Meet our new apprentice, Gwylim

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We're really excited to introduce a new member of our team, Gwylim Richards! He joins us as an apprentice and has already got stuck in to the day-to-day tasks of an Umbraco agency.

And, what better way to get to know Gwylim than by grilling him about Brace Digital, his thoughts on the Umbraco CMS and what he enjoys outside of work?!

Hi, Gwylim! So, tell us a bit about your career/education to date

I'm a graduate of mechanical engineering, but it took my education to realise that wasn't really for me. I gained an eye for detail and learned an awful lot; my maths and design skills are probably the most transferable, but I had modules about electronics and programmatically manipulating data too which definitely helped! A good amount of the principles used in this industry are also similar to the engineering world; the ideas of the lean organisation and ‘The Toyota Way’ make up a lot of ideas behind DevOps, agile and similar, and it helps me keep on track and understand why things are the way they are.

Sounds like you've got just what it takes (and more!) to succeed in this role. What made you apply for the apprenticeship in the first place?

I wanted to enter the web development industry from the best point possible. Brace Digital provides me with that. Here I get the opportunity, not just to see how professionals work, but how experts work. I want to learn from the best, and there’s no doubt I am.

That's very flattering, thank you. What are you looking forward to learning the most?

I’d say the considerations made behind what we see on the screen at any given moment, so conditional rendering if I were to put my technical (aluminium plated couture) hat on. Websites are ubiquitous to us now, so what decisions are we making as to what is shown on them? It’s something so evocative in that sense, it’s such an important decision and the way to access so much engagement, yet not always considered as such.

Very thought-provoking. What kind of work have you been doing so far?

I’ve been learning how to test effectively, which is of course a very high priority here at Brace Digital. Testing gives me not just insight as to what is expected, but how to achieve it through familiarity with the processes. I’ve also had the opportunity to shadow code being written, and ask questions during that. It’s been absolutely fascinating to see and hear the kind of things experienced professionals do and think while at work -- I actually look forward to work! I’ve also been writing some code to present to Ben and Rick here at Brace Digital, which is very daunting but they have been extremely supportive and always point me in the right direction.

You've definitely been kept busy! What are your initial thoughts on the Umbraco CMS?

I love it. I’ve been making my own websites just to look around it, studying the documentation, looking on the forums, and am already looking forward to looking at their courses. It’s such an unbelievably cohesive and great community, with so many resources. There’s a reason so many people love using it, it’s such an effective augmentation to .NET and C#. Succinctly, I want to work with it for a long time.

It's great to hear that you feel so positively about Umbraco already. Now, tell us something we wouldn't know about you

I (sort of) speak French! I’m somewhere beyond B1 and approaching B2 proficiency level, which basically means I’m pretty good at it but by no means fluent! I still have to think about it before I say most things, but I can read in it pretty well now.

Amazing! Finally, what do you like to do outside of work?

I’m a big fan of Manchester United. Running and cycling have been progressively taking up more and more of my weekends, which I definitely enjoy. I am of course an enormous nerd too, I love reading (non fiction) and designing or playing games. Old technology, like Unix and Windows around the switch to NT are weirdly very exciting to me.

(Here's Gwylim, if you didn't already guess!)

Well, it's been great to get to know you and we can't wait to see you develop in your role!