Meet a Peregrine: Michael Gregory, Web Developer
“I’d say the trust that the team has in you at Peregrine and the freedom you have to try out new things are very rare. You feel like you are owning your own projects. In other jobs, I was micro-managed every day, being told: ‘you have to do this’. No-one says that to me here.”
Q: Tell us about your job and the clients you work for.
A: I’m a web developer and we have multiple types of clients such as hedge funds and asset managers. Our designers communicate with the client on how the website will look and feel and the message they want to convey through visuals. We then work closely with the communications team while we are finalizing the design to ensure the messaging and design fit together, then they will pass it to me to action. There will be back and forth on the first draft with the designer and we will spot things that they want to change. Anything is possible in terms of construction; I am supposed to make it look like the agreed design. It’s rare that something isn’t possible from a development perspective.
Once the website is complete, I’ll train the client on how to use it and update it. We use WordPress, which allows the client to update it with images and content themselves. Once it is built, we hand it over to the client. That training element to my role is also quite fun.
Q: What has surprised you about working at Peregrine?
A: The level of trust you are given to do big projects and important work surprised me at Peregrine. I was thrown in at the deep end as our developer was away when I joined. I was trusted and not micromanaged from day one and progressed very quickly into learning how to do the job in every respect.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since working here?
A: I have learned that I can learn quickly. Before joining I had experience in a different language to the one we code in but picked up ours pretty quickly and was surprised how quickly I did so.
I also learned that like working on multiple projects at once instead of being on just one project the whole time. Having variety is important and I enjoy that.
Q: What is the most valuable skill you have learned here?
A: Discussing any potential problems before they become problems. Identifying issues ahead of time and talking about them to the designers and senior staff. Clarifying things beforehand. This is a culture where you can discuss problems and find a solution with everyone in the team.
Q: How you describe the culture at Peregrine?
A: It’s relaxed but everyone knows they need to get the job done. Everyone knows their responsibilities, gets them done and does them under their own steam. How it is done is up to that person, as long as it gets done.
In my OKR meeting in the first three months, we talked about other aspects of design I should do, like SEO work, not just web development. Which I was really happy about. I love coding but also want to learn other skills.
Q: How do you think marketing is changing in the financial services sector?
A: We’re a lot more focused on SEO and LinkedIn campaigns than we used to be and we spend a lot of time on Google Adwords. A great website on its own won’t generate traffic, you have to drive traffic to it, and there is an increasing awareness of that. Companies are spending so much more on social media than they used to.
Q: Tell us about a challenging project you worked on and how you surmounted it?
A: I worked on a very large design project which had multiple technologies involved in the website, such as Ajax and third-party log-in systems. Ajax is a technology that allows you to click from page to page and it reloads, which allows it to fade in and automatically populates the content. From a user experience it is a lot smoother.