Web Specialist, UpSpring PR
By MAXX Potential
Parker worked as an Apprentice for a year and a half, attaining Level 3 Apprentice status while gaining valuable on-the-job tech experience. He exited MAXX Potential to work at UpSpring PR as a Web Specialist.
What were you doing before MAXX Potential? What drew you to pursue a career in technology?
Before MAXX Potential, I was working in design and customer services jobs. The choice to pursue technology was sparked by a desire to grow and further progress in those types of roles. I experienced roadblocks for consideration of those roles. I did not have the technical skill sets for them and lacked an understanding and mentorship of how to begin and work to obtain them.
Can you talk about what you’re currently working on? What are some of your job responsibilities?
I am working on a web team that is housed under my company’s creative team. Personally it’s been really great for me to still be around the creative conversations and assist with those tasks as team responsibilities ebb and flow.
Primarily I am working through client websites, conducting audits of websites, strategizing a sitemap and wire-frames of their homepage, and working through the actual build/re-build of the site and continuing site maintenance. This does vary a bit from client to client and scope of the project. The builds themselves shift between a few different platforms; primarily Squarespace, and WordPress.
However we just launched our company’s first Webflow build for a client, and it was a big win to get through the challenges of an entirely new-to-everyone platform and be able to see the potential it has for us moving forward. It was a really challenging build, and it was a really great experience to become the company’s expert on the Webflow build on one of my first projects.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your current role?
There is absolutely so much encouragement for continued learning and growth. Coming into this role, I had very little exposure to the depth of UX strategy and to some of our site platforms. I’ve grown tremendously in the last few months and learned so much in that time.
Webflow was something that I had never heard of before, and now the client has a complete and elaborate site. The sense of accomplishment I get each time another hurdle is crossed alongside the feedback from the team and my client is so so so nice!
How do you keep your skills up to date? What’s the best way to learn new concepts, technologies, programming languages, etc.?
I think maybe this is a bit easier now in this role, as so much of it is “the task at hand”. There will be an idea or request thrown around and then it moves into researching if something is possible and how do you build it. If it is not possible, how close can we get?
This all reminds me of a lot of what I learned at MAXX Potential – that you can’t learn just by studying, to really understand something you have to build it yourself. And there becomes a lot of that! A few times it has been “We tried and built and tested x, y, and z. Ultimately the client went with Option A. But now I have the resources and familiarity with x, y, and z.”
In trying to research those requests I have also stumbled upon a lot of other ideas or functions that seem interesting. There are dozens of tutorials, forums, and channels, and while maybe this thing isn’t actually a solution I’m looking for, it is still a great idea of what the potential is for other strategies.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone early in their IT career or looking to get their start?
Everything is figure-outable, but pick one thing first.
You will be able to research and study and test to figure out anything you are working on. It’s probably going to be frustrating and confusing, but you’ll have an epiphany a few days later when doing something else and it will all click. The trick though is to keep moving in the same direction and have a solid grasp before moving on. A loose knowledge of things doesn’t help much, but a deep understanding of a topic relates to other topics you wouldn’t expect.