After working with us for seven years as a freelancer, Sciad is excited to welcome Paul Coates as a member of our team.  We’ve interviewed him about his journey into web development, what makes him a great web developer and his advice for companies looking to set up or refresh their own website.  

How did you get into becoming a web developer and working with Sciad? 

I started making websites for fun back in 1999, these were hobby websites made through site builders; the internet just fascinated me. Years later, after college, and into university I turned that into making them commercially for people. I started Pixel Pie in 2008 and started working with Sciad in 2017, specialising in Drupal sites.  

What skills do you have that make you a good web developer? 

I’m quite organised, analytical and patient. So that lends itself well to problem solving and fixing bugs. 

What do you most enjoy about your work and why? 

I enjoy making things work and fixing things in a digital environment. Although creativity is traditionally associated with designers, I think a technically creative mind is essential for website development, so I enjoy being creative with the solutions I build. 

How do you keep up with the latest news and trends? 

To avoid bias I try to not stick to one source when it comes to keeping up to date.  I find having contacts in your field of expertise as well as dipping in and out of various news sources gives me a good overview of what to look out for. 

What do you do to relax? 

In my free time I watch a lot of live music, and I’ve played in a few bands over the years. Every Christmas I play in a band where we do ramshackle covers of Christmas songs, everything from the Mariah Carey classic to 16th century carols. Where I live there’s not much of a music scene, so watching bigger bands almost always means travelling out of town. Before I head to the venue, I’ll go and browse a record shop, or seek out the nearest art gallery where there’s always something that interests me. 

What advice would you give to a company thinking about a new website? 

My advice for any company thinking of a new website would be to firstly be clear about what you want the main goal of the website to be, even if it’s as simple as generating leads. Then, make sure you know who your ideal customer is. These two things inform the design, content and structure of the site. Lastly, the majority of traffic visiting websites is usually mobile (depending on your customer of course!) so I find it always helps to think mobile-first when planning a website. This forces you to prioritise elements and to keep it as simple as possible. 

If you’re interested in working with Paul and our web team to build your own website get in touch for a consultation!  

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Photo of Amy Thomas