Coding with Confidence with Web Developer Matthew Marquez

Cris Antonio |

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Technology is an omnipresent element in our daily lives. In fact, there’s a generation that grew up on social media platforms. Whether it’s a blog, a shopping site, or your favorite app, these modern conveniences were built by web developers.

Since the first website in 1991, there are now more than 1 billion websites worldwide. Who makes them? And how do they run without any errors? That is the fascinating job of Matthew Marquez as a web developer.

Let’s Meet Matthew

Believe it or not, Sowenscale’s talented web developer is a working student! Matthew Marquez is currently studying Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Saint Louis University, Baguio. Despite his age, he has worked with various local and international clients.

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“A college degree is very important. I believe it serves as a foundation for a successful climb in the corporate world. I chose IT not only because of the rising demand but also because I’ve been exposed to it since I was a kid.”

No doubt that he’s on the right path: there’s been a huge demand in recent years for IT and IT-related skills. In the Philippines, web developers can enjoy a lucrative annual salary (depending on skill level and experience).

“Choosing the right track for my career was a challenging decision to make. I knew I wanted to build learning management systems and e-commerce platforms, so I looked into IT. This is the right path for me because I enjoy what I do and I’m eager to discover more.”

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Interested in web development? You’re going to need more than coding smarts. The playing field is highly competitive and requires candidates to have good communication, presentation, and problem-solving skills as well. This is because web developers normally work with a team consisting of UI/UX designers, content creators, and project managers.

Matt is learning all these while still in school. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!

On Being a Web Developer

“I think the biggest misconception is that we’re experts in all kinds of technology. Like, we’re asked to hack computers or troubleshoot household appliances!”

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In spite of his days booked with work and school, he remains carefree and all smiles. If he’s not on a project, he’s studying new strategies, checking in on meetings, beating deadlines, or brainstorming with colleagues. Still, he frees up his schedule for photography or coffee with friends as a way to unwind. Self-taught, independent, and multi-skilled, Matt says his journey as a web developer had been bumpy.

“Although I have been self-taught since 8th Grade, I find it hard not to have a mentor who would guide me. Another significant challenge was the people who didn’t believe in my plans for the future…”

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When asked what these plans were, this passionately curious guy says he wants to try his hands at mobile development once he has mastered building great websites (along with more exciting pursuits).

“…I have plans to train as a private pilot after I finish college.”

Waking up to Challenges

“The best thing about being a web developer is seeing all inputted code and APIs work properly on the local machine as well as on the server-side.”

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We may not all be able to relate to the technical side of his profession, but we can all relate to a job well done. And Matthew just wants to do his best. He began learning the ropes at Codecademy, an online interactive platform offering free coding classes in 12 programming languages such as Python, Java, Ruby, SQL, C++, and even markup languages like HTML and CSS.

“…It came to a point when I could already deliver basic static sites and my relatives were asking me to make one for them. So I aimed to upgrade my skills, particularly in JavaScript and its frameworks and libraries including ReactJS and NodeJS…”

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As web developers are the backbone of any website, they must acquire technical competence on top of other aptitudes. To advance in the industry, you will need to be patient, persistent, diligent, and logical – traits that Matt recommends future IT students should have as well.

“My main advice is to have the courage to continue learning even when you fail at first. They should also have the determination and perseverance to finish projects; find workarounds despite difficulties; and be patient during the times when every code revision doesn’t seem to work.”

On Careers, Risks, and Motivation

When we were students, we often found it hard to wake up for school. Our parents usually had to resort to unique means (like cooking yummy breakfast) just to get us out of bed! But if you’re a working student, you’ll need twice the motivation. So how does Matthew manage it?

“It’s not just about monetary compensation. I’m motivated because of my purpose. Developing websites helps me improve my technical skills, which in turn, helps clients achieve their business goals. My success at work motivates me in my academic life.”

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Right now, Matt is able to enjoy the best of both worlds because of Sowenscale’s flexible management style. The weekly check-ins, free coffee, and overall dynamic vibe are something to look forward to as well. For him, team collaborations are productive, yet allow periods for reflection and realizations.

“…Sowenscale is a great place for creative, committed, and adventurous young people who want to enhance their existing skills. And compensation is great!”

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While it’s normal for young adults nowadays to ‘live life in the moment’, envisioning the road ahead is always a wise move. Matt’s road may not be clear-cut yet, but he knows what he wants. And we want to see him succeed, too.

“I want to graduate with Latin honors and create an IT solutions company that will cater to private companies and the local sector.”

See what else Matt is making by visiting his Instagram @matt.marquez.


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Cris Antonio

Cris Antonio is a freelance Copywriter, Editor, and Speaker. If she’s not writing or editing, she helps business owners and young adults build their presence on the Web.