Freelance Web Developer Interview


i-studentglobal caught up with Sussex University graduate Sam, a web developer from Reading who is currently working freelance in Shanghai, China. Find out more about how he got into web development, his first job in London and what life is like working freelance in Shanghai.

1. When did you first know that you wanted to work in web development?

To be honest I never really knew what I wanted to do! I do wonder sometimes how I managed to end up in this industry, but I'm pretty happy I did. I started playing around with flash animation, and interactive flash pages and games before I'd even considered a career in web, and it went from there. And I've heard a similar story from many of my colleagues who started off playing with web technologies as a pastime, and since there always seems to be demand, has turned into careers.

2. Did you think when you were choosing your A Levels that you would be where you are today?

No I didn't, I really just picked the things I thought I'd do best at!

3. When choosing a university to study at, what were the most influential factors?

For me, I definitely picked based on the course. I wanted a course that offered a lot of variety, one that maybe, would help me decide what I wanted to do with my life, and would provide a lot of options when I finished. 

Actually, I didn't really consider the location at all so I feel incredibly lucky that I ended up at Sussex University in Brighton, a city which I love now, but didn't know at all when I started.


Brighton beach

4. What were your favourite things about your course?

It was the variety of the course; it never got boring, it was very hands-on and practical.

5. Do you think living on campus for your first year is a good idea for new students?

Of course! It's hard moving somewhere where you don't really know anybody, so you've got to make the most of any opportunities to get to know people. And once you do living so close to all your best friends is a lot of fun.

6. Did you ever consider studying abroad during your degree?

I did, I remember looking into it, actually I was interested in China already, but in the end I decided I wanted to finish my degree first rather than extend it another year.

7. What did you work on for your dissertation on and how did you choose your topic?

My final project was a social network in which users could follow charities and their particular projects. I thought it was a good idea that someone could follow a particular project, donate to it and see exactly where their money is going, and could be a useful tool for small charities to promote themselves. I also wanted to learn more about the web technologies involved in something like this that weren't covered in our courses.

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Working with different languages as a web developer