At NetConstruct, we really care about our people. They are what makes us unique and help us to keep delivering exceptional results for our clients. And it works. That’s why we have numerous longstanding employees, who have been here for 10, 15, or even 20 years.
Recently, we celebrated Liam Goldfinch, our Senior Systems Developer, hitting his decade milestone at NetConstruct. We caught up with him to get the lowdown on his career with us so far and ask the all-important question, ‘Why have you stuck around so long’?
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into Web Development.
I’ve always been interested in programming in some capacity. I knew I wanted to do something in that area as a career but hadn’t quite figured out which path to take before I went to university, where I enrolled in a Software Engineering course. Not quite web development, but it was a start. During my third year, I did a placement within the NHS supply chain, and this was very much focused on web development. After my year here, I knew web development was my focus.
I applied for a few different jobs including one at NetConstruct. They really stood out to me during the interview because they emphasised the progression route and clearly outlined what your journey could look like. I was offered a role on their help desk and the rest is history.
What is your current role and how does this differ from where you started at NetConstruct?
I started out on the help desk team. So that was where I was supporting a wide range of clients, focusing on things like fixing bugs on their sites and adding small bits of functionality. During this time, I was learning more about how to build within a CMS, because at this point content management systems were still brand new to me. I then moved into a Systems Developer position and this is where I actually got to start building sites. I worked with the core development team to implement websites and help to build different parts of sites, which was a great learning experience.
After a few years of this, I was promoted to Senior Systems Developer which is the role I am in currently. Alongside building websites, I now am involved in scoping the functional and technical requirements of a site, creating tasks and essentially leading the project from a technical perspective, which I love. I am also involved in onboarding new developers and helping them get to grips with our platforms. So, it’s all come full circle, really.
10 years is impressive at one company, what has made you stay for a decade?
I think if you’d asked me 10 years ago if I would still be at NetConstruct, I wouldn’t necessarily have said yes. Not because it isn’t a good place to work but because it’s quite unusual for people to stay in one company for so long now. A lot of people I went to university with have moved from company to company in the pursuit of progression. But here, I have had a clear progression route from the get-go and haven’t had to go out and search for the next step. Instead, NetConstruct has helped me to constantly strive for more.
As well as the professional development side of things, NetConstruct has just been a great place to work at. The people are amazing, and the culture has always been such a supportive one. I get to work with really great people, every day, so why would I want to leave that?
Do you have a typical day at work and what does it look like?
Yes and no. Day-to-day I have processes that I follow or set meetings to check in across the various teams, so we are all in the loop. These would be the ‘typical’ things that happen every day. But my work is really varied, and I can be across several projects and teams at once, which keeps things interesting. On any given day I could be working on a problem that has been brought to me, looking at how we can provide the client with the best solution. Or I might be working on a new build, where I will be looking at building new capabilities or functionalities on a site. Alongside this, I assign work to different developers within the team.
One thing I enjoy as part of my role now is that I get to share knowledge across our development team. If any new updates happen on one of our platforms, like Kentico, I can report this back to the wider team and show them how to use new functionalities or tools. This saves the team having to work it out for themselves and we can all be part of that learning curve together.
How has NetConstruct helped with your professional growth?
The team is really supportive and encourages us to take part in training that is going to support our roles. As specialists in Kentico and Umbraco, we are all given the opportunity to undertake training courses surrounding the platforms. The courses help us keep up to date with the latest versions of the platforms that have been released and the new features and functionality. We also attend conferences about the platforms, so we are constantly being kept in the loop with new knowledge that we can feed back into our work.
For me personally, NetConstruct has really supported my journey to becoming a Kentico MVP (most valued professional). Being an MVP is something I have always wanted to do and NetConstruct has allowed me to put the work in to make this happen. They have always given me time within my schedule to improve my knowledge of the platform and given me the resources to become an MVP.
What do you enjoy the most and have you had any challenges?
I just love to build websites. I love to think about new ways of doing content management, extending the admin site and allowing more complex interfaces for users. I enjoy looking at how to make the most of the platforms and how this can help our clients achieve their goals for their websites.
Where possible, I like to be able to package up the new work I have done and make them open source. So, putting them on GitHub for the wider Kentico community to use. I think this just supports NetConstruct as leaders in the platform and showcases our expertise.
Challenges? I guess I could say every project is a challenge! There’s always something different to consider or a new angle you need to approach a build from. Every website has the potential for new integrations or a complexity we need to figure out. It’s what’s so great about website builds, they’re all unique and at NetConstruct we are constantly adapting to make sure we’re delivering sites that will genuinely support the client’s goals.
How does your role and your decade within NC benefit the client?
Throughout my 10 years, Kentico has been a constant during my time at NetConstruct. I feel like I have grown my career alongside the platform, which is great. I think our clients can feel confident that if their site is built on Kentico, it will be built by the best standards and by someone who knows the product inside out. I also have my MVP status, so that really shows clients that their site is in capable hands. Even if I’m not directly working on a project, the development team constantly shares knowledge and provides input on each other's projects.
Do you have a favourite project from the past 10 years?
Something that has been really great to see over the past 10 years is the work we’ve done with Ryobi. I started working with them when I was on the help desk and have continued to work on their projects since. Watching their sites and businesses progress over the years and helping to support this has been something I have really enjoyed. Recently, Ryobi added an eCommerce functionality to their site which I got to be a part of, and it was a completely new project for them. It’s just been really interesting to see them grow throughout my time at NetConstruct and to be involved in that, too.
Where do you see your next 10 years?
That’s a big question. I guess something I am focusing on now and would like to continue to focus on is my work with Umbraco. Over the past few years, I have worked on a lot of Umbraco projects, and I’d like to carry on growing my expertise in the platform. I’ve got my Kentico MVP status and maybe, in the long term, it would be good to strive for the equivalent of this at Umbraco.
So, come back to me in 10 years and we will see!
Want to know more about working at NetConstruct? Check out our careers page to find out more.