The wicked wide web
After spending almost 10 years working my way through various aspects of IT and web development I have discovered my calling as a User Experience Designer, the working title I have held since 2011 although I have touched aspects of user experience design throughout my career from being a network solutions architect, database administrator, web designer and front-end developer
I made my first site in 1998. Fortunately, the fate of Tripod means that it is hidden from public view.
I became part of Clearleft in 2013 after spending most of 2012/13 as a freelance ux consultant working on projects for Purina One, Fairtrade, NetBuilder, JPMH and Pink Cactus.
Over the years I have worked on some interesting projects and some downright dreadful ones, but who hasn't?
Guitars guitars guitars
Music is my biggest passion. Since I was about 8yrs old I have played guitars and listened to whatever I could find. I do have a predeliction for loud heavy bands but I have incredibly varied tastes. Everything has a time and a purpose.
In 2013, after 7 years Here There Be Monsters went into hibernation indefinitely of which I was a guitarist for 3 years. prior to this I managed the band and co-managed the distro label created around it - Black Match Records with co-founder and life long friend Anthony Giles. We released 2 eps and a live album, all are available through bandcamp.
After studying Music Technology at College my first job was as a sound engineer at the South East's long standing indipendent venue The Forum in Tunbridge Wells. During my time at The Forum, I ran the local talent series; Monday Night Showcase for two years, started numerous short lived side projects, booked international artists, worked with the Arts Council on youth initiatives, went on tour with several UK artists and once got snowed in for an entire weekend with only the contents of the bar and an electric heater to survive. I got to work with some amazing bands and some downright dreadful ones, but who hasn't?
Hell on two wheels
Take a look at my parents and you wouldn't expect them to spend all their free time riding motorcycles around the world. I've grown up around loud noises and the smell of two stroke engines. My dad was into Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Queen whilst my mum got her groove on to Pink Floyd, David Bowie and The Dave Clark Five. I have an uncle who is a former UK stock car champion, ran in partnership a British Touring Car team and has worked for McClaren F1. Since I can remember my garage has been full of bikes or boats.
I waited too long to get my licence, but finally did in 2011. Since then I have tried to make any dry moment one out on the road carving the back lanes of Sussex. My bike history is short (unlike my Triumph mad parents), starting out with a '99 SV650s and now sporting an '11 CBR600FABS.
Some of my earliest biking memories are hanging on to the jacket of my dad whilst being taken around a car park on his newly rebuilt '70s Suzuki GS750, watching Joey Dunlop career through the crowd next to me at the Isle of Man TT and sitting on Barry Sheen's bike and not getting told off.
I've had some great adventures on bikes, and some downright dreadful ones, but who hasn't?
Movies Games and Videos
Some people go to the pub, others the gym. Whatever you do to shut your brain off and unwind is fine wih me. Me? I pick up a controller and play a game. As a kid we had a ZX Spectrum 128k and 100s of cassettes. I could play coin-op conversions like New Zealand Story, Outrun, Chase HQ, Rainbow Island and Paperboy forever. We had two books on the shelf in our bedroom on Basic, I never quite understood them but I sat with my mum going through a book and made a hybrid, somewhat deformed and broken version of Space Invaders in green white and black.
Growing up in the 80s/90s arcades were big business. Holiday parks thrived with new and old machines. I would get to spend a summer playing Metal Gear Solid 30p after 30p until we hit the end credits, or Operation Wolf, Area 51, then the arrival beat 'em ups such as Street Fighter II, Neo Geo's Samauri Showdown, or King of Fighters. Some kids had the logos for their favourite bands on their school bag. I had logos for Firebird, Gremlin, Ocean, Taito, Namco and Codemasters.
My all time favourite? Probably a toss up between Golden Axe and Midnight Resistance. Until discovering the Mass Effect franchise the game I had sunk the most hours into was Frontier Elite II.
I playing games daily. You can join me on XboxLive (AvangelistXMB) or PSN (The_Avangelist). I've had some amazing kill streaks on CoD and some downright dreadful ones, but who hasn't?