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Meet the Instructor: Stu Cowley

Front End Instructor at Manchester Codes

What gets you excited about Technology?

That there is always somewhere new to progress to, and ways to make the world and peoples lives better. The world has already been changed so much so quickly by new advancements, and theres potentially no limit to what can be achieved with the right tools. In the space of 200 years we could potentially have gone from inventing the lightbulb to living on another world. I find that amazing

How long have you been coding? How did you get started?

I’ve been coding for around 3 years now, I got started after getting bored of the retail work I had been doing and wanted to future proof myself with something useful and challenging. I taught myself python and javascript online in my spare time, and after writing some basic programs and games I decided I wanted to do it full time.

What do you enjoy about working at Manchester Codes?

When I was first learning it would sometimes be difficult to get a good grip on a new concept, or finding the right answer for a specific question could be difficult. Learning how to ask the right questions was one of the most important things! I was lucky to have several friends who would always offer to help when I was stuck and their contributions were a huge help, and now Im able I want to be able to help others out as they did for me.

Favourite language and framework/library/ tool?

My favourite language used to be python, then it became javascript once I discovered it could be used on the front and back end. Ive recently developed an affinity for PHP and really like that now too! I did a lot of work using Vue, and SASS with BEM naming convention over the past year and found that to be a lot of fun as well as being very easy to get to grips with. Favourite tool is probably chrome dev tools for front end work and xDebug for back end.

Least favourite language and framework/library/ tool?

Probably Laravel, as while its great for people who already have solid understanding of PHP and is very well thought out, uses an awful lot of magic behind the scenes so can be difficult if you want to do something not too standard.

One piece of advice you have for people fresh to Software development?

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and out of your depth sometimes. It may take time, but being persistent is more important than being fast.

Outside of work, what do I like to do for fun? How do you spend your downtime?

Playing music, making curries, gardening and reading Terry Pratchett books

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A sound engineer, a musician or vet depending on how I was feeling at the time.

If you were stranded on a remote island, alone. What piece of technology/ gadget would you be unable to live without?

If a laptop with an internet connection is too much to ask, then Id have to say an iPod with a massive library of music.

What is your day job?

backend developer at Gear4music

How can people follow your journey?


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Office One, 1 Coldbath Square