A Day in the Life: Ben Layton
Worcestershire born and raised, which Ben reminds us “is down south somewhere”. He moved up to Ormskirk to attend Edge Hill University after being overwhelmed by the course content that was on offer, accompanied by the beautiful campus. He was originally on the general Computing course, which had such a range of modules in the first year it allowed him to work out exactly what he wanted to do for the rest of the degree.
His favourite out of the bunch was focused on web design and development, which “surprisingly, after having had no previous web experience, I had a real flair for it!” he tells us. It was a no-brainer for him this point onwards to go down the web route, and wasting no time, he decided to switch his degree to the Web Design and Development course the following year.
Some might be guilty of not embracing all the opportunities that their universities put out in front of them when it comes to connecting in with local employers. Ben, on the other hand, recognised the importance of getting yourself out there and finding out who’s who in the industry. Towards the end of his final year, he attended the Computing Careers Fair that the university puts on every year, which was where he met Daniel and Ben from Cleversteam, and not-so-coincidentally is where he is today.
After having had a chat with them both, it soon became quite clear to Ben that Cleversteam sounded like the place he wanted to kick-start his career. “My tutor recommended me to Cleversteam, and I received a phone call to arrange an interview,” Ben reflects. “Shortly after this, I was offered the role of Web Developer! It was clear to me that the team at Cleversteam were passionate about bringing in new talent, they had excellent links with Edge Hill University, from guest lectures to winning Employer of the Year.”
Unlike your usual digital agency, Cleversteam is a part of Smaller Earth Group, which is a group of international businesses within the work and travel industry. “I love the atmosphere here, not just within the office, but within the entire group… despite having offices all around the world, having a shared purpose, vision, and set of values makes it feel like we are one big family,” he explains.
As a Web Developer, his day-to-day involves building web applications and websites using a range of different technologies, but primarily using a framework called Ruby on Rails. “We work on a variety of projects, and we like to work in weekly sprints to manage our projects effectively. Allowing everyone to contribute to as many projects as possible.” Although having been there for just over a year, he’s already leading on a project where he’s in control of organising the weekly sprints, arranging meetings, and keeping in contact with clients.
We could probably all take a leaf out of Ben’s book when it comes to grabbing opportunities by the horns, and making sure our work ethic and passion shine through whenever we’re meeting with potential clients, team members, or employers. We ask him what advice he has for those aspiring to enter the industry as a Web Developer, and with emphasis, he suggests that those who are currently studying whether that’s at university or not, to not “waste your summers” and use your spare time to get ahead of the game and develop your skills.
“You could work on a personal portfolio, get some work experience, or even ask around and see if any friends or family need help with a website. All of this experience not only improves your knowledge and skills, but it also stands out to potential employers.”
Interested in working with Ben and becoming a part of Cleversteam? They’re always on the look-out for Web Developers, whether that’s with or without experience of Ruby On Rails, to join their team.