April 11 2021 marks 10 years, 2,620 days, 20,960 hours, 1,257,600 minutes working for the Bracey brothers! (Not including holidays or overtime - I don't even know where to start there!)
When I first started as a Junior Web Developer at Brobuild, as it was then called, straight out of university I thought I knew everything about web development. It took me roughly half an hour to realise that I knew nothing! I learned so much so quickly, but it also didn't take me long to realise that choosing a career in web development was the right decision for me - I loved it! Under the guidance of the first development team I'd been a part of, I started learning the trade.
2012 - Moving out of the first office way back when!
Not many of the websites I built back then are still live now, but here is one of the earliest: http://haveadrink.co/. As you can see, I still had a lot to learn.
The industry has changed a lot in that time. I caught the end of websites built in tables and flash, have seen the introduction and prevalence of responsive websites (thank you iPhone) and now I am looking forward to next big thing to shake up the industry, could it be Core Web Vitals?. The biggest change I have witnessed however has to be attributed to the rebrand from Brobuild to Brace at the end of 2017. We decided to no longer concentrate solely marketing our development capabilities and instead expanded on the other services that we provided. This saw an influx of new clients and in turn, new staff members and even a new shiny office! Not that we've seen it much in the past 12 months!
I have been lucky enough to see the company grow from a team of 9 to the current rabble of 22 talented colleagues. If my memory serves me well I’ve had 46 different colleagues during my time at Brace, some of which are now life long friends and one, James Ferris, even being a groomsman at my wedding.
2016 - The team at my wedding reception.
I started off wearing many hats, being the graphic designer, web developer, SEO and project manager for each site I worked on, going through a series of training courses heading up development and then finally my proudest career achievement - becoming a director of the business! I now oversee and manage teams of people for each of our services, with the guidance Nick and Mitch provided along the way being invaluable in helping me to achieve this. Who knew that the nonsense they talk is actually very useful?
There are many different things that I love about working at Brace. Meeting and building relationships with clients in different sectors and constantly learning new skills in this ever-changing industry and no two days ever being the same, to name a few.
I’ve enjoyed watching my colleagues develop and grow into the successes they are today! Brace has always invested in young people starting their careers, we now have 6 staff members who were (or are) apprentices, two of which are now department heads. Shout out to Sarah Doyle, who has worked for Brace for nearly 10 years too!
2017 - Becky Boxwell winning apprentice of the year
But, if you were to ask me about what I enjoyed the most about working at Brace, the answer is simple - the team! Working in an agency means you have to cope with tight deadlines and sometimes work long, busy and stressful days, but knowing that I have a talented team ready to help out, share the workload or even just talk absolute nonsense with makes it so much easier. It's always rewarding when you see the success of a website you've been working hard on or watching the visitors pour in as a result of a marketing campaign.
2019 - The last Christmas party we've had - screw COVID!
A couple of other unforgettable moments during this time include the various awards ceremonies, the fun runs for charity, a spring fayre, 2 office moves, the time Toby and I ate 50 McNuggets each and who can forget when we pranked James with a fake scratch card?
2017 - Not our greatest idea!
Looking forward, what does the next 10 years hold? Well, if growth has been anything like I have seen since we rebranded to Brace, I would just be happy to be part of this great team that helps the company go from strength to strength. Maybe one day my son will be manning the phones for real!
2020 - Mini George answering the phones.
10 year milestone achieved, where's my gold watch?