A Day in the Life of an App Developer at Cantarus
4 min read
In a series of blogs about what life is like at Cantarus, we had a chat with our App Developer, Caitlin, to find out what she gets up to in her day-to-day role at the agency.
Hey Caitlin! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your role at Cantarus?
I’m a Developer here at Cantarus working on our Products team, mainly focusing on the MemConnect and app side of things. I actually started working at the agency as a placement student for a year back in July 2019 and had about 9 months of full-time office work before the pandemic hit and we transitioned to working from home. I then returned to a full-time position after finishing my degree in September 2021, and I haven’t looked back since!
Outside of work, I spend my free time either climbing or playing Quidditch!
Talk to us about your background and how you got into your current role…
My interest in STEM started in school – I took Computing at GCSE which I really enjoyed, and I had a great teacher who really inspired me to continue it further at A-Level. I actually almost studied Maths at university, but I knew there would be loads of career opportunities in tech, so I chose to study Computer Science at The University of Manchester in the end – thankfully!
My degree was a 4-year course with a placement year and Cantarus seemed like the perfect fit for that.
What attracted you to work at Cantarus?
I was at a careers fair when I first came across Cantarus. I loved the fact that we’re still a fairly ‘small’ agency – so I knew I’d have my skills properly utilised and be given real projects as opposed to just being pushed to one side. I wanted to be thrown into the deep end!
I also liked the fact we’re such a diverse agency. Having come from a degree where only 1/5th of the lectures were attended by women, I think it’s great that Cantarus has such a wide range of team members with all sorts of skillsets and backgrounds, and really celebrates women in tech.
What does a typical working week look like for you?
Due to the nature of working at a digital agency, a typical working week can be a real mixture! But that’s how I like it.
Even though I work on the Products team, so often spend a lot of time working on one project, I’m still able to work with a wide range of clients on the app side of products, including the College of Optometrists and a US-based global top-ten university.
So, whether I’m working on a change request, developing new features, bug fixes, interacting with clients, or even building a whole new app, my day-to-day role can be such a mixed bag.
What kind of skills would you say are most important for the role of an App Developer?
That’s a really interesting question! Specific skills that I’d say are most important for the role would be things like teamwork, logic, problem-solving, and a good attitude to coding – those are all a must.
I also think having softer skills such as communication can be really beneficial (for example, I’m occasionally client-facing) but this isn’t as essential.
What have you recently been working on? Is there anything that you are most proud of or excited about?
Lots of stuff! I jump around our clients doing various bits and pieces. Most recently, I added a maintenance page feature to our apps, meaning that if a client wants to change any content or switch the app off temporarily, we can turn on the feature in the back end and have a ‘come back soon’ page display on the app.
I was involved with this from start to end which was really cool, and to see it live and see clients using the feature is really rewarding.
What’s the best bit about your job?
I’d say the most rewarding part of my job is when I’m stuck on a problem or I’ve been working on an issue for days, and I finally figure it out!
I also love the whole ecosystem within the team; I can literally turn around at my desk and talk to anyone, no matter the structure of job roles, and know I can ask for help and bounce ideas around.
In general, it’s just a great office culture, everyone’s so friendly and there’s a real sense of community.
And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you have for anyone looking to get into a similar role?
Give coding a go! You don’t need someone to teach you how to code, nor do you have to do anything fancy to get into the field.
Start off with the basics such as picking up a language like Python and get yourself familiar with coding. There’s plenty of documentation and resources online that you can find and go through at your own pace, and you can see what you think and if it’s going to be the right role for you. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in and learn something new!
Looking for a new opportunity with one of Manchester’s top digital agencies?
We’ve got plenty of open positions – check out our current roles.