A New Challenge

This year marked my 7th year living in London, a length of time I never envisiged spending here when I first moved back in 2008. It will however also be my last year in London; next month I’ll be moving back to Wales to start a whole new adventure.

Moving on

The last 6 years have had their own unique challenges.

Shortly after moving to London, I met my girlfriend Sarah, and true to Sod’s law she lived in the exact area that I had just moved away from – South Wales.

As anyone who has been in a long distance relationship will tell you, it’s not an easy situation to deal with. For the last 6 years, we’ve been away from each other more than either of us would have liked. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wished we’d been together for an event, but distance has meant it simply wasn’t possible.

I’ll always be hugely grateful for Sarah’s patience to help me push on with my career in London, but it’s time that I start making her my number one priority and I couldn’t be more excited about moving in together in a few weeks.

Goodbye TMW

3 years ago I got the amazing chance to grow a front-end team from nothing when I started work at TMW.

My partner in crime at TMW – we started on the same day – has been Zander Martineau and I’m massively proud of what we have achieved together in that time. Zander, as well as having one of the coolest dogs I’ve ever seen, is one of the most talented developers I’ve ever met. Luckily, he’s also rubbish at most video games, which meant that we could still be friends ;)

Together we’ve seen the creative tech team treble in size and, aside from us all being great friends, are the most talented collection of developers I’ve had the chance to work with.

As an agency, TMW has been unbelievablly receptive to change. Instead of burying their heads in the ground, the company really does listen to their staff to evolve their processes and stay as up to date as possible. They truly are unlike any other agency I’ve been a part of and I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity that they gave me.

I’ll be genuinely sad to say my goodbyes next week.

The Job Hunt

Starting the job hunt at the beginning of the year was pretty daunting; when I decided to move to London in 2008, it was because the opportunites for web developers there were incredible in comparison to many other UK cities at the time. I was intrigued to find out first-hand what life was like outside the big city.

Thankfully, times have changed. Our industry is blessed by an abundance of great roles that means the main issue is finding the right job, rather than simply any job.

I had a pretty good idea of the type of company that I wanted to work for. Having worked at agencies for the majority of my career, I wanted a new challenge. One of the most frustrating aspects of agency life is developing marketing websites that are only ever intended to be online for 3-6 months before being taken down. By far the most enjoyable project I’ve been a part of was when I was redeveloping the BBC GoodFood site – a project that I worked on for well over a year.

I therefore wanted to help build something that would last and that I could genuinely help evolve over time.

Hello Just Eat

I’m excited to say that I’ll shortly be joining the team at Just Eat, as a Senior Web UI Engineer.

Towards the end of last year, Just Eat opened their Bristol office to compliment their already established presence in London. I will be complimenting the London engineering team while being based in Bristol, working closely with them to help develop and improve the existing UK website.

The thought of working on a product again really excites me and I already can’t wait to get started. I’m looking forward to learning more about how a website of their scale is built and hopefully I’ll be able to add my own skills and ideas to the mix.

I start at Just Eat on the 11th of May.

Open Source Work

During my time at TMW, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my work has been the open source projects I have helped to develop and maintain with Zander and the team. This is an area that I am still very passionate about and intend to continue building upon in the future.

Kickoff and Statix – the two main projects I help maintain in collaboration with Zander – will continue to be developed as normal. In fact, the next version is currently in the pipeline and we will shortly be moving both projects to their own organisation repo, to help encourage other developers to contribute to their growth.

We also have plans to expand upon the front-end guidelines that have been written during my time at TMW and build these into a more specific set of resources for developers. More details to come on that in the coming months.

To the future

So that’s it really! Hopefully, I’ll have a whole bunch of new things to write about when I start work at Just Eat, but if anyone has any particular questions that they’d like to find out about, get in touch in one of the usual ways and I’ll do my best to answer them.