I actually started programming when I was around 7 years old, on the classic Commadore 64, VIC-20.
Back then you'd literally write out programs and games from a magazine, line-by-line.
Finding that one dodgy typo was fun!
I studied Computing at A-Level, along with Maths and Physics. Maths plays an important role when designing and building platforms that scale.
I also hold a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Computing Mathematics (Hon), when I sudied for 4 years in Sheffield, with a gap year working at BT.
Following university, I gained extra training and further qualifications including Oracle Systems Development, Advanced Perl Programming, and an NVQ (Level 3) in Management.
I am also Google AdWords Certified, meaning I can manage and optimise your online advertising campaigns.
I've been designing and building websites since 2002.
With my formal training and education, I quickly became an expert in the "back-end" side of programming, working with servers and databases, building large complex platforms (e.g. the UK National Insurance Database, or the CV-Library database consisting of over 10 million CVs).
Around half of my time these days is spent towards the "front-end" of development, designing and building modern and responsive websites.
It's common these days to find many programmers who have approached things the other way round. Web "designers" who have been given the keys to the server and now fiddle with the databases, unfortunately this is usually without any formal training, resulting in many systems not built to scale, or have countless security and performance issues.
A lot of my work involves re-factoring these platforms using technology better suited to the problem at hand.
Not all programming languages are created equal, I use my experience to dictate what language to use for a particular problem, rather than just what language I know. It just so happens I know a few.
Rather than use the latest language all the "cool kids" are using, I always select the correct language for the job at hand.
My experience of various languages reads as follows:
Including the modern Catalyst web-framework. This is my go-to language for most projects. It's a heavily road-tested language, and was actually the first language used on the web to create dynamic websites.
Perl is often thought to be a "dying" language, though I've been hearing that for over 15 years, and you can expect several new releases each year.
I'm also an open-source author on CPAN, a library of software written in Perl to solve pretty much every problem.
When a project or client requires some seriously fast text searching, Java is usually employed to deal with that problem.
At CV-Library I reduced CV search times from 5 minutes down to 10 milliseconds, searching across the text of over 4 million CVs.
When speed is absolutely critical, I bring out the big-guns. C is the grandaddy of all programming languages, and as close to the "metal" as you ever really want to go, before writing in 1's and 0's.
C isn't usually required for most websites, but is great fun and I love to break it out when I can.
These are the more recent popular languages.
Unfortunately (for my clients) I spend most of my days re-writing websites written in these languages. It's not necessarily the language that's the problem, but rather the person using it, typically with no formal training in software engineering.
These are what makes your website look nice, I build everything with mobile in mind, so you can be sure your website will always look good on small screens.
I spent 4 years as the Development Manager for 123-reg, a domain-name and web-hosting company. During that time I helped build various parts of the Internet, and became an expert in all things "web".
I maintain my own hosting platform (backed by Digital Ocean and AWS) and run 24/7 monitoring and alerts across everything.
Your website is in safe hands with me.
For 2 years I took over the technical direction of CV-Library, the UK's largest recruitment website. Handling over 10 million CVs, and making them searchable within 10 milliseconds. I re-wrote most of the platform to bring it up-to-date with modern technology, and released the APIs that power the mobile apps.
Over the years I've ran many affiliate-marketing websites, including voucher code sites, and price comparison engines, such as Digital Camera Supermarket.
I spent time with Venda, the people who power the back-end of famous brands such as Jimmy Choo, Wonderbra, and the Royal Mail.
As the Technical Director for Brainbox Digital, over a 4 year period I grew a development team of 5 developers, and pivoted the company into new markets and opportunities, working in Search and Display marketing.
I spent 3 years with Accenture, working on the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS2), and later moving to a new project to combine all HMRC tax and benefit systems.
"Big data" is my bread-and-butter.