Q&A with our Lead Manchester Web Developer
Interview with Unbranded Manchester's, Mike Smith
We got Lead Developer Mike to share his technical insight on Unbranded Manchester’s approach to Manchester Web Development and the practices of Web Development in Manchester.
How do you spot a quality Manchester Web Development Agency?
“First and foremost, this comes down to scope and budget. In my career I’ve built websites with budgets as low as £300, all the way up to £100k+. A good agency should be able to tell you exactly what they can deliver at a given price point, and whilst many of the top agencies are locked into NDAs for their work, they should have case studies of previous projects with tangible proven results.
I’ve worked as a developer at small firms where the typical problem was underpricing and mismanaging the client’s expectations. As a freelancer earlier in my career, I was guilty of this too. This is a combination of inexperienced developers telling clients (or sales staff) what they want to hear and business savvy clients instinctively looking for the best price, despite having little or no understanding of what the work involves.
It genuinely saddens me how many clients come to us with horror stories that result from this! Budgets quickly get eaten up when things go wrong and inexperienced developers get out of their depth. “
What aspects of Manchester Web Development do you most enjoy?
“Traditionally, a front-end web developer is somebody who has mastered HTML and CSS, and can build all visual components of a website. Back-end web development refers to programming all of the logic and dynamic features of a website and how it interacts with a database or content management system. Good back-end developers are in extremely high demand.
I like looking at the bigger picture of how the various components of a site or app or project fit together. I most enjoy the pace of our industry, adapting to new challenges and adopting new approaches and practices.
Over the years we’ve been using our collective expertise to create new products and innovative services for our agency, along with solving everyday problems. We’ve also created fully functioning internal online businesses that work outside of the core services we offer. These websites are used to keep us up to date with potential client issues, whilst giving us the freedom to try out fresh ideas and processes.
We invest lots of resources into creating new products and solutions to support our clients, including our industry leading, Google busting Layout Composer. “
How would you like to see the industry change for Web Development?
” I’d like to see more agencies breaking the mould in terms of how projects are being managed and structured.
Specifically I’d to see the web development industry to focus more on collaboration between young digital designers and web developers. I think this is absolutely key and wherever teams can solve bridging the gaps between all of the various specialisms. Good things will happen!
The problem we have is developers aren’t usually very good at getting designers to understand what they require from them. Many designers are still in print design mode – mocking up static mobile, tablet and desktop versions of a site and then thinking of the development stage like they’re sending something off to the printers. Unfortunately, it’s tempting for designers to wow the client with things that look great when they present the design at the dimensions they arbitrarily chose – meanwhile, the dev team are probably pulling their hair out wondering how they’ll make it work.
Developers end up bridging the gaps (e.g. how does it look on an iPhone 5 screen vs a Samsung Galaxy S9?), but they need to learn to speak up and communicate more with designers, or agencies need to create an ethos and environment that encourages that. “
How do you approach Web Development at Unbranded Manchester?
“For me, there are tree main ways in which our approach differs :
We only employ highly trained & qualified programmers.
Our team of developers are all highly experienced graduates from one of the UK’s strongest Computer Science departments, The University of Manchester.
We don’t accept sub standard code.
We inspect and analyse every 3rd party plugin to ensure they meet our high standards. If they don’t, they won’t make their way into our websites.
We provide solutions, not problems.
We’re a solutions based agency and we’re very transparent and honest with where our expertise lie. We’re based in the heart of Media City UK and have surrounded ourselves with other leading specialists and industry experts, so we’re in touch with the best problem solvers out there in various related fields. Our job is to give you peace of mind that you’re in the safest possible hands.
It’s taken 10 years, but we’ve grown to be the agency of choice for challenging web development projects, both for agencies and direct clients. “
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