Hello there, I’m Shane and I make a 10/10 poached egg! I’ve never watched Breaking Bad! I’m the new Project Manager & Web Developer here at Wibble – meaning I have to change my bio on Instagram to “Full time Wibbler, part time coffee connoisseur”.

I suppose, the only reason I am writing this piece is because it has been sitting on my Asana to-do list for too long. So I have to take the plunge and get typing, so here goes! 

My background

So I was born and reared in a small place on the outskirts of Armagh called Ballymacnab. I’m a sport fanatic, I have played gaelic football most of my life and follow most other sports with my bucket list consisting of attending most sporting events. Ticked off on this list so far is the 2012 London Olympics and the Rugby World Cup in 2015. So, the Six Nations, Ryder Cup and Wimbledon prominent on the events to attend next. So if you know anybody that could get me tickets please email [email protected].

Our new Wibbler, Shane - Wibble Web Design & Development
Rugby World Cup 2015 – In a crowd that would make everyone nervous during these times

As an avid skier I also enjoy getting away to try out a few different mountains and slopes. I have skied in Austria, Canada and France, all of which I would recommend to anybody and it’s something everyone has to try.

Our new Wibbler, Shane - Wibble Web Design & Development
Skiing in the before times

As well as my sporting interests, I have a keen interest in music; I can play the guitar and the bagpipes (that doesn’t mean I’m good at them, it just means I can play them). People like to tell me I can sing too, albeit this is usually at 3am after a few alcoholic beverages.  

I made the big move to Belfast in 2015 when I started studying Business Information Technology at Queen’s University. It was a course that suited me because it combined my interests in business and economics with technology. It exposed me to a lot of different programming languages such as Java, Python, HTML, PHP, Javascript and the frameworks.

As a broad course providing good scope for different career paths from database and data analytics modules, to accountancy and business management, it allowed me to establish the career paths that I didn’t want to follow. 

The professional side…

During my placement year as a Web Developer, my passion for front-end web development was ignited – up until this point I didn’t really know where my career was going to end up. I worked at a web design agency developing bespoke WordPress sites for SME’s. As the sole developer working on projects, I also acted as a project manager. I ensured that sites were developed within time and budget constraints. Being handed different design concepts for each new site was a great challenge and one that I really enjoyed. Along with the satisfaction of launching a website knowing that I built it. 

The problem-solving side of being a web developer was rewarding but being able to manage client expectations was a skill in itself. My experience in customer service meant I was equipped in working with clients. I believe it’s important to get to know clients, develop a rapport which makes for a better mutual understanding. I have also developed a few sites for local businesses in my area because I like to broaden my skillset at every opportunity and challenge myself to unlearn. 

How I ended up here…

After graduating I worked for Haldane Fisher as part of a large e-commerce platform project. This would transform the way the business operates and ensure sustainability for the future. The site was built on the Magento 2 platform and integrated with a PIM and ERP system.

My role was working closely with the e-commerce manager and making sure that each stage of the product development was on course. I also had the responsibility of focusing on the user experience of the site. However, my desire for web development and problem-solving capacities weren’t being exercised so I had to make the jump to progress my career. 

The opportunity to join Wibble presented itself to me around the middle of December. After an hour-long interview with Paudie (when I say interview, it was more of a chat and yes it lasted an hour) I knew that I wanted to work with him and become part of a talented team at Wibble.

I have been aware of Wibble for a couple of years now. Although it isn’t the biggest web design agency in the world, and tends to punch above its weight, it attracted me as quite a funky and enjoyable place to work. Having the specialist WordPress knowledge as well as the design expertise in a small team means it is an environment for continuous self-improvement.

So, after a few days, Paudie offered me the job along with an imperative “I need you before the end of January!”. So immediately I knew this man doesn’t hang about and I’m stepping into a role with a bit of significance when he needs me in the middle of dry January. But obviously I didn’t do dry January this year. Needless to say it was a great end to a fantastic marvellous disgusting 2020 when I was able to look forward to a new job in this cool place to work. 

 Looking forward…

Although I haven’t even been a Wibbler for a month yet, I know I’m going to enjoy my time here. At first, I was apprehensive about starting a new job working from home but the team have been more than helpful in welcoming me. I’m looking forward to getting to the office to actually meet them. Along with making full use of the breakfast club on Friday’s and spanning my knowledge of good coffee.

Our new Wibbler, Shane - Wibble Web Design & Development
For now – My brand new office from home

I know Paudie is going to be a great person to work for, and you might ask why I know this already, well…the last question Paudie asked me before he offered me the job was “PC or Mac?” to which I replied, “PC definitely PC, I’ve never really used a Mac” and he responded by saying “well you’re getting a Mac, I don’t even know why I asked you that!”. So, if that counts as the first battle lost, I look forward to losing more battles in the future. 

My time has been pretty busy so far with lots of different processes to learn but I’m looking forward to continuous learning in both management and web development.  

Ciao for now!