Thank You Bam Creative

Friday was my last day at Bam Creative. I am starting a new job tomorrow, as a developer at Moodle. It’s pretty exciting. I am an avid consumer of open source, and here’s my chance to contribute while getting paid to do that.

Thanks Miles, I am grateful for the opportunity that you gave me, and for believing in me when I was a rookie developer starting out. I have learned so much during my time at Bam; not just the technical stuff, but also how to be more confident and assertive, how to take on more responsibility, how to multi task and prioritise better, and yes, it has to be said, how to manage stress :P I have learned a lot just by looking at how you interact with clients and by being around everybody at Bam. I loved the high-energy atmosphere and all the fun.

Time really flies. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was about to finish university and was worrying about finding a job in a foreign country. I did have a part time job at Subway as a sandwich artist, but that was more to help me earn some pocket money while studying.

For those who are wondering, a sandwich artist is what Subway calls the person who (hopefully) smiles as you walk in and engages in chitchat while you stare blankly at the hundreds of possible combinations of ingredients that can go into any given sandwich. Luckily, help is at hand. First you get asked what kind of bread you would like, then what cheese, what main filling(s), whether you want everything from the salad bar, whether you would like salt and pepper, and finally what sauce(s) you would like. If you are lucky, the sandwich artist would be skilled enough to make all that fit into the roll. If you are not, everything just falls into your lap while you attempt to take that first bite. I got pretty good at filling sandwiches, mainly because we were each allowed a six inch during our work shift. When you are hungry, you learn pretty quickly how to pack enough ingredients for a foot long into a six inch! The sandwich artist also does everything from preparing the ingredients, to mopping up the floor and taking out the trash at the end of the day. Still sounds artistic and glamorous? Didn’t think so.

I discovered port80 through a lecturer at ECU and I had been reading the forums regularly. Then one day I saw that Bam Creative were looking for a web developer. I applied and was lucky enough to sign an employment contract two weeks later. I got a missed call from Perth Web during my last exam. I rang them back and they asked me whether I could go in for an interview for a regarding a position that I’d applied for a few weeks earlier. It was then that it actually sank in how lucky I was that I already had a job to go to after uni, that I didn’t have to keep looking up job advertisements on seek.

The first few months were basically sink or swim – learn how to interface with SMS gateways, credit card gateways, learn how develop applications of bigger and bigger scope. There was so much to learn, so many things that I had never done before. I will always remember the night that Adam dropped me home at 4:30 AM. He went back to the office, fell asleep on his keyboard, and woke up with a screenful of junk.

There is still so much to learn. The more I learn, the more I discover how little I actually know. For a while I thought that I was pretty good with OOP until I discovered OO design patterns. I’ve been looking at quite a lot of resumés lately, and every time I see a list of technologies and the applicant’s familiarity with each technology, I have to try and put myself in the shoes of the applicant. A fresh graduate’s idea of “expert knowledge of PHP” would be different to someone with 5 years of commercial experience with the same technology. These lists are mostly useful to gauge the applicant’s familiarity with a technology relative to another technology.

Bam Creative has been good to me. I hope that my contribution has benefited Bam as much as Bam has benefited me. I’ll miss you guys – Miles, Drew, Basil, Patima, Teresa, Johanna.

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