Hi, my name is Chantelle Lander and i’m a freelance web developer based in Peterborough, UK.
My Story of how I came to be,
2000: I first found <code> when I was 12 years old after finding some web design magazines someone had given to my mum. I’ve always thrived at the site of a challenge, so deciphering all these “weird” made up words, dots and brackets in the magazine was right up my street. I spent months going through the 50+ magazines and it really did become quite addictive for me.
2001 – I could not get my own library card until I was 13, so in 2001 when I finally turned 13 my parents asked what I wanted for my birthday, to which I responded something along the lines of “A library card” – I really think this is the moment my parents began to feel they had not raised a “normal” child. So, the moment I got a library card, I was then getting books out about HTML & CSS. Then it hit me, I am going to need to convince my parents to allow me on their pc. This would be one the hardest challenges! Of course, they said no, they would of preferred me to be out with friends or reading “normal” books. But I persisted, which even went as far as I went on strike as their child. I think it was my mum who gave in first, maybe hoping it would be a phase.
So I then needed to learn how a pc works, so after getting a computer for dummies book from the library and reading that (mostly at night when I was sent to bed). I began to develop computer skills. I found a website which allowed you to make custom page templates from HTML and inline CSS. So that’s where I started.
2002 – By this point I had made dozens of page templates out of basic HTML. I decided I was ready for the next step. I needed my own web hosting. Which of course my parents said no to. So, I found some websites that let you make free websites. So, at this point I was very familiar with HTML but not so much with CSS. Well these free websites allowed me to do HTML and CSS together.
2003 – I was pretty much banned from the PC. I think this was to be my parents last attempt to create a “normal” child. It failed. The local library now had computers. They realised this about 8 months later and then allowed me to use the home PC again. I found some forums for young developers where you could create HTML websites and then list them, and people could then use your work for free. I made a lot of friends around the world through this. My dad gave in then me built my own PC, which is pretty much where I lived when not at school. Well, this was it for me for the next 3 years until I was 18 years old.
2006 – The year I turned 18, I had completed school and a college course, got a job working at a dog kennels and had my own apartment. I went into the local computer parts shop one weekend and got talking to the manager, He asked what I do with computers as I was wanting to dual screen, I explained I built basic websites in my own time. I showed him some sites I had built, and he made me an offer to work alongside his son who was an upcoming graphics designer. So, we were making basic websites together and then selling them through the shop, which was nice small amounts of pocket money.
2008 – I decided it was time to learn more skills. So, I began dabbling in MYSQL and PHP. By the end of 2008 I had a built a website which then sold basic website templates at £50.00 each. A few people were submitting websites they had created on to this site, and when a sale was made, I would simply send them their money.
2010 – I had my daughter, so came out the web development scene for a while.
2011 – I received an email one day, from a company based nearby asking if I would call and arrange a meeting with them. It sounded like they wanted me to build a website for them. So i made the call and arrange a meeting. When I met the guy, I soon realised he was offering me a job at a digital agency. Up to this point I didn’t think I would ever actually work in the digital world full time, of course I had looked at the possibility of it in the past, but It did feel kind of out my reach with working and running my own apartment. So of course, I accepted the job and with this meant needing to learn WordPress.
2013 – I started creating WordPress themes for the digital company I worked for.
2014 – I decided to go self-employed and be contracted by the digital agency, I was then building themes for the company and myself to sell on theme directories.
2015 – I began getting offers by other digital companies around the UK and began taking on a lot of work and gaining a lot of new experiences. With this my skillset needed to widen and in came JQUERY.
Since 2011 I have been mostly working with WordPress. Creating themes and plugins for digital agencies and for my clients.