Who is Claire?

I’m Claire, currently Digital Marketing Manager at Happy and a Web Development Apprentice.

I have worked in digital marketing for over six years and I am currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Happy. Happy has crafted award-winning learning since 1987. My role includes creating the marketing strategy for the company as well as implementing it – managing the website, email marketing, content marketing, social media, Google Adwords and SEO.

I joined Happy’s Web Development Apprenticeship scheme in January 2018, and I have chosen to specialise in front-end web development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).

I joined the scheme as I have wanted to learn how to code for many years but I just never thought that I was good enough to do it. However I realised that, as the Chinese proverb goes – “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” When I was offered the chance to join the Apprenticeship scheme, I realised that I was certainly never going to be ‘good enough’ if I never started and decided to go for it!

I used to code websites while at school in the early days of the internet. I had several websites on Geocities (one of which, I am delighted to see, has been preserved in all its glory on Wayback Machine) and I would create my own themes for my Livejournal and MySpace pages.

I remember asking a friend how to create iFrames as she had them on her website and they seemed like a cool idea. I used tables on all of my websites, with a menu on the left and the main content on the right. With iframes, I would only have to update the menu in one place when I added a new page, rather than having to update each page individually. She told me that iframes were really hard and far too complicated and wouldn’t tell me how she did it. I told my Dad about it and he bought me a HTML book in Waterstones that I read the whole way through and created a website that had 12 iframes in total, just to make a point. (They were all alternating colours.)

On this blog, I will be chronicling my journey as I near the end of my Apprenticeship – what I do, what I learn from it, the difficulties I encounter, and what I have created. You can follow my progress through my blog posts, on Twitter or my GitHub repository.