When I was growing up, my Dad, a software engineer, was my inspiration for becoming a developer.

He was always happy to take the time to explain his code and what he was doing, even if I didn’t always understand what he was saying at the time! It probably wasn’t much of a surprise, then, that I went off to Keele University to read Information Systems and Psychology and graduate with a BSc (Hons) degree.

After working part-time alongside my (now) husband to gain development experience, I started working full time as a full-stack web developer in February 2013 for a company based in Stoke on Trent (where I’m from) working on different types of sites for a variety of clients. It was there that I learned Laravel and Vue and honed the majority of my development skills.

In 2021 I worked remotely as a Senior Full Stack Developer for a company based in Swindon, contributing towards the development of a video consultation and digital triaging product for GP practices across the UK. I was mainly working on a C# desktop application that complemented and integrated with the main web-based product and allows GPs to work more closely and efficiently with clinical systems.

I had to learn C# almost from scratch which was quite a tough ask as it’s pretty different to any other language I’ve used. The product was initially released to almost 100 GP practices across the UK (and counting) for them to use on a daily basis. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of learning something new and it helped the business move forward considerably.

When I saw a job opening at WCBS for a Symfony/Vue Full Stack Developer, I decided to go for it so I could branch out and widen my horizons. Laravel is a framework that’s based on top of the Symfony framework anyway, so it fits in really well with my existing skill set. Plus it’s always good to keep learning new skills.

New challenges suit problem-solving qualities

Now as a Senior Full Stack Developer working on HUBmis, my responsibilities are developing new features and updates, eventually contributing to discussions about requirements and code reviewing other developers’ work.

I’m still learning lots at the moment, particularly as I’ve never worked in an agile environment. The focus of my scrum team is the school reports module. It’s pretty complex under the hood but I’m enjoying the challenge of getting to grips with it and understanding more about Symfony as I’m going.

I really enjoy problem solving – figuring out how best to implement a new feature, or how a bug has happened and how to fix it. As web technologies move so quickly, there’s always something new to learn. It’s great seeing a feature or product that you’ve worked on be released and end users using it, and I’m working with amazing and talented colleagues who are supportive of each other. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming and nothing’s too much trouble if I have any questions.

I’m not one to give up easily – if I’m facing something difficult, I always try and work through it until I’ve found the answer or ask for help. And, I always try to be thorough in my work and do it to the best of my ability. I think it’s also important to always be kind to others and always do my best to help other people wherever I can, so WCBS really suits me.

The appeal of HUB

My first thoughts are that the HUB products are great and really comprehensive. The tech is impressive because WCBS is keen on using the latest technologies. WCBS uses agile development, which means new features can be released out to customers quicker and you can get feedback from them sooner rather than later. This in turn means more improvements can be made to the products and much quicker than using the classic waterfall approach, resulting in a much better product overall.

The fact the product has been built from the ground up since 2020 also means it’s tailored exactly to how schools need the product to work. It’s cloud native, which means the product is scalable, reliable and modular, and no other competitor offers that type of solution.

The products are really intuitive to use. There’s nothing worse than a system that has a nice user interface but users have no idea how to use it.

The HUBmis code itself is great too – you can tell it’s really well written and a lot of thought has gone into its design and development.

The main functionality of HUBmis is all built around APIs and that makes it flexible enough to easily allow third party integrations.

Away from work – Amigurumi and more

During lockdown, I discovered crochet through watching YouTube videos and have been addicted ever since. I’ve since found you can never have too much yarn, though I’m sure my husband would beg to differ!

I particularly enjoy creating amigurumi (small stuffed creatures) and have made all sorts, including plants, cacti, flowers, dolls, dogs, cats, fish, yodas, doughnuts, birthday cakes, pies, bunnies, zebras, lions, owls, chipmunks, monkeys, chocolate eclairs, cheesecakes, bees, a custom baby lovey… and there’s still so many more things I want to make!

I’ve taken part in competitions and managed to win first prize last year for a doll I made, including getting my picture in the local paper too.

Something completely different

Last year my husband and I and a couple of our friends bought inflatable kayaks and we really enjoy going paddling. So far we’ve paddled on several canals across the UK and even ventured out into the sea when we were on holiday in Devon.

We’re going to Wales in June and definitely taking them with us, as well as our bikes. Great fun!

A “fun fact” about me…

I can solve a 3×3 Rubik’s cube in roughly a minute and a half. I actually have way too many cubes, all different shapes and sizes.

I’d never leave home without…

  • My Garmin watch – if I forget it or the battery runs out, it feels like I’ve lost an arm. I love keeping track of stats!
  • My bag – I can never find what I’m looking for in it but it always has everything I could need, including my phone and keys
  • My asthma medication, especially my blue inhaler, even though it can be subjected to being launched (accidentally) into the Macclesfield canal on a paddling trip, never to be seen again, of course – oops.

Exciting times ahead

The growth of WCBS and the HUB products expanding quickly really excites me. The company is already well established and so has a good foundation for taking big steps forward, and no other competitors come close to HUB in terms of a cloud solution.

And it’s great to still be able to catch up with Dad with technical discussions about what we’ve been working on!

To find out more about HUBmis, the product Sharon is working on, visit this page or contact us on +44 (0)1458 833 344.

HUBmis 2021 Reg TM