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A Day in the Life of...A UI (User Interface) Developer

June 4, 2018

 

Welcome to our fourth post in this monthly feature. We are excited to discover and share insider views of professional and personal expereinces of all types! This month we present our first-ever peek into the technical realm with a feature by CA Cooke, a UI developer.

 

1. What is your job title or the title of your hobby/volunteer work? 

 

UI (User Interface) Developer. User Interface (UI) Developers take website designs and make them actually work on screen. We are what make the pages interactive.

 

2. How long have you been doing this work? 

 

18 years

 

3. Why did you choose this work? 

 

IT pays well and I was working as a security officer when my first wife was going to school. I had a growing family and needed something better paying.

 

4. What, if any, skills or training are required or sought out?

 

I went to a tech school for it, but as long as you have demonstrable skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can get an entry-level position.

 

5. What does a typical day (shift, etc.) entail? 

 

Meetings. Some more meetings. A little bit of coding. A lot of code reviewing. And meetings.

 

6. What do you feel are the pros of this work? 

 

It is one of the few areas in which you do not need a degree to get into. As long as you can learn, you can advance.

 

7. What do you feel are the cons of this work? 

 

Did I mention meetings? 

 

8. Would you recommend this work to others? Why or why not? 

 

It depends on the person. I moved around a lot during the tech bubble burst, which was kind of fun, but it strained relationships. Also, don't expect to be with a company for longer than a few years. Most places hire UI Developers on a project basis. It can be hard to juggle that and get decent health insurance.

 

9. If someone was interested in this work, what are the first steps they should take? 

 

Learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript (and a number of its frameworks; Angular is particularly hot right now). Get some practical experience for free that you can show off.

 

10. Finally, which experience from this work stands out the most to you? (A learning opportunity? Specific training? A crazy event?) 

 

In 18 years of IT work, I was laid off at least 8 times. It's a finicky business.

 

11. (Optional) Is there anything else you’d like to add that wasn’t addressed above? 

 

One of the great things about doing work in IT is you can work in any industry. I worked in Health Care, Insurance, Petroleum, Software/Website development, eCommerce, and Automotive. I was the (sadly) the second choice for a position in one of the libraries at Yale, and the second choice (I'm seeing a pattern) for a position at Sikorsky. You can work in any industry if you work as a developer.

CA Cooke lives in CT with his wife and children, where he spends days writing and developing websites, and his nights pondering the secrets of the universe via belly button lint.

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