At only 19, Joe, who is currently studying commerce and media studies at Auckland University, has already launched his own online magazine website, Templark, specialising in online pop culture, news and media.
Despite the widely held opinion that web design is only for computer whizz kids, Joe insists that’s not the case at all.
“The thing that people don’t realise is that web design and setting up a website is actually really easy,” he says.
“A lot of people see the coding and the numbers and everything and it all looks daunting, but even if you just spend 20 minutes watching YouTube clips, you’ll get the gist of it, and if you’re motivated enough it all just builds on from there.”
In his final year of school, Joe found that he had quite a bit of spare time on his hands and so what started out as just a boredom buster, learning to code websites, turned out to be a possible career option.
“You don’t have to be a genius or an overly creative person to design websites, you just have to be motivated and open to trying new things that haven’t necessarily been done before,” he says.
After about six months of teaching himself to code from YouTube videos and practising creating websites, Joe initiated the launch of Templark. The online magazine aimed at young males but open to all was an idea that Joe had always hoped would come to fruition one day.
Originally planning on launching the Templark project as a printed magazine, he found that with his newly developed web design skills, his idea of a print magazine for young men could actually be a website instead.
“I was always someone who was interested in a lot of different things, whether it be music, fashion or films, but I’d never found somewhere that had all those things in one place. So I thought surely if I’m thinking like this, there must be other people out there thinking the same thing.
And that’s really how the idea was born – I just wanted a place where people could browse a wide range of different interests in one location.”
In this technological age, Joe believes that web designers will be the most sought after professionals in the next five to 10 years, so after completing his Bachelor of Commerce Joe plans on studying computer science in the hope of further advancing his web designing career.
“At school I had no idea that I would have even been interested in web designing and coding, but after giving it a go I realised that I actually had a passion for it,” he says.
“And that’s what it’s really about, just finding something you’re passionate about and that you enjoy, then looking for a way to make that into a career – you know, something you can do every day – and that’s the beauty of web designing for me.”