About me

What I do

  • Until quite recently, I was primarily a Drupal developer. However, I'm moving towards flat-file CMS, that is, without a database. In fact, this site was built on Grav.
  • I have the following skills:
  • Responsive web design. I make sure sites render properly on any device, whether desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
  • HTML5, CSS3, PHP, Wordpress, Drupal, javascript and jQuery.

My career

  • Head of Web Development at SugarCat Publishing (now)
  • Analyst programmer, Royal Marsden Hospital (90s)
  • Analyst programmer, Frizzell Insurance, Legal & General Insurance, Sun Alliance Insurance (80s/90s)
  • Analyst programmer, IBM (70s)
  • Statisician in educational research (60s)
  • Racecourse betting assistant, Northern Nigeria (early 60s). My first job, and still the only one where one of the 'traders' was a witchdoctor. (yes, really)

My Education

  • MA Computing in Art and Design - Middlesex University
  • BSc Mathematics - University of Surrey
  • IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software - Cisco Networking Academy
  • Certificate in Interpersonal Skills for Volunteers - University of Wales, Lampeter
  • City & Guilds certificates in Creative Studies - useful for UI on websites!
  • PHP/MySQL - University of Bath
  • Javascript, jQuery, responsive web design - online courses

Manchester groups and events

  • Madlab. Lots of exciting stuff happens at this Northern Quarter location!
  • Manchester Girl Geeks arrange many fantastic events for women in science and technology (men are welcome when accompanied by a girl geek!).
  • Manchester <FRED> meets at SpacePortX monthly to discuss all things frontend, usually with a speaker.
  • Manchester Linux User Group (ManLUG) is a group of GNU/Linux users from in and around Manchester who meet up regularly at Madlab to discuss Linux and the GNU operating system.
  • There are loads of other tech happenings in Manchester. Look at North West Tech Community and you'll see that there's something going on nearly every evening.
  • Tech-related conferences are held in Manchester, including the ever popular Barcamps.

Volunteering

  • I am a mentor for Codeup Stockport. Codeup provides free and friendly adult coding tuition.
  • I have previously volunteered with Digital Skills for Women in Greater Manchester, which offers free training in digital technologies to unemployed women in Manchester, delivered by MadLab in collaboration with Manchester Girl Geeks and Manchester Libraries.

Top tips

  • If you work from home, get outside every day, even in a biting wind. Just 10 minutes of fresh air will perk you up.
  • Go to as many meetings, talks, conferences as you can. Many are inexpensive or even free.

Trivia

  • Favourite trend in web development: Flexbox and Grid Layout. These are new concepts in web layouts.
  • Pet peeve: Speakers or writers who use 'your mum' or 'your grandmother' as the default example for someone who doesn't understand the internet.
  • Hobbies: Swimming, yoga, Pilates, hiking, knitting and sewing.
  • Biggest achievement: My first degree, as I wasn't encouraged to go to university.
  • What am I looking forward to? A solution to the problem of images on mobile devices.
  • Special talents: I write really good code, and can make a decent souffle.
  • What I want you to get out of my blog: Something you can actually use!