My experience as a Web Developer
I've been coding, planning, fixing and managing web projects for a few years now. My working life started when I got into college: at first I was hired to manage content for a website and provide customer support but soon I was lending my expertise on web technologies to help the company grow.
Sadly, I had to leave my job behind when I moved to a new town with my future wife, a few months ago. By then, I was managing a team of talented developers, writing code for dozens of websites (client and server side) and a mobile app, helping maintain the company's servers and even giving a hand on the development of a Windows application.
Currently, I'm looking for new challenges and projects to work on. I've been freelancing a bit and working on personal projects but what I really want is to become part of a team again, share my knowledge and learn new things. If you have any questions or just want to let me know you're hiring, leave me a message.
I am also eligible for an IEFP internship.
With dozens of websites to work on, a Windows software in constant need of attention, a bunch of servers to manage and an ongoing project to develop a mobile betting app, work quickly started to pile up. We had to make some changes regarding the management and development process of our projects.
Freelance web developers weren't cutting the mustard anymore and I was put in charge of finding suitable people to become part of our web development team. By the time I left, I was leading a group of five talented developers in a quasi-agile environment.
With the growing need for the production of new websites and maintenance interventions on the existing ones I finally got to code actively, rewriting and building websites from the sketches provided by our designers. At this stage we still had to resort to outsourced developers but I doubled as the lead developer and Project Manager for most of the time.
During this time we managed to start dropping the problematic Ruby on Rails technology in favor of the more stable PHP, hire the best sysadmin I have ever known so far and solve most of the serious problems plaguing our development process. This was the time we really started to push forward.
This was also the time when we came in touch with an aspiring developer that had started exploring Betfair's sportsbetting API. We partnered with him in order to make a Windows application suitable for sportsbetting and trading on Betfair. Although I did not write any of the final code for this software, I did write some proof of concept webapps that set the path for the first release and some pseudo-code for most of its features. Unfortunately we were not allowed by Betfair to make a web app version of our Windows software and working with a SOAP API was no easy task.
Due to my knowledge in sportsbetting and Forex trading I was put in charge of content management for these areas, particularly the Forex website I helped develop. I was responsible for coordinating the web design agency in charge of the frontend and the freelance Ruby on Rails developer making the CMS.
Later on, the need to refresh our websites' image arose and once again I was entrusted with the management of the process due to my knowledge in web technologies and I got to work with outsourced frontend and backend developers along with our own designers.
I started working for those who would quickly become Betfair's top affiliates on late 2008. At first I would provide customer support at message boards. Soon I was involved in the plans to extend the company's sphere of influence into new areas of business like Poker and Forex trading. At this time our websites were being developed by web agencies and thus my role in the whole process was limited.
Ever since I was young, I have had some fascination about computers, computer networks and the web. I spent my early and mid teens tinkering with computers, exploring software and hardware, there was simply nothing I would not want to tear apart and look into (from my SEGA Dreamcast to all the computers I have owned to date, plus some that weren't mine). By this time, Internet was a scarce commodity and I had to make do with what little browsing time we had at school (plus the time I spent on a LAN gaming center close-by) and a 56k dial-up connection at home every once in a while.
With such reduced Internet time, I ended up learning a tiny bit of code with an older friend of mine that was already in high school, studying some ancient languages like Pascal and ActionScript. Shortly before entering high school I finally got to spend some more time exploring the web with my 256kbps that would barely allow me to chat with my friends on MSN Messenger, write posts for our blog where I first started messing around with HTML and CSS and search for solutions on how to make things work on Flash MX 2004 (the last one by Macromedia) and later with my Ubuntu installation.
While in high school I really started to grow into the computer geek I am today. I got a nice desktop to replace the obsolete laptop with a broken screen that I called my PC, a reliable Internet connection at home (not so much at school) and later even a brand new laptop that I covered in spray and UV paint (instead of Toshiba, it would read "Arm The Homeless" on the back, sweeeeet). I was really into computer hardware at the time, assembling, disassembling, modding and overclocking computers. In fact, one of my senior year's projects made it into a school exhibition: a painted, drilled and dremelled computer chassis with an acrylic window, UV lamps and an absurd amount of cooling fans. I also started to look a bit more into computer networks (Wi-Fi was booming at the time), working around the school's intranet, helping a friend set up a wireless bridge across a 600 meter wide field, hacking people's Wi-Fi networks and finding my way around Windows Server.
When the time came to decide upon my future, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to study in computer science. Shortly after getting into college (Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Coimbra), I met those who would become my employers, a fact that would severely change both my academic and professional careers. On my first semester I was taught C/C++, coding fundamentals and some best practices which I found useful later on but not so much then - I grew used to read spaghetti code due to the amount of time I spent coding with TI-BASIC in high school, indentation really wasn't on my mind. Meanwhile, I was working almost full-time albeit with a fixed work schedule. On my second semester I got to learn a bit more about common algorithms, object-oriented programming and the MIPS assembly language but I wanted more, I had also gained some interest in web technologies and coding for the web. Unfortunately, no courses at the time really got into programming for the web and thus started my journey of self-education that ultimately led me to drop out of college.
I still value everything I was able to learn while attending classes at the time, for they set me on the right path to find what I really wanted to do professionally. But my passion for coding really sprung from the work I was doing for some pocket change back then. When I met my employers they were establishing themselves as the top Betfair affiliates in Portugal. I started by giving customer support at their website regarding sportsbetting (especially Betfair Trading) and later Forex Trading. My input on technological matters was greatly valued and my proficiency in coding granted me the unofficial role of internal consultant. I had the chance to strongly develop my skills on HTML, client and server side programming, webservers and much more. I worked with some of the best and the worst web developers and sysadmins out there and every day I got to learn new things while trying to keep up with the swift changes of the web environment.TL;DR
I have always been a computer geek and I got hired by a web startup company little after I got into college. In the six years I've worked for this company I had the chance to develop my skills on almost everything web-related. I helped to create websites, manage teams of developers and create a Windows and an Android/iOS application from the ground up. There's a lot of stuff I have done over the years but much more I still want to do. If you're interested in hiring a passionate web developer, leave me a message.
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