From Building Bridges to Building Code - My Quanta Journey

Coming out of University I had no idea what career path I wanted to follow – the only thing I was sure of was that I did not want to pursue a career in my completed degree (Civil Engineering)! After a few fortunate events, I found myself in a position where I was working in a great training company with a huge range of courses on offer.

With a mathematical and analytical background, I found myself doing more and more data analysis in-house but I was getting fed up of how restrictive our CRM system was at spitting out useful data. With a SQL backend, the obvious thing to do would be to learn some basic SQL querying so that I could obtain the raw data I need. My manager suggested that I attend one of our publically run SQL Server Essentials courses. Initially I was sceptical – I can learn that myself from a book can’t I? It was how I had got through University, why can’t I carry on with my tried and trusted methods!?

Having attended the course, my attitude completely changed. For the first time in years, I was being taught a subject by someone who was both passionate in the subject and had a genuine interest in the needs of each individual delegate. I left with more knowledge than I could have gained from reading a book for 2 days and with a genuine excitement in using my newly gained knowledge in the workplace! I came out with the honest belief that even in the technology-filled world that we currently live in, there is no true substitute for Face-to-Face Learning delivered by an expert in their field.

Three years on, I am now working towards my first MCSA qualification in SQL Server – a career path I may not have pursued if not for the enthusiastic tutoring of one of our in-house trainers, Tim Finch. I have had the pleasure of attending a few other courses with Tim as he is our Head Trainer for Development and Programming – HTML & CSS when I took the Project of setting up a Moodle site for the company and JavaScript to help with SharePoint Development.

Whilst I enjoyed the HTML course, it was certainly the JavaScript course which stood out to me as the most useful for my work. I had gained this incredibly powerful tool which could sit on any webpage and make changes to any item on the page I so wished… but what actual work applications are there?

We use External Lists (all of our customer, event, course data etc. is stored on SQL) for things like checklists for events (Have the exams been ordered, has the kit delivery been arranged etc.) and I have been creating these with the limitations which come with using External Lists in SharePoint. Learning JavaScript means I can easily change the display of fields (surprisingly difficult with External Lists!) and apply conditional formatting on the fly which has helped our Administration Team to quickly spot problem events and rectify the issues.

Another time I made use of JS was to create an HTML code builder for our Moodle Administrator to quickly flesh out a course page. Whilst it was fairly simple (6 Input Fields and 2 different generate buttons which created slightly different content), it was a little glimpse into a World where almost anything is possible… with a bit of code. Furthermore, with Microsoft deprecating InfoPath with no clear replacement yet, JavaScript knowledge looks like it could also be vital to manipulate and edit forms… I’m certainly glad that I now have a firm grasp of the fundamentals!

If you’d like to find out more about our HTML and JavaScript offerings, I wrote a short blog here in February which covers the updates that Tim has made to those courses or see our full Technical Course offering here!

So, if you'd like to get in touch to discuss our technical courses, contact us on 0800 018 5597 and we'll see how we can work with you.