It was around 17 years ago I stumbled into web development - completely by accident. Having had some problems with PC (we're talking vintage Celeron 333MHz here) I found a local repair shop and on arrival discovered that an old friend was running the place. As we chatted and caught up on things I found out he was building a website for a local radio station, using lots of vibrant colours and themes using a program I hadn't used myself yet - Adobe Photoshop. It immediately piqued my interest and I wanted to learn more myself about this exciting area of computing.
It didn't take long before I was kitted out with my own little piece of the web and building pretty dreadful looking websites (and even worse looking Flash animations). I'm sure you're very well aware of what I mean as almost everything in the last 90's had that GeoCities look about it. I soon realised I had no actual design sense but felt more comfortable seeing the same played out with other websites of the time elsewhere online. Around a year later and after building some fairly basic HTML based websites with a little tinkering in Flash someone sent me a link to the Ego7 website. When I first saw it my jaw hit the ground - this was Flash and the right way to produce it. Everything was sleek and polished, the site looked like a desktop with carefully crafted icons that could be dragged around and content loaded without having to refresh the entire page. It's a shame the site is no longer online as I would love to show a comparison of what was considered "cutting edge" for HTML and then show off how much better Ego7 looked.
Another website that was being showcased was www.theory7.com (Original site) and it was through the both of these that my inspiration came from to delve deeply into Flash and see just how far I could push the technology. Moving forward another couple of years and my first full Flash site was online (Innovativedesigns) which included a lot of ideas I'd been working on and seen around the web but with my own take on things. I got a lot of flack when I announced my site as others in the Flash community accused me of "ripping off" older, more established sites but as all the code was my own it more a case of building what I wanted in a style that was familiar and well known. You wouldn't say Vauxhall ripped off Ford just because they too make cars with 4 wheels and 2 headlights.
As the years progressed I found myself actually working for Theory7. It was a great privilege to work for and befriend the people who had first inspired me to learn coding in the first place. While working with the team there I gained so much knowledge and experience as we were always working on large scale projects for the likes of Honda, Co-Op, Ace Europe and The Royal Exchange which pushed the envelope of what could be done with interactive websites. It's now nearly 15 years later and I'm still developing online. The tools in the toolbox have changed and grown over time with Flash still being very important but newer technologies with a more cross platform appeal such as HTML5 also making strides across mobile devices. If someone had told me as we approached the year 2000 that only a decade later we'd all be walking around with high performance computers in our pockets with larger screen resolutions, more memory and CPU speed than the best PC's available then I think I would have laughed out loud. It's amazing how far we've come in such a short amount of time - who knows what the next 17 years will bring.
With over 16 years industry experince I've gained a wealth of knowledge using various software applications, frameworks and API's. Below are some that I am most familiar with.
I am available for both contract and freelance work. Want to find out more? CV available on request.