to broaden my skills into more backend code recently, and am really enjoying that aspect of the job.

One example would be Premiership Ltd, where I developed a backend system which imported data from a CSV file into the database, and then displayed the data within a search on the frontend. This made finding shipping schedules & routes more efficient.

I’ve also built multiple internal Craft CMS plugins to help our process at Toward. Watching them become integrated in our builds & help our design team has been a real confidence boost.

A screenshot taken from the Premiership website showing shipping information gathered by the custom built system

The custom-built shipping schedule finder for Premiership

What do you love about development/the web the most?

The ever changing technology. There’s always something to learn and improve upon, and when you watch your ideas come into fruition it’s a real sense of accomplishment.

I don’t think any developer will ever know everything within this field, which is why I find it so exciting.

What technologies or updates to the web platform are you most excited about?

The advancements in AI are coming along quick and strong!

I’m interested to see how AI will shape the way the web is used in multiple different fields. Previously I built a ChatBot using VueJS to help improve customer engagement, and it’s exciting to see how AI Assistants are rising in prominence across the industry.

Wolfestone Chatbot

Chatbot for Wolfestone

If you could give any advice to junior web developers, what would it be?

Stack Overflow will be your best friend. Every issue you come across, you can guarantee someone else has had the EXACT same problem, and the community has come to the rescue.

Also, learning how to write clean code takes time and effort but it’s worth it. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but I always believe that’s how you improve!

Finally, take time for yourself. When I started out I found myself getting overwhelmed with all the information being thrown my way, but I learned to take a step back and think about issues with a different point of view.