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Simple HTML markup

Hello, I recreated my blog. Again.

It was time to start afresh. Properly this time. A new design, a new approach, and a large helping of motivation will help to keep this place going for years to come.

The blog will focus on web technologies, their use within modern business, and how you can effectively measure the impact they have. I’ll also be sharing major personal events, odd programming and technical solutions, new ideas and a few opinion pieces too. I tend to have a very light-hearted approach to life, so I hope to reflect that in future articles. That’s the plan, at least.

I’ve wanted to start a proper blog like this for months now, but there has always been a reason to postpone it. Now there’s no excuse. To start off, a brief overview of where my passion for web technologies all started…

2004 – the beginning

The first time I saw HTML code was on one of those thick white G5 iMacs from 2004. I was in America – one of those friend-of-a-friend scenarios – and after exchanging pleasantries with his parents, he showed me a website he and a few friends were working on. Until this moment, I had no understanding of how a website was made – I mean literally no understanding. He fired up Dreamweaver and started describing this site to me whilst pointing at, what appeared to me at the time as, strange symbols. Honestly, I thought he might be Neo from The Matrix.

So that planted the seed that grew to be my passion. I loved the idea of creating something from nothing, and I was determined to learn to do this myself.

2004-2007

I spent a few years after that getting to know my way around HTML and CSS, picking up Photoshop skills too. I even got the iMac to complete the kit. I moved onto PHP in the more recent years and set myself numerous web application projects to help speed-up learning.

2007-2009

I eventually taught myself a portion of SQL and database normalisation, and put it together to make a, somewhat clunky, social network. It was never going to be launched, it was purely a large-scale learning exercise. It was horribly inefficient, but it worked. I picked up object-oriented programming techniques, and started my relationship with JavaScript – now one of my favourite skills. This was a significant milestone for me – I could now create large-scale web applications from scratch, and I was only 18 years old.

2010-2012

I started to work with the CodeIgniter PHP framework, building custom content management systems, creating bespoke web applications, and customising numerous WordPress powered sites. It was a busy few years, with the first two years of a computer science degree taking up a good chunk of time, and a 12 month full-time placement at GlaxoSmithKline, but it was all experience worth gaining.

2012-2013

Things got pretty technical in my final year at University, where began combining my web programming skills with a native Android app for my final year project. A real mix of object-oriented PHP, and of course, Java. It was brilliant. A proper project to get my teeth into. All from scratch, all my idea, all for a bigger purpose too – a degree.

Graduation ceremony

2013-2015

Seven days after my final University exam I took a 14 hour flight with a good friend to Singapore to meet a few other friends who’d left to go round the world a few months before. We spent two months backpacking around Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. My girlfriend managed to join me out there after the first month, and we had the time of our lives out there. Really, I would recommend it to anyone.

Thailand boat tip

I got back from Singapore, graduated with a First-Class Honours and walked into a researcher role at a creative communications agency, Radley Yeldar. I got lucky here – it turned out to be one of the most fun but testing places I could start my career. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone, plucked me out of the detail of coding and gave me the skills needed to consult.

That’s my story so far, and this blog will continue it. Without further ado, let the blogging commence…