Skills

I have a wide range of skills, both in development and technical implementation.

Front End

Having spent fifteen years building websites – many of which have required cutting-edge techniques at the time of build – I have a large and varied set of skills for providing attractive, optimised and SEO-friendly websites. I have worked on a range of different projects types, including standard brochure-ware sites, aggressive sales funnelling, web applications, membership-driven and news / magazine sites.

Aside from bread-and-butter HTML5 and CSS, I am proficient in JavaScript, both vanilla and with libraries such as jQuery and React.

I am also well-versed in techniques that take advantage of Google’s Web Vitals measurements, their latest set of measurements for determining search engine ranking.

Back End

My first professional development experience was with Microsoft .NET, using C#. However, since 2011 I have been using PHP.

My most extensive usage has been in WordPress, where I have built dozens of sites and would consider it my primary skill. I have used off-the-shelf themes and plugins, re-utilised and extended many others and also built dozens of my own. I would consider myself very much an expert in this area and am capable of building, rebuilding or fixing virtually any WP based site.

I also have a good grounding in Laravel and SilverStripe – which are more frameworks than CMSes – having used both for several projects.

I have also started projects from the ground up, both using vanilla PHP and low-level frameworks such as Slim and the event-sourced system Prooph.

Finally, I have experience in using NodeJS in a backend or middle ware capacity, such as an authentication and GraphQL gateway, and as running a backend service for a React app.

Dev Ops

In addition to my development skills, I have also worked in many tech support roles. This includes building, maintaining and migrating web servers and development processes.

Over time, I have accumulated vast knowledge in how web severs (both Linux and Windows) need to be handled, as well as the myriad procedures of deploying code and updates to them.

I have used Ansible, Apache Ant, Jenkins and Chef in addition to the solutions provided by Atlassian Bitbucket and Amazon Web Services for taking the code developers write and turning it in to a live website. I am extremely experienced in using Docker and Vagrant on the development side, and in using dev tools such as Grunt and Gulp to utilise compilers, minifiers and builders in bespoke tool chains. On occasion I’ve had to resort to building Bash scripts when the tools I need aren’t available.

Tech Support

As noted above, I have just as much experience in providing tech and IT support as I do in development.

I have served in several positions, supporting users from Windows 2000 and OSX Jaguar all the way up to Windows 10 and MacOS Big Sur. I have managed on-premise installations of up twenty servers, a hybrid scenario of both cloud based and on-premise and have managed two entire migrations from one to the other, the second of which occurred during the first lockdown of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Amongst my greater successes, I achieved Cyber Essentials Plus certification (again, during the pandemic lockdown), a full phone system migration from Avaya to Mitel and a unilateral roll-out of Windows XP SP2 and Office 2003, when firewalls and virus protection first came in to the public consciousness.

Consultation

I am available for consultation on all of the skills I have gone into above, both on a contract and on a freelance basis.

I have a great capacity for learning new systems, technologies and procedures and would relish the opportunity to build upon existing infrastructures or helping to provision ones of the future.