My first month at Noughts & Ones


Hi 👋🏻 I’m Adam and I’m the new Developer at Noughts & Ones!

I’m currently studying for a master’s degree in machine learning at the University of Bristol, so I'm here part-time over summer while I write my thesis, and hopefully beyond!

A bit of background on me.

I taught myself the basics of HTML and CSS during my computer science undergraduate course and got to the point where I was comfortable enough to take on a few freelance clients - I definitely wouldn’t consider myself an expert and I still have tons to learn! For anyone out there looking to get into the industry, I recommend the books I cut my teeth on - the beautifully presented ‘HTML & CSS’ and ‘JavaScript & JQuery’ by Jon Duckett. 

Despite not actually covering any web stuff as part of my degree, ever since dabbling with it in my own time I have had a passion for it. I’m not going to lie - I’m part of the digital generation and my attention span is a sucker for instant gratification! I think that’s why I love it so much - the feedback of watching a webpage changing dynamically before your eyes as you write code is just so damn satisfying.

I joined Nought & Ones because from my first meeting with director Tom it really seemed like the kind of place I wanted to work - a tight-knit team in a cool office, who were clearly passionate about what they were building with their client (not trying to suck up, I promise…). Plus, they were right in the midst of a rebrand from 'Hive Social’ to the current Noughts & Ones - what better time to get involved?!


My first month...

Despite arriving to some pretty questionable country music on my first day, it became clear pretty quickly that they were doing exactly the kind of work I want to get involved with! Lead developer Joe had written up a really nice training program for me to work through which brought me up to speed with the tools, systems and processes, and I managed to get through it nice and swiftly. I love learning by doing, and just getting on with problems until I can solve them (even if I don’t necessarily have all the knowledge required going into it - thanks Google 🙄), so at this point I was asked if I wanted to get cracking on my first full project: a template-driven Squarespace site for a new client.

There’s no substitute for actually using a software when you’re trying to get to grips with them, so working on this project really helped me form a proper opinion of Squarespace as a platform. Having come from Wordpress development, I can say it’s fantastic! Squarespace really feels like it had a vision for what it wanted to be right from the start, making it super user-friendly whilst retaining the flexibility required when I want to do something custom in CSS or JavaScript.

Working through this particular project forced me to use several features not covered in my basic training, so I learnt a lot from it.

In fact, just before sitting down to write this blog post, I handed ownership of the site over to the client after a successful training session via Skype, with excellent feedback! It felt really good that the guys at N&O were happy for me to work through the project at my own pace, trusting me to provide regular updates so they knew how I was getting along. I did have to ask for help on a couple of things but when I did, they patiently worked things through with me, so I really feel like I’m learning every day. I've come away from this first project with a massive sense of ownership which really pushes me to put my all into it.

I’m delighted to be joining the N&O team. The atmosphere is always chill in the office, the music has improved significantly since that first morning (although there are still some strange playlist decisions - literally, as I write this Free Bird has come on for the second time today and it’s only noon…) and I’m looking forward to what’s coming in the future!

For now, I'll leave you with this...

TeamAdam Matheson