My career begins...
After a good few years of working in bars, travelling around the south of England I finally ended up at Kew gardens.
A fantastic place to work when you are reaching retirement age.
Your days are filled with small talk to your colleague and deep conversations of which biscuits to have with THIS cup of tea.
This is when I decided to get into web development.
Kew allowed me to study and practice my code whilst at work and fund myself through the course. It was perfect!
I completed the course in just under a year then spent an additional year building up my skill set until I finally landed a temp role at Kingston Uni and then on to Staffcare for my first permanent web developer role.
Now a market leading flexible benefits software provider, Staffcare was my first full time web development position.
I was also put on the testing team of their latest version of the software and through my quick grasp of the system, was seconded to KPMG or 4 months to help with their projects.
Returning to Staffcare I moved through the ranks in support and made changes that reduced cases and increase revenue drastically. After a year or so I handed over my support role to work on a new licensee, Mercer, and the building of their site before eventually moving permanently to Enrich.
As well as my work life I found time to start teaching myself PHP and MySQL. I built this site as my first project...
Enrich employed me as their lead developer to work on their Staffcare sites and other web projects.
My days here were kept busy maintaining and renewing client sites.
I also had the chance to get involved with an admin team and build reports for them that would make their life much, much easier. I now use the reports that I created to secure contracts at AON and currently at KPMG.
Along with this there was the opportunity to get involved with the rebrand of their products and external website which I jumped at!
I spent just over a year at Enrich and built a couple of sites to keep up to date with PHP and get more hands on with JQUERY.
Here is a game (built for chrome) and a chat application I made.
In August 2011, I left Enrich. To become freelance. I did not prepare well for this at all...
I've read many blogs now that tell you of what not to do when trying to become a freelance web developer.
They say the key things you need are savings, contacts and an online presence. Savings I did not have enough of and had even less contacts.
My online portfolio was good but could have done with a lot more work.
I quickly got to work on the second two and signed up to PPH which in turn lead me to a start up design agency, The Paper Face. Finding them was brilliant.
The sites I was building further extended my knowledge of front end technologies and also got me to learn OpenCart as an ecommerce platform. I also built custom CMS systems for their clients which would lead to the creation of SNAP. My own web creation tool.
The work was good fun but unfortunately not constant which lead me to contract out to Staffcare licensees such as Aviva, their latest capture, AON, and KPMG.
so... what am i up to now?
Staffcare contracting has filed most of my time along with some continued work with The Paper Face.
I've made Homex UK with design firm Design Happy and also worked with SubTV for a short contract which was great fun.
I often go to London Web Standards talks and will be doing a lightning talk in the near future about the Dos and Don'ts of Freelancing.
I've also created SNAP. A web creation too. I am currently setting this up as a CMS that comes with hosting and looking to licensee that software to small design agencies looking to sell web sites. If you would like any more information about SNAP then please feel free to get in touch.
I am also looking for work in Perth, Australia as I plan on moving there permenantly at the end of the year so if you want to hire me, get in touch.