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11th July 2019

Silver Spotlight: Noah Johnson

This month we put Silver’s Noah Johnson under the spotlight to learn more about our Developer’s role and his passions away from work:

Which three words would you use to describe your role?

Flexible, engaging and challenging.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

Usually my day starts with a meeting with our studio manager to talk about what work we’ve got coming up and the work I’ve been doing over the past couple of days.
After that I work on scheduling and estimating for any upcoming projects. I’ll go through my emails and check for any development-related tasks that need doing, then work through project tickets based on priority. It could be managing sites, updating sites, implementing a new page or design on a site. I work on lots of different things, which is why it’s important to be flexible. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you!

What’s the best part of the job?

Deploying a site that you’ve spent months making. Going through all the problems you need to solve and all the challenges you face can sometimes take months depending on the scale of the site. But once you’ve finished, being able to deploy and give that link to the client is the best feeling.
A lot of the work leading up to this is mostly behind closed doors. Clients have the design but don’t know what it’s really like until it comes to life, so it’s great when you can actually give them the product you’ve spent so much time on.

What’s the biggest challenge of your role?

Problem-solving. There are a lot of different problems that I’ve never faced in previous roles, but this is good because it helps to increase your problem-solving skills.
I think that in other roles there would be a set number of things that could cause a problem, but in the dev world anything can go wrong! A site could go down tomorrow with no explanation, but it’s happened and now you have to fix it. You’re forced into a state of problem-solving. It’s challenging, but it’s also positive because I’ve learnt things so quickly because of it.

Favourite project you’ve worked on and why?

One I’m currently working on: Telefonica cityscape. It’s the most interactive site I’ve built at Silver. It incorporates a lot of elements from jobs that I’ve worked on previously, so it’s combining many different, miniature tasks. Everything about the site is interactive which is the sort of design I’m really into.
It’s also the best collaboration project I’ve worked on so far. We’ve had the creative team design the UI, the motion team make a 3D city to screenshot and model, and I’m putting it together and bringing it to life by making it interactive. It’s going to be a beautiful result in the end.

What’s your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

Playing rugby at the Millennium Stadium. It was in the Blues Cup final for my club when I was 16. We won and I scored a try as well which was an incredible feeling. I don’t think I’ll ever get another chance to score a try at the Millennium Stadium, so it was very special.

What do you do when you’re not producing great dev work?

I’m a music producer outside of work, so a lot of my time is spent working on music production or music theory. It’s a big passion of mine and always has been.
Music is my creative outlet. A lot of the time with my work, the designs have been done already so there’s not a huge amount of creative freedom. But with music, everything is my decision. I have complete creative control over what happens and what the result is. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about it. I’ve always been a creative person, so to have an outlet for that is important to me.

What piece of technology could you not live without?

It’s such a cliché answer, but it’s got to be my phone. It’s the way I keep in contact with my family and friends. I’ve got a lot of friends back in Wales and around the country that I can’t see every day, so my phone lets me talk to them, message them and organise times to meet up.

Who do you look up to the most – real or fictional?

Deadmau5. I learnt about his story a few years ago, how he made it into the music scene. He took no shortcuts and worked his hardest every day until eventually it paid off. He never gave up and never stopped which I found really inspirational.

What brand do you admire and why?

The Shred Collective. It’s a music label that allows artists to have creative freedom over their music. A lot of music labels nowadays are very restrictive on what artists can put out based on what’s popular at the time. The Shred Collective signs artists and releases whatever they make. It’s a super-inspirational brand for me. If you allow artists to make whatever they want, that’s when they’re going to be at their happiest and create their best work. What a great way to run a label.

Who would you choose to play you in a film?

Probably a comedian. I’d love to see Will Ferrell play me. He doesn’t look anything like me, but he’s hilarious. I’d like to hear his attempt at the Welsh accent, too!

Favourite film?

Total Recall. The original. I love that dystopian 80s vibe. It’s cool to see a twist on that whole era. I love the colours and the retro neon signs which I think the film does a really good job of portraying. Obviously there’s some great acting, and you’ve got Arnie who just makes the film. So many iconic quotes from the big guy.

Which cartoon character do you most relate to and why?

Scooby Doo. He solves mysteries, and I’ve got to look for clues to solve dev challenges!
Thanks, Noah! Be sure to keep an eye out for the next Silver Spotlight post next month.