Meet hundo's junior web developer: Peyton Pocock

Find out about Peyton's web development role at hundo.

Hailing from rural Cornwall, Peyton found his role at hundo as a remote working tech opportunity. Now, he is a core member of hundo’s tech team and is here to tell you all about what the job involves.

Who are you and what do you do for hundo!
I am Peyton and I am a 19 year old website developer. I am currently maintaining the hundo website and working on various other projects like the newsletter, campus, and CareerCon. At hundo we use a tool called Webflow which is where I spend most of my time. I live in Cornwall in the south, west of the UK, and work remotely using platforms like Google meet and slack to communicate with everyone at hundo.

What were you doing before hundo and how did you find us?
About a year ago, at the start of 2021, I finished a course at college studying lens based media. While I don’t really use the camera skills I learnt during my course, it did help me discover my passion for web design and development. Instead of displaying our work in a physical art portfolio, we had to create and maintain a digital copy of our college work on a website. It was while adding to my digital college portfolio that I realised I really enjoyed maintaining my own website which prompted me to learn more about it.

In the months after completing my college course, I started learning the different tools that go into creating websites and digital experiences. I made a few sites for friends & family and was able to start freelancing my skills to people in my local community as well as international clients.

I was having a conversation with a close family friend about the difficultly of finding tech roles, especially as a young person and with her help I was very lucky to find hundo. Finding a tech job is sometimes even more difficult living in a fairly remote area, there can be few opportunities for local tech roles.

What advice would you give a young person about finding a job?
Look for as many opportunities as you can and speak to the people around you! You never know when someone might hear of a job. Keep looking online, many services like “Google jobs” can send you a notification when something suitable comes up. Something that really helped me was building a portfolio of work and really getting yourself out there and noticed by the companies you want to work with. This could mean interacting with their LinkedIn posts or reaching out through a friendly email. In general, stay open minded and also try not to get too hung up on finding the absolute perfect job, you could always find something that interests you and move to your dream job when something suitable comes up.

Do you have any highlights so far working at hundo and have you faced any challenges?
Absolutely, there have been lots of highlights and challenges so far. Something I didn’t anticipate being so important are the communicational skills I would be using so frequently to be able to articulate my thoughts and problems. For me, this also included talking to the whole group about my wins and losses at the end of each week. This is something I definitely struggled with at first and have gotten better at over time. An incredible highlight for me are the skills I’ve managed to develop so far; I’ve really been able to expand on my coding skills with support from the hundo tech team. I have also been really fortunate to be offered help with transport and accommodation, allowing me to visit the office in London (definitely a very different experience from the countryside I’m used to).

What tips would you give someone who hasn’t worked before and who is about to start their first job?
Similar to my last tip, talk to people… you never know who might be able to help you out with a problem you're struggling with or even be able to teach you something new. Personally, I’m also very forgetful so I keep a log of everything I need to do week-by-week as well as any other general notes I might need. I always try to stay open-minded and willing to complete new tasks, trying to solve new problems is how I found what I really enjoy doing.

Outside of hundo, you do a lot of other things such as working on a passenger boat and helping out at your local theatre. Can you tell everyone more about what you do?
Generally, I spend about half my week working for hundo and the other half working on a passenger and cargo ferry called the Scillonian. The ship travels to a group of local islands off the far south, west of the UK. In my spare time, I help at a local theatre helping operate their sound systems and, of course, I also really enjoy making websites for people and socialising with friends and family. I value keeping busy with loads of different tasks because it stops me from getting burnt out or bored of any one thing. Below, an image of the Scillonian ship in front of the St Micheal’s Mount castle in Mount’s Bay.

The Scillonian III ship in Mount's Bay.

How do you balance your work life and your personal life, while balancing your other jobs?
I’m very lucky that both jobs (web development at hundo and my other job working on a ship) are broken up between alternate days. This helps keep things fresh for both jobs. Similarly, I have found in the past if I work most of the week doing the same thing I can easily get burnt out so this schedule has been very helpful in allowing me to continually stay motivated for both jobs. Go out and about with friends, family, or just solo explore, it’s a perfect time to reflect and process your thoughts!

How can employers best support you and other young people who start working for their company?
I believe that employers can best support young people by providing as many opportunities as they can. I’ve been super lucky at hundo that they have been very kind in offering contributions for work travel and accommodation as well as helping me build on my coding skills throughout my employment. I also think that allowing young people to be creative and express their ideas is really powerful step towards developing their skills, experience, and professional opinions.

Do you have any advice for working from home?
I’m incredibly forgetful so I find it very helpful to keep organised notes as much as I can and keep track of my work - I use both physical and digital note taking, one really good app is Trello. This helps me not forget literally everything that I need to get done and helps get them done on time. Another super helpful tip for working from home is to maintain a regular sleep schedule and daily routine. This has massively helped me get into a regular rhythm of getting stuff done and not get too distracted.

Have you always wanted to work in the tech sector?  
Yes! In school I was a member of a lego engineering club, which saw me coding robots to do small tasks in a competition setting. Going on to college, I also really enjoyed filming and editing video / audio. I now help at a local theatre to maintain their audio playback speaker system. And, of course, helping to maintain the website for I’ve always found myself fascinated by the freedom computers allow to automate and efficiently solve different problems. I think I also really enjoy using computers for creative expression such as digital art, music, and visual & sound effects.

What do you want to achieve in 2022?
I am currently in the process of applying for university to further my digital media skills. Another aspiration of mine this year is to take on more personal freelance web development projects. I think both of these will massively help provide more options and opportunities for future collaborations with other digital designers and creatives. Long term I would love to be a part of a large creative studio working on a wide range of digital projects. I think this is something that would both be super fun to work on while still being challenging and interesting.

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