My name is Christopher and I was introduced to programming during my analytical bioinformatics masters of research degree, where I learned to code to derive insights from large data sets. Since graduating I have expanded my front-end web development skill set and increased my problem solving abilities in technical support roles where I collaborated with developers. I have worked on multiple client accounts, both within an agency and in-house, delivering a customer focused service while troubleshooting issues with their websites and making recommendations for their online strategy.
I am now looking to progress to a commercial developer role where I can apply and extend my coding skills to provide code based solutions, while exploring my interest in the flow of traffic on the internet, to practically help clients grow their business online.
I graduated with a distinction from the University of Liverpool with an MRes in Post Genomic Science, where I received advanced bioinformatics research training that I applied in my final proteomics project. Bioinformatics identifies insights by combining biology and computer science to analyse and interpret large amounts of raw biological data.
I enjoyed completing the Programming for Life Sciences module that taught the fundamentals of programming and creatively solving problems using the Perl scripting language for data-intensive research. Here I learned how to use a programming language to manipulate files, control the running of external programs, query relational databases (MySQL) with SQL and web programming.
During my research project I integrated various bioinformatics tools and methodologies to functionally annotate members of a protein superfamily. This involved the collection of sequences from public databases using an iterative search program, then clustering and detecting clusters with the program CLANS using a neural network based approach. After clusters of known functions where eliminated by performing database searches, I predicted novel functions of the remaining large clusters using a variety of methods including visualising genomic context and predictive 3D modelling of proteins.
I also completed a proteomic study for my BSc in Genetics and Human Health dissertation, for which I received a 1st class degree as well as the Institute of Biological, Environment and Rural Science Directors Prize. During my undergrad studies I was also awarded a competitive Faculty of Science bursary to fund a summer Bioinformatics Research Project, "A study Anchoring Brachypodium Genomes to Rice Pseudomolecules Producing Heat Map Images".
As well as performing original pieces of scientific research by collecting and analysing large data set relationships, the research projects during my degrees advanced my written and verbal communication skills as I regularly used microsoft office to deliver reports and powerpoint presentations; sharing information, data visualisations, key findings and conclusions.
In my free time I have expanded my web development skill set using online tutorials to teach myself the foundational front-end technologies. To apply my ability to write semantic, clean, well formatted and documented front-end code, I produced my personal portfolio website. I hand coded the web pages from scratch in HTML5 & CSS3 using a Text Editor, and then integrated the front-end styling framework bootstrap to make the site mobile responsive.
From the initial concept and visual static design I considered the sites user experience when coding this easy to navigate functional website. I have also included meta and structured data on each page for optimised search results and added Google Analytics and web master tools to monitor performance, report the sites traffic and guide future improvements.
Also in my free time I created a side project EverythingChester.co.uk to apply my front end web development skills as well as advance my SEO, digital marketing and holistic online knowledge. Using the same web technology as my personal site I also added an XML RSS Feed and integrated social media by incorporating open graph tags and various social plugins, allowing visitors to easily share pieces of content to audiences through their social networks.
I enjoyed researching search engine optimisation (SEO) and developed a keen interest in optimising websites for organic traffic sources, ranking in search engine results pages and driving traffic to sites using various online methods. I began attending the Chester SEO & Digital Marketing Meetup when it was founded in 2017 to stay up to date with the latest industry trends and techniques. I learned and implemented techniques for keyword research such as using Google Keyword Planner to discover and analyse potential keywords that website content can be optimised with. I combined information architecture, how a site should be organized to for optimal search engine visibility, along with on page optimisation structuring created content and copy with internal link optimisation.
I also enjoyed digital marketing of the brand running social media accounts such as twitter (@every_chester) and Instagram (@EverythingChester) and corresponding with various businesses, organisations and event managers to promote their local causes.
Future plans for the site include replacing the iFrames, RSS feed widgets and other plugins using my JS, AJAX and API knowledge, as well capitalising on fresh keyword research. While I could have designed a more polished site for users with WordPress or other CMS, the primary goal of the project was to develop my web design, coding and programming skill sets.
As Ecommerce Executive at Ralawise I gained experience working on a large scale, high transactional ecommerce website. Part of my role involved the general support and maintenance of the company's main high traffic website (ralawise.com) as well as related services. I sought ways to improve the overall user experience of Ralawise's online services, producing briefs for external developers that outlined future developments in priority order. I tested, identified and recreated bugs, as well as ensured that new functionality met the requirement specification in a development environment, before coordinating the release of fixes and new features with 3rd party web developers through test environments and into production.
I was primarily responsible for technical support of "YourWebShop", the Ralawise white label web shop product, for over 700 clients. This involved setting up, configuring and providing telephone support for the web shops, answering client queries and troubleshooting their technical problems. I would help clients by suggesting improvements to make the most of their websites, particularly offering advice on content pages, guidance on SEO and recommendations to grow their businesses online presence through digital marketing.
I was also involved in the business development and selling of web shops, consulting clients through the features and benefits of the e-commerce platform over the phone, through screen share demos and face to face at "build your business" events, trade shows at the NEC as well as delivering presentations in the marketing suite. During presentations in the business centre I represented the Ralawise Webshops to groups of up to 30 clients, communicating through a mixed media of powerpoint, live demos and Q & A sessions, closing new pieces of business.
I was able to employ my ability to present complex technical information to non-technical apparel business owners, skills that I had developed when trained as a Digital Champion for Get Online Wrexham Flintshire part of an overall Digital Inclusion Strategy from the Welsh Government. As Digital Champion I had delivered lessons, teaching computer skills to adults in community libraries clearly explaining technical jargon and concepts in plain English. Here I remained patient and polite while confidently guiding non-technical members of the public through their introduction to computing and to information technology for the first time in their lives.
My ideas where adopted in the department when I spotted opportunities to improve the process. I suggested and implemented making follow up calls a month after web shop contracts began to increase retention and renewal rates. For clients whose primary objection was time constraint I created a web shop setup form so I could configure the website for them. I also suggested & created an online video of web shop features & benefits for clients to view in their own time. I also integrated contact forms, social media buttons, widgets and plugins into the demo web shops using HTML iframes to exhibit customisation possibilities for the content pages using the WYSIWYG editor, and prepared user guide documentation for clients to follow.
As Support Desk Analyst at Gene I was responsible for providing service driven technical assistance to clients with Magento websites. I answered client queries and resolved configuration changes in relation to Magento, third party modules and bespoke functionality built by Gene. This required the ability to troubleshoot and solve a wide variety of technical problems with a methodical approach.
For technical bugs I would replicate the issue and then clarify the clients requirements before documenting the steps to replicate and acceptance criteria. Then I would escalate code fixes to the 3rd line development team to investigate and provide resolution, by creating and tracking tickets in Jira.
My role involved working collaboratively with a multi-skilled technology team of front & back-end developers, internal stakeholders, product and project managers to provide corrective solutions for problems on clients live ecommerce sites. I also contributed to discussions and answered questions during daily support stand ups with developers, acting as an intermediary between the dev’s and the clients. I owned the delivery of the developers code fixes, scheduling daily deployments and testing on both staging and live environments, where I would review the release against the original requirements.
As an IT Recruitment Consultant I was responsible for managing the entire end to end recruitment process from generating new business and technical requirement gathering to closing pieces of business. I filled development contractor vacancies across various industry sectors throughout the Midlands from Front End Designers to Back End Database Developer to roles.
While this position was primarily a sales role making use of and developing my interpersonal and verbal communication skills, it also exposed me to the software development life cycle and a global view of the wide range of technologies and languages used throughout industry.
It involved building and maintaining lasting relationships with clients through delivering excellent service to secure repeat business with senior level decision makers. As well as selling, negotiating and influencing decisions, managing expectations through clear communication of information between both the clients and candidates was essential throughout the process to ensure a suitable match was made.
During my time as a recruitment consultant I utilised my organisational and time management skills displaying my ability to prioritise daily activities, demonstrating my flexibility to respond to unexpected changes and adapt to changing demands in a fast paced, competitive contract market
I am always eager to learn more about technology and the latest digital innovations and I attend several local tech meetups. I am co-organiser of Codeup Chester a drop in and mentoring program for adults to learn how to code and program. This is a great environment to share knowledge and solutions with other enthusiastic and experimental coders. As well as attending the monthly workshops I publish events on meetup.com, promote sessions, engage with potential audience and attendees, organise talks, guest speakers and workshops.
To stay up to date with emerging technologies I also regularly attend Chester Devs, a user group for programmers and developers to share experiences and listen to technology talks delivered by industry experts.
Along with my passion for tech, proven problem solving skills and evidenced aptitude to code, a front end developer role is ideal to utilise my technical skill set and progress it further in a hands on coding role.
As I also hold a wide variety of web and digital skills that are of value in driving business success on the internet I feel my experience will be add value and help clients with their online presence. I believe my analytical approach will be a valuable addition to a web technology team.
Thank you for taking the time to read my personal statement. I live in the Chester area (Hoole) and I am immediately available to interview.