To best describe my first month working as a Wibble employee (Wibbler), it’s best for you to get a bit of back story on myself. I spent the majority of my childhood and teen years living in the countryside, the town consisted of one pub and it’s the kind of town were everyone knows everyone. Basically the only thing to do was to head to the pub, but even then you’re at risk of bumping into the same 5 faces and having the same conversation that you had yesterday. Flash forward to my university years, I studied up in Coleraine at the Ulster University. I lived in a pretty modern apartment by the sea (an ideal retirement spot), for half the price of some of the run down student houses in Belfast. How the other half live!

Up until just over a month ago, the most I saw Belfast was usually my annual shopping trip for the Boxing Day sales. I traded my 50 yard walk to the beach for a 50 yard walk to City Hall. You know what, I love it. I may not know all the niche and hipster coffee shops, like my fellow colleagues but I’m getting there one coffee at a time. I even purchased myself a travel coffee cup, I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement somewhere in the employee handbook. In case it wasn’t clear food & coffee will be a predominant theme in this post.

Travel Coffee Cup - Blog: One month as a Wibbler

Transition

For me the biggest change from work at University to working at Wibble, is the professional workflow. Gone were the days of showing up an hour late and treating myself to a pint after 5 minutes coding. This information might give off lazy vibes but I can ensure you, this only happened about 60% of the time. The other 40 I was hard at work.

I spent my time at University, trying to perfect my craft of developing in PHP, HTML & CSS. I wasn’t aware that there was so much more to WordPress than installing a theme and changing the content. So for me it has been a great learning experience and it couldn’t be any easier with the team and resources I have at Wibble, (I probably owe everyone a coffee with the amount of questions I ask). This great team has made my transition from University to the professional working life seamless and for that I’m thankful.

Projects and Wibble Rescue Package

After a week of on-boarding, I was thrown right into the deep end. I prioritise a good part of my day to responding to client tickets and pushing any changes to their sites that they require. A lot of people (myself included) can think that a web design and development company only creates websites, but in fact a lot of our clients come from our Wibble Rescue Package. I recently on-boarded my first client. Transferring the domains and hosting to our servers, it’s all very technical but that’s why you choose us to do all that for you (self-plug).

In my short time here I’ve been able to be involved in numerous projects. This is the sort of stuff I love, getting my teeth stuck into coding. I’ve recently launched a one-page site for the Swell Project and currently developing a new site for a local grammar school, St. Mary’s CBGS. It’s been great implementing my skills with the WordPress style of developing.

There are many benefits being a part of a small development company as opposed to a big corporate machine, for one I know everyone I work with, from my seat I can see everyone without turning my head. The biggest benefit of our small group is the feedback, I can annoy Paudie all day for feedback and advice (he’s unfortunately placed as my desk neighbour).

Food & Coffee

If there’s one thing I love more than coding it’s FOOD! If my house was on fire I’d grab the food from my fridge before my girlfriend (I’m not evil, realistically she can run out of the house by herself). If there’s one thing Belfast isn’t short of, it’s places to eat. Turns out Karl is an encyclopedia of all the best places to eat. In my first week we went to a Japanese restaurant called Yugo, apparently the big craze is dumplings and they were not wrong. Even the bread they gave you was incredible and get this, each item of food comes out when its ready not at the same time. The Japanese are clearly just miles ahead of us!

Paudie treats us to breakfast every Friday, not many work places literally feed my food addiction. Big shout out to my new favourites Tim Horton’s, who knew chipotle sauce on a breakfast muffin was the greatest combo? I think the best part of breakfast every week, is when Karl asks “So what’s everyone up to this weekend?”. I literally plan my weekend around having something cool to say for my answer. On the topic of Karl, Boojum! A bit of background, up until about 3 weeks ago I had never had a Boojum. Being from Northern Ireland and not having a Boojum, is like being Spanish and never eating tapas. I thought I ate a lot but after one burrito I was wrecked for the day, like physically drained! I could only have one of those a week maybe every 2 weeks, for Karl that’s just a normal day. That man goes through a burrito (at this rate) a day, like its nothing!

Boojum - Blog: One month as a Wibbler

As mentioned above, you need to like coffee or at least be like Stephen and like the idea of coffee but go to coffee shops for hot chocolate. Luckily for me, coffee is what got me through my final year at University so this isn’t an issue. My current go-to, OH! Donuts. We even have custom emoji’s for OH! in our slack channel, the best part of the any day is when that OH! emoji pops-up (essential it’s a bat signal, to go buy coffee).

OH! Donuts - Blog: One month as a Wibbler

Hay-fever

A weird topic to talk about in this blog, but it references my only complaint about the job. As I live in the countryside my hay-fever is as bad as it gets. Summer is hell, the amount of tissues I go through leaves a permanent redness around my nose but that doesn’t even come close to the amount of sneezing and crying I do in work. You’d think being in the city this wouldn’t be the case, there’s not a bit of hay in sight! The building is out to get me and they pumping pollen scented air conditioning into our office. I’ve sneezed on total 196282 times since working and Dean said he suffers really bad from hay-fever, I haven’t heard him sneeze once, in fact I don’t think anyone has sneezed other than me in my time here. In case it wasn’t clear, this wasn’t a serious complaint.

To Sum it Up

University was great and will always stay with me as some of my greatest memories, but I couldn’t wait to jump straight into my working career and I know I jumped into the right workplace. With a team of truly great and talented people, essentially carrying me for the last few weeks and the added bonus of paid breakfast every Friday, I’m glad I found Wibble. I know it’s said not to get your hopes up for things in case you get let down, but after my interview with Paudie, I knew this was the job for me and this past month proven me right. Working till retirement is always a scary thought especially given that I’m only 23, not thirty as some may have believed *cough cough* Paudie (it must be the beard), that being said (insert cliche here) I wake everyday happy to go to work cause I love my job.