Don’t judge a developer by their job title

I taught myself to program in 1981 (when i was 8) on a ZX81. I submitted a game (“Robin Hood” *cringe*) to Virgin Games when i was 10.

I got my first real job in 1995. I did frontend development for a search engine – including design and UX. I acquainted myself with the UX classics – The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug, and the writings of Jakob Nielsen.

I’d had some informal training as a designer – my mum was a graphic designer and planned for me to follow in her footsteps. Most teenagers had posters of bands on their bedroom walls but i had posters of fonts.

In 1999 i joined Ogilvy, one of the world’s top advertising agencies. It was here that i had the importance of branding drummed into me. (Although i learned more from Start With Why to be honest).

After a stint at a digital media agency i joined DMGT in 2005. It’s where i work now.

Many projects at DMGT lacked a business case, and had little value. I was desperate to make the business (and not just the dev team) more agile.

I found inspiration in Adapt, by economist Tim Harford (my degree was Business Economics). I self-published a short book about business agility and innovation. I soon discovered the Lean Startup movement which articulated the ideas far better. I founded a meetup about it – the London branch of the Stoos Network.

Early on at DMGT i was given management responsibilities. As part of this i did 2 years of management training. I also became a certified ScrumMaster.

I’ve been at Metro (part of DMGT) for 10 years.

I consider myself what Google calls a “smart creative“.

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