Meet the UrbanLink Team: Luke Todd

Meet the UrbanLink Team: Luke Todd

Meet the UrbanLink Team: Luke Todd

Hello to all! I’m LukeTodd, the in-house web developer at UrbanLink Group. I’m the latest addition to the team, and I’m excited to bring fresh ideas and development techniques to the organization.

 

My interest in coding started by learning from my dad. He was one of the first people I knew that was interested in web development and started his career at the turn of the Internet Age. Initially, I grew up being very interested in sports (especially hockey) and being active but have always been interested in being creative and seeing visual results. So, as a compromise, I turned to development.

 

Photo by Markus Spiske

Real Problem Solving

One of the biggest reasons I got so interested in development was because it involves real problem solving, similar to processes involved in mathematics. I’ve always enjoyed math and science in school, but also wanted a creative outlet. So web development was a natural attraction. By incorporating critical thinking and concept visualization into my daily work, I found coding very enjoyable and rewarding.

By incorporating math and science concept to be creative, the profession became more than just a job. It has become a passion. Contrary to many beliefs, developing isn’t just learning to write code – it's creating a process and knowing how to apply it. It’s very non-linear and a big component is problem-solving. For me, it's especially enjoyable because it allows me to develop a creative product without a using graphics software or techniques.

Continuous Learning

Starting a new project is unique. No project is ever the same. I get inspired by being part of online communities like Github. That’s where a lot of personal and public projects are available (if the developer sets it to open view). Think of it as a social platform for developers. That’s where I can view other people’s work, recommend changes, or just get inspired to make or re-create a project.

Most recently, I graduated from a developer school called Boise Codeworks. That’s where I attended a 13-week course, every day from 9 am to 5 pm, to really get the latest and greatest developer training. It allowed me to focus on coding daily. It’s more focused and real-time than a traditional four-year degree because there is constant change in the industry.

That’s also where I've developed a networking channel and support. I participate in a daily chat on Slack where developers share advice or ask for input during their projects. It’s a unique and collaborative group that is very valuable for me.

I'm also part of a larger network of developers called Boise Software Developers Group. The group has been hosting networking meetups in the valley for 20 years, hosting a variety of tech topics each month. The public group includes over 800 members and offers discussions focused around design patters, industry best practices, and architecture.

Exercising Knowledge

Game logic is also a good way to gauge knowledge. One of the most recent projects I’ve started involved game logic — in particular, the game of ZORK. The first version of the game was written in the 70s and used MDL programming language. I became intrigued by the game because it made me build code for each specific action. For those who have played, it can bring a sense of nostalgia relating to childhood.

I started developing my own version of the game called Madhouse using C# (pronounced C sharp), which is a secondary language. The programming language is helpful with games like ZORK, but is also used to design web forms and applications. If you're interested in playing, I've built some interfaces into the game to help you implement basic requirements.

 

Forging Ahead

If I’m being completely transparent, developing can be a frustrating field. Many developers feel like they're unqualified at times and sometimes experience imposter syndrome. The best thing to remember, though, is to be confident and optimistic. Relying on others for advice is also helpful.

 

For anyone who’s thinking of the ever-evolving world of being a developer, be certain that it’s for you. The industry is fast-paced, not easy, and requires you to understand that you won't know everything. Start by looking at resources online like Free Code Camp where you'll learn the three big components of development – HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Get involved in developer communities where you’ll be challenged, but also network with others and grow.

 

Applying Knowledge

Being part of a developer group, I always stay on top of current topics. It’s fun to look at both because the group is diverse, ranging from students to experts. Away from the group, I still find ways to be challenged. I’m excited about the future and to be able to learn, grow, and create for UrbanLink Group.

Think your company can benefit from a web revamp or refresh? I’m happy to provide more details on ways we can work together. Get in touch today!

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