New Wibbler – Sophie Briers
Hey there, I’m Sophie, a new Wibbler joining the Wibble web development and support team! I will be focusing on providing support to our customers and getting stuck into developing some projects, also. I am looking forward to my time as a Wibbler and getting the opportunity to build connections within this amazing team and with Wibble’s clients to help me develop my web development skills.
In the simplest form, I’m your average Belfast girl. I love walks by the Titanic Quarter, nights at the beach to catch the sun setting and I love a day wandering around the City Centre. My day-to-day life usually involves spending as much time as I can with my family, being a cool fun aunt to my new little niece, trying to capture pretty skies on my disposable camera and sharing a good bun and a cuppa with my nanny. My life is pretty simple and calm and I always try to keep it that way.
As I mentioned above I come from and live in the city of Belfast, the place that I know so well and I am lucky to have grown up and experienced my biggest life journeys; from educational achievements to now working in a dream job in the heart of my city.
My journey to the design world
My journey to where I am now, working with Wibble, has not been an easy road. From being held back in sixth form and having to complete 3 years of A Levels, I managed to come out top of my year with 2 A* and an A in each of my classes. After that, being rejected from college and having to do a rethink of what I could do – it really wasn’t straightforward. From there, I took a gap year and managed to pick up 3 jobs working from 7 am to 6 pm, 5 days a week, at just 19. One of the jobs offered to me was by my school to help me gain some experience. My role was to cover my school’s designer which gave me my first look into the digital design field and the use of Illustrator and Photoshop. Within this gap year, I also focused mainly on completing further courses such as my maths GCSE that would help me gain a place on my desired college course at North Regional College the following year.
Reapplying for college, I got a place at North Regional College to study in their Foundation Level 5 Web and App Development course. This course involved two years of study and would allow me the opportunity to further apply to a university course from my second year when the time felt right. Covid hit in the middle of my 1st year at NRC which meant once again I had a learning curve with online learning and this was exacerbated with new difficult topics. I finished my course in May 2021 and due to the effects of covid, I only graduated this year top of my class with a distinction.
After weeks of convincing from my tutors and family, I decided to apply to Ulster University with a degree focused on design. In my college course, I mainly focused on UX and UI development & design. In my free time, I taught myself Illustrator by creating and designing some pieces that I could add to my portfolio. I applied for a Bachelor of Design with Honours in both Graphic Design and Interaction Design and after getting offered a place on both courses I decided on the Interaction Design route. I seized the opportunity to gain more knowledge in web design as this is where my interest is and with covid felt I didn’t get the chance to fully submerge myself into this area in my course in college.
What I’ve been up to at Wibble
For my first few weeks, I have been getting to know the basics as the new Wibbler of the team. So far, I have learned that there is much more to a web design and development company than either College or University had taught me. I’ve found out mostly this week about how, we at Wibble, support our clients by providing the Wibble Support Package and you can read more about the fully managed WordPress service here.
With help and guidance from Dervla in my first few weeks, I have been learning the ropes in the role of support work by using the Freshdesk support desk to keep in contact with all of our web design and web development clients. I am also responsible for ensuring we adhere to our SLA – meaning tickets need to be responded to and closed within an agreed period of time.
The support package and getting the opportunity to see how changes and edits are made on sites has been a great learning opportunity. I have enjoyed getting to speak and chat to clients to ensure their requests are being monitored and completed efficiently. Working on the tickets for the past few weeks, I can already tell my role is going to be a challenge but one that I am looking forward to.
The Wibble Support Package
One role that I have jumped straight into is the WSP and something I’ve surprisingly come to really enjoy as I get the chance to have a look through so many websites and monitor a lot of content – which gives me ideas of how different aspects of content can be designed for websites such as buttons or layout of information and images. It is an interesting way to see how every website is different, design-wise, and I find it really fun to explore.
The WSP that Wibble offer covers hosting on our servers, automatic backups and off-server storage, security patches and all required WordPress updates. The job I undertake is to ensure that updates are taken with a thorough check-over of the website pre and post-update. The updates can include the latest WordPress core version, plugins or themes. I then follow up with a further check of everything and a notification to the client to inform them that updates and checks have been carried out on their site. Our fully managed WordPress hosting service offers huge peace of mind to our clients – we take care of all the requirements of ensuring your site is safe, secure and online.
As Dolly Parton would say “Working 9-5 what a way to make a living”
Writing this blog I am currently finishing off my first month with Wibble! The team have made me feel so welcome since I started this whole process. In the interview with Paudie and Dervla, I felt a genuine interest that Paudie wanted to help me gain more knowledge and skills in my desired sector. What really helped me settle in was the week before my start date, I had continuous supportive emails from Dervla and Aisling informing me of what to expect once I was in the office. One month in, and I already feel like I’m part of the team, getting to know just how many culchies I’m surrounded with lol.
So far, this has been a great experience and I don’t doubt that anything about that will change in the near future. I’m excited to get stuck in and become more aware of what happens behind the scenes of the creation and completion of web development and design projects and the upkeep of these also. Already I can tell the effort and time that Paudie and the Wibble team put into each customer’s needs for each site and that everyone at Wibble understands the need to develop a bond with each client.
The Wibble team
I am now coming to my fifth week as a member of the Wibble Team and I already feel I have learnt so much in five weeks here. I have now begun working closely with Tony – another member of the Wibble support team. I currently annoy him constantly for help and guidance but that just shows the type of team that is here at Wibble and one of the reasons why I have enjoyed my time already so much. The support and understanding from the whole team have been so refreshing. To be a part of a workplace where I no longer have that dreaded feeling of coming to work anymore because I know I have a team of amazing designers and developers that understand and have been in the position where I am currently, is incredible.
I look forward to what’s to come in the later months of working here at Wibble and I’m excited about the skills and knowledge I will gain from such an amazing opportunity.
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