At Home with Arkom: Live Damo


Quinn: Right, same question to kick off with, what’ve you been up to this week?

Damon: I’m working on the ACPICR website too. When Molly designs a website, I’ll build the Front/Partial Back End for it. I’m also working on the EPA website (End Point Assessment) for Apprenticeships.

When an apprenticeship comes to an end, the assessors come in and make sure you meet every requirement for getting your qualification. I’ve been building the front-end of the websites for those assessors to upload the documents/evidence they collect onto the centralised system and making sure everything’s built correctly which is linked to the CRM for moderation.

The CMS is the back-end of the website that Garry has built from the ground up, which is where the administrators can access all the records and process them in whatever way they need to.

Quinn: Are there any challenges in doing this?

Damon: So to give you an idea of what's "challenging", it's been hard work switching our website build-process to be responsive when I joined Arkom 4 years ago. But for this week, it’s been very simple designs which only represent data - so it’s been easy building out my current project.

Quinn: What’s unique about this client’s requirements?

Damon: For this job it's been the level of information that the assessors need to upload, so it’s a more detailed form that I’m building on the front end. And because this is for qualifications, it needs to be watertight.

Quinn: So, your limitations are having to wait for the back-end stuff to be done?

Damon: Yeah, for the data. That needs to exist, as I need to test the front end again with the back end being created. Creating validation tools and double checking that everything works is what I’ll have to do when that is finished. But no, I haven’t done so much on it yet just wallpapering it all in and structuring it all out.

Quinn: When you say wallpapering it all out and stuff…what is it that you actually do, is it all coding?

Damon: Yeah, so, Front end is more like framework, so you build in the basic structure, then the data gets added in that structure and then I come and build around everything to fit around multiple screens.

You have to think about elements on a screen and how it all collapses onto a screen, so on a mobile they have to sit on top of each other or do something else on mobile. And then I build in the design.

So you have to have the structure and style in mind before you build it.

Quinn: Is it the difference between like, If Gaz is sewing a suit and you’re tailoring it?

Damon: It’s more like wrapping a gift, Gaz (back end developer) makes all the wrapping paper and I wrap it around the present. The wrapping paper is code and the present is a website. Each website will have something different about it so it always needs wrapping a little differently. That’s the difference between a template website and a custom website. A template website will never do exactly what you want it to.

Quinn: Which internet video has made you laugh recently?

Damon: The Japanese video I showed Joe recently. A bunch of Japanese people walk into an elevator and it just falls.

Quinn: That sounds horrendous.

Damon: It’s off a Japanese game show, it’s all fake, you can tell it’s fake - but this is so over the top, it’s really funny.

Quinn: Have you been somewhere or seen something you’d recommend recently?

Damon: Errrm. How to Train Your Dragon.

Quinn: Oh, nice. Which one is that? 2? 3?

Damon: 3.

Quinn: I’ve only seen the first one. Any good?

Damon: Second one’s good, 3rd one’s erm, well you’ll never beat the first one. Well that’s a lie. Well 2’s always better than 3.

Quinn: Terminator 2, Godfather 2.

Damon: Yeah, there are other ones...can’t think of them. (laughs)

Quinn: What’s your favourite Joe FM line this week? (Joe FM is where we put Joe’s name into the lyrics of every song on the office radio)

Damon: The one from you, You are Joe. (From Gold, Spandau Ballet.)

Quinn: Ah, sick. I’m honoured. Thanks Damo!