Erik Byron R. Briones has been creating websites since 1999. At present, he is a Senior Web Developer of CPI Media Group, formerly Corporate Publishing International.
“We are a publishing company catering to C level market. Our top magazines are Computer News Middle East which is subscription only, and SME Advisor Middle East. We also have added a few Consumer titles that are successful namely – BBC Good Food Middle East, Mother, Baby and Child.”
His life in UAE is quite typical for a professional expat. “Everyday, I go to the office for 9-5 job, and then go home to my wife. Outside the office I try to enjoy as much as I can by playing PC games, watching movies or hanging out with our friends.”
Among the different fields, why did you choose web designing? Being a web designer was half by choice, and by accident. I joined an IT team in our school back in college. To be honest I only joined the group to get FREE internet at home. I started with customer care, then I realized I am not good at talking to strangers, that I opted to join the design team – the web team. This was during college. I grew to love designing websites and creating websites for other people. My first client was a family friend and she was impressed by the Audio/Video presentation I made for her in Flash!
What do you like about what you do? What do you dislike? I like the psychology of design. Predicting what people will like or dislike in what I do. Giving people the experience, and knowledge out of my websites, and the websites I create for the company. What I dislike? Uneducated inputs. Like when someone says “blue” because I like the color blue.
What do you think are the advantages of being a Web Designer? I am lucky to be in a field where it changes a lot. It does not remain stagnant. What you might know as standard today, is obsolete just a year after. Generally, this is because it involves the internet. I can easily read about stuff relevant to my work via the internet, I can interact with other people, exchange ideas. There are lots of Web Designers/Developers all over the world. The WordPress community alone is more than enough collective knowledge for me to create a WordPress site. I also get to show people exciting stuff. Although sometimes I take it for granted, some people enjoy most of my works which I find – simple and boring.
What are the qualifications or skills needed in a job like this? What advice would you offer someone considering this career? If there’s one thing I can clearly say is that you do not need to learn from schools to become a Web Designer / Developer. I graduated a Mechanical Engineer. I know of a lot of other programmers and designers that have different educational background. The key thing to hold maybe is to just love making websites, and continue to grow.
You must have a good sense of design and be willing to learn. It is not in what I know now that makes me valuable, but it is in a way that I know how to find solutions to my problems. Read about it. There are lots of Web Designers all over the world. Some of them very young and some of them are in the field for years. There is no sense in competing with the rest of these people. You don’t get hired because you are the best web designer. You get hired because you are a reliable Web designer, that the company knows that they can trust you to deliver a project. Again, read, study, innovate, never say that you can’t do it. Anyone who has a passion for design and the internet can become a Web designer. With tools we have nowadays and the tutorials that are readily available in the web, it should be easy.
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