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README.md

README.md

Nikhil Vijayan

Projects | Skills | Education | Experience | Hobbies & Interests | LinkedIn | Blog | Portfolio

Introduction

I have wanted to become a developer for the past 6+ years but couldn't pursue it due to the UK's current immigration policy. I became a permanent UK resident last year (March 2018). I quit my job the day after, and have been focusing all my time & energy on becoming a better software developer.

Background

  • Marketing

    8+ years of experience leading marketing and digital strategy for products worth well over £1.8m at a business intelligence organisation in London.

  • Client Facing (Account Management)

    Client-facing experience at a digital agency managing clients like London Luton Airport, Ideal Standard (Armitage Shanks) and Stowe School as well as working with in-house developers to spec, estimate and deliver on projects.

  • Team Management

    4+ years of experience hiring, training and managing a 6 member team.

Objective

I'm looking to work for an organisation where I can make a meaningful contribution. I'm a fast learner, and I'm willing and enthusiastic to learn new technology stacks and skills.

Technologies I'm familiar with

JavaScript (ES6), React, Node.js, Express, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Git workflow, SASS, CSS Flexbox, CSS Grid, HTML.

Projects

Here is a selection of the projects I've worked on. For a complete list, please see my Github or my personal website.

Project Description Timeframe Technology Github Live
Personal portfolio Responsive static site to showcase my projects and writing. 4 weeks HTML, SASS, CSS Flexbox, CSS Grid, JavaScript Github Live
Tiny React experiments React side project I built to play around with React 2 weeks React JS, CSS Github Live
Catch of the day Front-end restaurant menu app built using React 2 weeks React, CSS Github Live
Instagram clone Instagram built using Ruby on Rails 1 day Ruby on Rails, CSS, Postgres Github NA
Ten pin bowling scorecard Business logic to score a game of ten-pin-bowling made in vanilla JS 2 days Vanilla JS, Jasmine Github NA
Takeaway challenge Business logic for a restaurant tool that takes orders and uses the Twilio API to confirm delivery times via text message 2 days Sinatra Github NA
Bombay train map I designed a new map and an Android app for the Bombay train system 2 weeks HTML, CSS NA Live
Brexit means breadsticks A Chrome extension that changes any mention of the word 'Brexit' with 'Breadsticks' 1 day Vanilla JS Github NA
Next UK bank holiday I built a site that displays upcoming bank holidays 1 day Vanilla JS Github Live
Responsive landing page Responsive landing page design for a branding agency 1 day Vanilla JS Github Live

Skills

Motivated self-starter

I started learning how to code alongside working full-time in a high-pressure job. This meant that even though I had the motivation, my time was limited.

My approach to this problem was to dedicate at least 1 hour each morning (when my attention level was at its highest), use online resources like freeCodeCamp and CodeAcademy while attending local programming and UX meetups, volunteering at conferences (Smashing conference, FrontEndNorth) to meet experienced developers, some of whom I am still in touch with and consider them my mentors.

As soon as I could, I was able to quit my job and move to a smaller city (Sheffield) to reduce my expenses and dedicate all my time towards learning. I got a job at a local digital agency to be able to work alongside developers and get on-going support and guidance from them while I self-taught myself in my free time.

Following that, I applied to Makers Academy to get more structure and a support network to make sure I was building the right skills (for eg: TDD, Single Responsibility, dependency injection, cohesion etc) that would make me a valuable addition to a team.

I have been able to de-construct my learning and recognise the style that works best for me. I have supplimented my learning with books that cover the latest research on learning (for eg: 'Deep Work' and 'So good they can't ignore you' by Cal Newport are some of my favourites).

Having built the discipline, and a time-tested structure of learning, I feel confident in my ability to be able to take on new challenges and be able to perform at a high level.

Problem Solving

I really enjoy solving problems, and it is at the core of my decision to become a developer. I get engrossed in barriers or bugs that inevitably arise on any project, and I find joy in working on the problem to unblock it and come up with creative solutions to get around them.

Some instances of my problem solving experience

  • Improving internal communication in a remote team

    As the head of digital and marketing at EyeforTravel, my role included managing the team which had become increasingly remote. This meant that it was harder to keep everyone informed about the happenings in the business. I didn't want to add another meeting to the schedule as this often hurts productivity. As nobody within my company had heard of Slack (back in 2016), I had to get buy-in from management as well as peers. We were successful in eliminating almost all internal email, add several channels on Slack to share internal as well as external industry news, commonly used resources, create more transparency while freeing up employee time.

  • Technical problem solving under high pressure

    In my time working a digital agency, I worked on real-world projects as the senior account executive. One of my most satisfying memories is being able to debug a major issue caused on a client's live production site due to a Google Chrome update in Version 70, where Chrome changed how it interpreted CSS Grid rows. As I had recently been teching myself CSS Grid, I was able to test out a few assumptions in Chrome's dev tools. The solution was to explicitly declare rows. This meant that we were able to communicate with the client, test, fix and deploy in a relatively short time.

  • Bug fixing

    I really like sinking my teeth into problems and finding solutions. In my cohort at Makers academy, I started helping my colleagues on bugs they were facing in their projects. I would routinely get approached by colleagues to solve a particular bug. I wouldn't always be able to help, but this process has exposed me to different approaches to problem solving, and made me better at squashing software bugs.

Communication

Being good at communication is a vital soft skill for any organisation, be it to aid collaboration, grow productivity, build trust within teams or to increase morale.

9+ Years of experience communicating with technical and non-technical teams

  • Account Management Experience

    In my role as senior account executive at Quba, a leading digital agency, I was often the bridge between clients who were non-technical stakeholders (usually marketing teams or senior management) and developers. It was my job to listen and ask the right questions (both to the clients and developers) to ensure the business objectives were correctly represented in the technical specifications, and to ensure that we weren't promising. I was able to turn around a souring relationship with a highly coveted client by communicating effectively, prioritising and consistently delivering on my deadlines.

  • Management Experience

    In my role as head of digital & content at EyeforTravel, a leading business intelligence firm based in London, I was often called on in management meetings to condense marketing data in a way that communicated high-level information necessary for senior management to understand and make decisions like revenue projections, or allocating resources.

  • Building lasting relationships

    As part of my role at EyeforTravel, I was often called on in difficult situations both within the organisation and with external vendors. I was often able to navigate difficult situations by being able to call on colleagues for help or guidance. This was especially evident when I had to move out of the UK in 2011 due to new visa regulations, but I was offered a 100% remote job due to my relationship with my colleagues and external partners and sponsors. After a year, I was also eventually offered a sponsorship to join the team back in the UK.

Note: I'm happy to provide references from previous clients and colleagues.

Education

Makers Academy (November 2019 to March 2019)

Fully immersive 16 week programming course at Europe’s #1 Developer Bootcamp focused on core coding techniques & principles such as agile methodologies, Test Driven Development (TDD), Object Oriented Design, pair programming and more.

Core course topics:

Programming fundamentals

Object Oriented Design (OOP) best practices, Test Driven Development (TDD), writing clean code, Pair Programming , Agile development as well as core principles such as dependency injection, single responsibility, cohesion and encapsulation, polymorphism etc.

Languages and frameworks

Languages

  • Ruby
  • JavaScript
  • HTML / CSS (Including CSS Flexbox & CSS Grid)

Frameworks

  • React
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Sinatra

Testing Suites

  • RSpec (Ruby)
  • Capybara (Ruby / JavaScript)
  • Jasmine (JavaScript)
  • Jest (JavaScript)
  • Enzyme (React)
  • Cypress

Git workflow

  • Using branches to work collaboratively in teams
  • Writing descriptive & succinct commit messages
  • Enforcing good commit discipline to minimise code conflicts
  • Dealing with code conflicts

Databases

  • PostgreSQL
  • Firebase
  • MongoDB

Deployment

  • Continuous deployment of the master and dev branches using Heroku/Firebase

Working Methodology

  • Agile software development including:
    • XP values
    • Sprint planning
    • Pair programming
    • Breaking down the program into user stories
    • Breaking down the user stories further into tickets
    • Daily stand-ups and retrospectives to iteratively improve processes and code

Leeds University Business School (Sept 2007)

MA Marketing & Advertising (2:1)

  • Core Subjects: Digital Marketing, Marketing Communications, Consumer Behavior, PR & Corporate Communications and Marketing Research
  • My dissertation aimed at understanding the importance of trust and credibility in not-for-profit digital fundraising.

St. Xavier's College (2004 - 2007)

Bachelors in Mass Media - Advertising Major (2:1)

  • Core Subjects: Documentary Filmmaking, Photography, Psychology, Fundamentals of Design, Media Buying, Advertising and Journalism
  • 50% of my degree was based on project work which exposed me to various fields such as advertising, filmmaking, film photography, graphic design, social work and much more.

Other qualifications

  • Google Analytics Fundamentals certification
  • Kentico Content administrator certification

Experience

Quba Digital (May 2018 to Dec 2018)

Senior Digital Account Executive

Core responsibilities

  • Worked with brands like London Luton Airport, Ideal Standard (Armitage Shanks) and Stowe School
  • Translating client requirements into technical specifications
  • Communicating technical questions and requirements with clients

FC Business Intelligence (Oct 2009 to Apr 2018)

Head of Digital & Content

Core responsibilities

  • Managed marketing for products worth £1.8m across the company portfolio
  • Managing a team of upto 6
  • Liaising with senior management on business strategy
  • Specialist at email marketing, content marketing and lead generation

Work Eligibility

I am a permanent resident of the UK with indefinite leave to remain (ILR). I have the eligibility to work in the UK without any restrictions.

I'm currently in the processs of becoming a naturalised British citizen.

Languages

  • English
  • Hindi
  • Marathi
  • Malayalam

Hobbies & Interests

  • Reading : I love reading science fiction and good non-fiction books about business and technology.
  • Climbing : Bouldering and some traditional climbing
  • Woodworking
  • Cycling
  • Walking / Camping
  • Documentaries

I really enjoy spending time outdoors. I'm a qualified advanced PADI scuba diver with deep-diving specialty. I have also completed 3 levels of my AFF skydiving course and have spent time paragliding.

Contact

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