Meet Chris Rouxel, our new Developer. In the following interview, he discusses how he fell in love with programming, proudest project moment and how he likes his eggs!
How did you get into development?
I actually learnt to code during college, in-between art classes!
There was this amazing thing called GeoCities, where you could get a website for free. I spent quite a bit of time playing around with it and developed basic coding skills.
After studying, I landed a job as an editorial assistant and this included some web development and maintenance.
My passion just snowballed from there, really.
What skills do you need to be effective in your role?
You need to have a strong desire to learn because things move so fast within this industry.
You also need to be okay with challenges. Sometimes, clients or colleagues come back and ask me to do things differently – it happens in any collaborative role. As a developer, you must listen to feedback and act on it, without getting defensive.
What else? Prioritise attention to detail and patience. You can look at a piece of code and think you’ve done everything right, but there’s still an issue buried somewhere. It’s about having the perseverance to dig through and find it.
What do you love about your job? What’s difficult?
I love that no two days are the same – you’re always working with a new client or on a new project, especially in an agency environment.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to achieve a client’s exact vision – code can be tricky to manipulate. When this happens, it can leave people frustrated.
However, there’s always an alternative option that works just as well. At the end of the day, it’s about communication and finding solutions to problems that work for both parties.
What’s your coding pet peeve?
What are you learning right now?
Laravel – I haven’t used it much in the past.
I’m excited to sink my teeth into it.
What project are you most proud of?
I worked on a cross-media marketing campaign for Aspers Casino. My job was to create a little animation for it, which was great fun.
The project was complex because there were loads of restrictions. For example, the animation had to be a certain file size while retaining fidelity. There was an exceptional sense of achievement when it was completed because it seemed impossible to start with.
A little while after, a friend sent me a video of my animation on the big screen outside Westfield Stratford. Sharing my work like that with the world, or at least a specific part of east London, was incredible!
What makes a great workplace for you?
Team spirit. When I come into work, I want to have a great team around me, supporting me when things are tough and pushing me to be my best.
What was your first ever job?
I was a bag packer at Tesco – a redundant role now with self-checkouts.
What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
It was a guitar, an Ibanez RG.
I was with my parents when I spotted it – I fell in love immediately. However, my parents said if I wanted it, I had to save up.
I appreciated the value of things afterwards, that’s for sure! It’s a really lovely instrument though, so it was worth every penny.
Who’s someone you really admire?
This might sound a bit corny but I admire my daughter – partly for putting up with me!
She’s eight years old and an incredible person. I remember her screaming at 2am and now we’re having proper conversations. That just blows my mind.
Do you have a surprising or unique hobby?
I love video games and stream on Twitch.tv. I’m also looking at expanding to Mixer, which is a similar platform.
I have a decent following which is astonishing because people are watching me do something I enjoy. I get to have fun and share my passion with others.
What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before?
I dream of buying a house.
What’s the best place you’ve ever visited?
Budapest was amazing – we went up and down the Danube and checked out the visitor attractions. It’s a remarkably colourful and vibrant place.
Then, there’s Rome. It was mind-boggling, in a good way. Everywhere I wanted to go was five minutes away from where I was! I’d randomly turn a corner and see a coliseum or the Pantheon.
How do you like your eggs?
They should be a little bit runny so they don’t overcook, served with a white farmhouse loaf, a little salt and pepper and Tabasco if you’re feeling spicy.
Chris Rouxel’s cool links
Want to be a successful developer? Then take a look at Chris’s favourite learning resources and tools below.
PhpStorm – IDE: PhpStorm deeply understands code and is perfect for working with Symfony, Drupal, WordPress, Zend Framework, Laravel, Magento, Joomla!, CakePHP, Yii, and other frameworks.
Postman – API tool: Through design, testing and full production, Postman is there for faster, easier API development—without the chaos.
Ken Wheeler: Master coder and music maker.
Professor Elemental: Chap-hop beats to listen to whilst working.