Hi, my name is James, I’m a front end developer based in the UK. Since September 2011 I’ve worked for an agency based in Leeds and spend my time creating awesome user interfaces and experiences for our many happy clients. My involvement in the web didn’t start there though. It goes way back to about 2003 where I made my first website on Geo-cities and filled it with images and text on the Solar System and after that I was hooked. I created my next ‘website’ in Frontpage and used it to generate Nintendo reward point referrals. Of course, all this was done through the joys of 56k and AOL – those were the days!
I continued to peruse my interest in all things related to the web, picking up things as I go and learning along the way through trial and error. A couple of friends and I even tried to start our own hosting website with nothing more than a reseller account and a few plugins from CPanel. It was quite an enjoyable journey, needless to say our project didn’t really take off but the experience and knowledge gained was invaluable and really kick started my love for the web.
I did have a brief career change at one point and entered into the automotive industry and was employed as a 3D designer for a large luxury RV manufacturer. I spent 2 years working for the company, starting with very little knowing of CAD/CAM to eventually designing the entire exterior of a 30ft A-class vehicle that is in production to date. I was also given the responsibility of writing the machining programs to be run on a 3D 5 axis CNC SCM Chronos Routech to make the molds. This was a very rewarding aspect of the job as it allowed my creations to be brought from the screen into the real world where I could touch and physically interact with them.
It was a very technical occupation which required immense attention to detail and a very methodical and logical approach to working which I think have really carried through into my coding. I have a passion for clean code that is not only highly optimized, but pretty and easy to look at which is very important when working with teams who might work on the project while I’m not there. They can look at the code and understand what it’s doing and pick up from where I left off.
One thing very important to me, which I always remember, that my senior told me as a 3D designer, was that when looking at a technical drawing, the only way you should be able to tell whose work it is, is by looking at the name on the sheet.
Meaning everyone should conform to the same standardized methods and conventions. This notion stayed with me and is conveyed in my work to this day.
This site was designed on a mac, developed in Sublime Text 2 and is deployed on JustHost. I’ve used a few HTML5 and CSS3 properties to keep it sharp, but for you out of date people out there, I’ve used a few ‘shims’ such as modernizr for HTML5 and selectivizr for CSS3 selectors in older browsers. If you are using an old browser, I would urge you to upgrade to a modern browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for the benefit of mankind and the universe in general.