You might’ve noticed that the Pragmatic team has grown substantially over the past couple of years. We’re now proud to have over 50 members in the Pragmatic team, either working remotely or in our Brighton office. But who are they, and what do they do?! We’re asking various members of the team (new and old, and in different business functions) to share what they do at Pragmatic. Kicking this off, is one of our Support Developers, Tom Reed!
Hey! I’m Tom, and I started working in the Pragmatic Support department in July this year, having previously worked in marketing, graphic design and web development roles. My main role includes answering support tickets and ensuring client sites run smoothly on a daily basis. I also work on new site builds that fall into the Support team remit.
My journey to working at Pragmatic first began in September 2016 during the Brighton Digital Festival. Pragmatic hosted an Open Studios afternoon with a series of talks that included working in web development and for a digital agency. After meeting the friendly team at Pragmatic and a very insightful afternoon, I felt inspired to learn more and pursue a career in web development further.
Fast forward to July 2017, and after attending monthly WordPress meetups (Brighton Word Up) and developing my knowledge further with online training platforms, I began working at Pragmatic! I was very excited to be joining the team and couldn’t wait to start.
After a short commute, I arrived at the offices for my first day where I immediately met our founder/managing director, Dave Lockie. After setting up my desk I was invited into a stream of different Slack channels where I was warmly welcomed by my new colleagues. My first day coincided with the Support team starting to use a different support ticketing system called Freshdesk, and I set to work on customising this to fit the Pragmatic website theme.
This tool has been crucial to us in the 3 months that we’ve been using it. It allows clients to easily log an issue as if they were sending a regular email, and allows us to manage and track these tickets and respond quickly and efficiently.
Within my first week, I was getting to grips with on-boarding sites and working locally to fix issues logged in Freshdesk. I then pushed these changes using Git to the staging site for client feedback, and once approved then applied these changes to the live site. It’s a seamless process, but the functionality took some getting used to particularly as I had never used Git before.
I was introduced to a new task that the Support team were also now responsible for – “DNS Management”. Our web host WP Engine are migrating their servers which therefore requires all hosted websites to make a DNS change to allow for this. This is an ongoing project as servers are migrating in phases, which is lucky as there are a lot of clients to contact!
I was already really enjoying my time at Pragmatic, working in an environment that encourages creativity and positivity.
After a few weeks, I was becoming much more familiar with using Git to track and push changes to sites. I was also introduced to Sass, which I’ve found much easier to use than regular CSS scripting as it allows you to nest code, set colour variables, and much more.
I began working on my first solo build at Pragmatic, working to the client’s brief and designs. I enjoyed this a lot as it allowed me to put into action the new things I had been learning about Git, Sass and WordPress itself.
At the end of July, Pragmatic also held their first summer party, which was a great social event that involved taking part in a Pragmatic/Brighton-themed treasure hunt – this was a lot of fun! After this, we went to St Ann’s Well Garden in Hove for an evening of fun and games, delicious BBQ food and plenty of drinks! This was a great opportunity to get to know my colleagues outside the office environment.
First 3 Months
Now that I’m three months into my time here at Pragmatic, I can confidently say that I have learned so many new things. The idea of Git, Sass and Gulp were all alien to me, but I’m now comfortable using these daily on a range of different sites.
The WordCamp Brighton event has also taken place, which Pragmatic were sponsors of and where a few of my colleagues were also speakers. This was my first web event and was a great experience. Read more about what I took away from the event on the WordCamp Brighton blog post.
Another new experience for me was being given time once a month to work on personal projects – “PragLabs”. This can be anything you want and everyone is encouraged to work in a team to create and deliver something that hasn’t been done before. I started creating a new WordPress theme that will allow clients to test out new plugins in a live environment, and I’ve also created a Google Chrome extension that provides easy access to a sites admin panel and install page; something we were doing manually in Support every day!
During this time I have also completed my first solo build and go live which was very exciting, and I’ve worked on lots of different client sites fixing any issues and implementing new functionality. I’m thoroughly enjoying my time at Pragmatic so far and my knowledge is rapidly increasing. I know that my colleagues are always on hand if I need them, and nothing is ever too much trouble for them. I’m also really looking forward to moving offices soon, further into the centre of Brighton and into a space that is being built around our own requirements as a creative digital agency.
I would like to say thank you to all at Pragmatic for a great start to my career at this company! 🙂