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About beeps

I’m a frontend developer

I work for the Government Digital Service (GDS) on the GOV.UK Design System team. I’m not currently looking for a new role, please stop asking.

I’ve been making websites professionally since 2012 and as a hobby since 2003. Yes, I’ve somehow been at this for over 20 years.

In that time I’ve picked up a lot of skills in a lot of frontend, backend and dev-ops-y areas, but since 2015 I’ve gravitated towards doing front-of-the-frontend style work.

I like delving into things like the semantic web and the nitty-gritty bits of HTML that everyone thinks they know but don’t always get right.

I like pushing for accessibility, inclusivity and ensuring information is available, usable, and pleasant for as many people as possible, without limitations.

I like constructing design systems and doing the hard work to make things easier for others.

Mostly, I just like making things that are both functional and pretty.

Being a civil servant

Working for GDS means that I’m a civil servant and I’m bound by the Civil Service Code. That means I have to maintain a level of political objectivity in spaces shared with the general public, even when that space exists outside of work—say, a personal website like this one.

As a consequence, it is rare that I’ll comment on political matters in public spaces, such as on this website or my social media profiles.

I make a few exceptions to this. Work-related disputes and union membership can be freely discussed. I also personally do not consider discussion of LGBTQIA+ topics to be ‘political speech’, that is a discussion of my life and my lived experiences in the past, present and future.

I think it’s disgusting that some parliamentarians choose to politicise the rights and struggles of a minority to stoke unnecessary culture wars. Trans rights are human rights. That is not up for debate. 🏳️‍⚧️

There are likely plenty of things floating around from before I joined the Civil Service that aren’t politically neutral. As far as I am aware, these are allowed to remain as they are as the Code does not apply retroactively.

Work history

For the benefit of my memory as much as yours, here’s some of the projects and clients I’ve worked on over the years.

At the Government Digital Service (2022–present)

The Government Digital Service is part of the UK Government and is responsible for enabling the digital transformation of government services. We do this by creating the tools and guidance that other departments need to build cohesive, accessible and inclusive online services.

To date, I’ve been the primary developer for adding full support for localisation to Frontend and the password input component contribution.

I was a major developer on the “exit this page” component and was responsible for the Frontend implementation, optimisation and release of King Charles III’s Tudor Crown logo.

This is in addition to all sorts of other small stories, accessibility improvements, writing documentation and guidance, providing user support, and so much more.

I’ve also discovered and reported a healthy cache of browser and assistive technology bugs to the likes of Apple, Google and Mozilla.

Apart from development-y tasks, I’ve been staff and moderator for both of the Design System Day 2022 and Design System Day 2023 conferences organised by the Design System team.

At Felinesoft (2014–2022)

Felinesoft is a software agency that develops websites and bespoke software, with a particular emphasis on meeting the needs of membership organisations.

For most of my time at Felinesoft I was the lead frontend developer and the only person with specialisation in web accessibility. I worked closely with the user researchers and experience designers to make things as best as they could be under often restrictive budgets and deadlines.

One of my personal highlights at Felinesoft was building the websites for nearly all Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealerships worldwide. This one website masqueraded as many, and needed to support nearly 20 different languages. It was great fun. Unfortunately none of these are still online.

Another highlight was the website for the Royal Photographic Society, for which I was both the frontend developer and designer. Through constant pairing with one of our backend developers, we were able to release an entirely rebuilt and redesigned website in just six weeks.

Membership websites I built at Felinesoft included those for the Association for Project Management (APM), British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and Royal Society of Medicine (RSM). Those guys love acronyms.

Non-membership websites included those for holiday company Ski Miquel, Cruft’s organisers The Kennel Club, HIIT-and-runners Les Mills, and staffless sun slingers Consol.

Major projects I can’t link to include internal tools for organisations including Art Fund, the children’s charity I CAN, the International Broadcasting Convention, and Macmillan Cancer Support.

We also did some work on the side, producing campaign websites and materials for Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort, where I did double-duty as backend developer.

At Goram & Vincent (2012–2013)

Goram & Vincent (at the time when I worked there, at least) is a small, agile full-service agency that do everything from branding and graphic design to website development and video production. I worked there as a full-stack developer during my degree’s industrial placement year.

During my time there, I worked on simple campaign websites for Continental Tyres and Glorious Brands; built content-content managed sites for the BMJ and Beeston Media; developed a store locator for Stila; designed an ecommerce platform for Shiner; and wrote Ruby as I maintained the MyDrinkaware tracking app.

Community and volunteer projects

  • The Furtean Times (online newspaper and magazine for the furry fandom)
  • Library Music Archive wiki
  • MyFursona (furry social networking website)
  • Randomize Everything (Nova extension)
  • Severn Bronies (local meetup group website)
  • Vanilla Validation (JS library)
  • WikiFur (wiki of furry fandom knowledge)
  • A bunch of other random things on GitHub (I 💚 FOSS)