Twitterings

Twitterings and ramblings of Sophie Shanahan-Kluth

Sophie Shanahan-Kluth

About me

I'm Sophie, a 29-year-old, 6'2″ web developer based in Bristol. I moved here from Lincolnshire when I started university and fell head-over-heels for the place. :)

A graduate of Web Design from UWE in Bristol, I like drinking coffee, listening to music, baking, drawing, knitting, crochet, roleplay gaming, cross stitching and fantasy writing. And cats. I really like cats.

General overview

I have experience with ...

  • Mentorship of junior developers in a team environment
  • Leading development projects and spearheading technical and architectural decisions across teams and companies
  • Technical advice, offering advice to other teams and other agencies
  • Assisting project and technical managers to make project- and company-level decisions
  • Contribution to open-source software initiatives (Drupal core and contrib modules)
  • PHP and MySQL, mainly through Drupal but with knowledge of Symfony and related technologies
  • Drupal 7 and 8, writing custom modules for each, maintaining other peoples' codebases
  • JavaScript and jQuery, used mainly within the Drupal framework
  • The command line, mostly Linux-based, using Vim, MySQL and other command line tools
  • Systems administration, including set up of sites on remote servers, configuring installations, and deployments to multiple environments
  • Git-based workflows and technologies, using Gitlab, Github and Bitbucket, with a strong emphasis on collaborative work
  • Writing project documentation for a range of audiences, including clients and other developers
  • Working to coding standards and receiving/performing code reviews
  • Web accessibility standards and making websites easy-to-use

Work

Focusrite-Novation - June 2019 to present

Website

To do!!

Microserve - May 2014 to May 2019

Website

Working as a senior Drupal developer. In my time here, I worked on several large Drupal projects, including:

Circle Interactive - July 2011 to May 2014

Website

I started at Circle for my placement year between July 2011 and September 2012. During my final year of uni (Sept 2012 - May 2013), I worked at Circle while studying, during holidays and once every other week when my timetable allowed. I was hired straight out of university, starting full time as soon as my exams finished at the end of May 2013.

My work included:

  • Creating themes for Drupal 6 and 7 sites, both from provided PSDs and based on client suggestions of “liked sites”
  • Working directly with clients through our support system and also through direct contact on email and telephone
  • Creating custom modules, including: a rewritten support system for our intranet; dynamic data retrieval from a client’s server to show course schedules; working with geolocation on an Apache server; updating a cookie control module to work with Drupal 5, 6 and 7 for distribution to our clients; and updating a half-written module to perform a proximity search on CiviCRM data
  • Writing documentation for clients and colleagues on how to use existing Drupal modules/CiviCRM extensions, custom modules created for a purpose, and documentation for theming
  • Using existing modules to create complex functionality on sites, particularly using views, content access and internationalisation/translation
  • Estimating work needed and time required for projects, and advising on what technologies could be used to solve problems

Study

BSc(hons) in Web Design

Studied at UWE Bristol from September 2009 to July 2013, graduating with a first class degree.

My final year project was Fontastica, a font finder. Using Google's font API, the site provided random combinations of fonts in header-body format and allowed users to rate them ("I like this!" or "This sucks!"). Its purpose was to give designers ideas for type combinations on websites, assuming that it's either difficult to come up with a good combination, or they stick to the same old thing.

It was built using CodeIgniter between October 2012 and April 2013. The accompanying report was written throughout the year alongside the project work.

Other modules included:

  • Final year: a digital media project (Fontastica), interaction design, consultancy project (working with Bristol Women’s Voice), advanced topics in web development (creating a RESTful API system)
  • Third year: placement at Circle Interactive
  • Second year: human-computer interaction, information architecture, web design principles
  • First year: information design, media technologies (basic knowledge of Flash and ActionScript 3.0 programming)

A-levels

Attended SJSF in Lincolnshire from September 2007 to July 2009. Left with three A-levels and one BTEC Certificate in Art & Design (grade MM).

BTEC units included: web design (in final major project, self-created brief), photography, fashion illustration, textile work, art history, logo/brand design, typography.

A-levels achieved in English Language (B), Chemistry (C) and General Studies.

What I can bring to the table

I've been working with the web since I was 14, and since then I've become a huge believer in making things simple and easy to use, both for the end user and for any developer who will take up work after me. I'm keen to broaden my horizons and learn new things, rather than stagnating in a single place.

I work best with people who are driven and details-oriented, and thrive when given a task to do and a deadline. I enjoy taking the time to get stuck into a project, understanding the client's objectives and seeing the project through to the end. I don't like leaving tasks half-finished.

I enjoy learning and sharing new knowledge with others. During my time at Microserve I've taken on the role of a mentor, helping to teach students and junior devs how to assess priorities, discover solutions, and ultimately complete their own work in a thorough, timely manner. My emphasis is on teaching people to be strong independent learners, with keen attention to detail and a desire to achieve the best.

Oh ... and I really like writing documentation! I know that sounds weird, but I think it’s important to make it as easy as possible for others to pick up systems. I get frustrated when documentation isn’t provided, so I do my best to provide it for others.

Recently I've started to focus on health - not only my health but that of my colleagues and friends. Maintaining a healthy mind and body is a really important thing for anyone to do, so I push for all of my colleagues to keep an eye on their work-life balance and offer support wherever I can.

References

Andy Dempster

Web team lead at Focusrite · andrew.dempster@focusrite.com

Em Coward

Head of development at Microserve · emily@microserve.io

Dan McNamara

Managing director at Microserve · dan.mcnamara@microserve.io · 0117 214 0554