Digital design & leadership
I've made loads of apps...
I've worked in digital since 2005, initially as a front-end designer & developer, moving into UI and UX design for native mobile and web apps, and now leading development teams across a range of idustries - but I've also done stints as a project manager, copywriter, content strategist, CMS technical support guy, and the classic "bloke who sits in the corner and looks after the website".
My employers have ranged from large organisations (both national & local government, and higher education), through charities and not-for-profit’s, right down to small independent companies, so I've seen the web evolve from a whole bunch of different viewpoints.
In recent years I've moved into leadership, working in Team Lead/Dev Manager/Engineering Manager roles, with a focus on people rather than technology. This means that rather than mucking in on Jira tickets, my focus has been on creating environments where teams can do their very best work - very difficult at times, but also extremely rewarding!
I currently work as the UK Engineering Manager for Ready Education, the global leader in Student Engagement software.
Although I rarely go near code these days, back in the day I was a pretty shit-hot front end developer* andn invested a lot of time and effort sharpening my skills on the following:
- Web standards
- Semantic markup
- Prototyping and wire-framing
- Page design and layout
- Information architecture
- Interface design
- Project delivery
My reading list
The web has moved on leaps and bounds since I was first started coding, but a lot of the literature that inspired me to become a Dev has stayed relevant - possibly because much of it isn't actually specific to the medium. For posterity, here's a list of books I would have reccomended 10 years ago, many of which I'd still say would be a worthwhile read today.
My current reading list is almost enitrely around leadership, so I've split my reccomendations into 2 sections:
Tech & design
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman
- Emotional Design, by Donald Norman
- Don't Make Me Think, by Steve Krug
- It's Not Rocket Surgery, by Steve Krug
- The Art of Captaincy, by Mike Brearley
- Grid Systems in Graphic Design, by Josef Muller Brockman
- The Elements of Typographic Style, by Robert Brinkhurst
- Designing with Web Standards, by Jeffrey Zeldman
- Handcrafted CSS, by Dan Cederholm
- Hardboiled Web Design, by Andy Clarke
- The Elements of Usability, by Jessie James Garrett
- Eric Meyer on CSS by, Eric Meyer
- The Icon Handbook, by Jon Hicks
- Graphic Design: The new basics, by Ellen Lupton
- Learning JQuery, by Karl Swedberg
Leadership & Management
- Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek
- Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
- Accelerate, by Nicole Forsgrem, Jez Humble, Gene Kim
- Making Work Visible, by Dominica Degrandis
- The Scrum Fieldbook, by JJ Sutherland
- Team Mastery, by Geoff Watts
- Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss
- How to Lead in Product Management, by Roman Pichler
- Managing Humans, by Michale Lopp
- Measure What Matters, by John Doerr
- The Goal, by Eli Goldratt
- Drive, by Daniel Pink
- The Coach's Casebook, by Geoff Watts
- Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts
- Crucial Conversations, by Kery Patterson
- The Makign of a Manager, by Julie Zhuo
- The 5th Discipline, by Peter Senge
- Primal Leadership, by Daniel Goleman
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek
You can see my most up to date portfolio pieces on the Behance website, including some ace non-web stuff like the guitar I've recently built, although since moving away from code I haven't had the opportunity to add much shiny new stuff - so don't be upset that it's not been updated for a while.