Matt Bradley, Web Developer

Why this isn't a portfolio

See, all portfolios these days follow the same format. Same witty one line intro, same smattering of trendy buzz words, same glossy screen shots of work, oh and not forgetting the links to social media accounts, all 12 of them. Fuck that.

If you were hoping to form an opinion on my ability as a developer by skim reading my portfolio and glancing at a few high res, drop shadowed screen shots then you are very much mistaken.

Web design / development is a wide ranging and very broad umbrella term, in it you will find many different job titles and skill sets. I'm an Interface developer, which roughly means that my skills lie in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Even though my job is to write code, I still see myself as somewhat of a writer. And the things I write have to be robust, reusable, semantic, efficient and error free. I approach my work in the same way I would writing this. I sweat the details; the little things. I'd like to tell you I haven't fretted over whether to use "class-name, class_name or className" but it genuinely bothers me. Daily. There's something strangely rewarding about giving a shit at a granular level. You wouldn't have a sentence with erroneous punctuation or grammar, so the same should apply to writing code.

I've completed projects for a nationwide furniture seller whose tv/print adverts you see on an hourly basis, a worldwide coffee shop chain that has more stores than is sensibly necessary, a supermarket chain that is big enough to wage war on Denmark, Whistler's finest tourism board, and everyone's favourite ski resort. Not to mention countless smaller, less glamorous projects. Projects that don't really stand out on a list but ones that probably hold more weight in terms of experience gained and lessons learned.

That doesn't take into consideration the countless other personal projects I manage to waste fill my time with. Some so small and meaningless they barely ever make it online, others actually end up as useful and, dare I say it, good. I tend to lean towards side projects that have a real world purpose instead of just the usual open source "tools for developers, by developers". Sure, most employers are impressed with active open source contribution, but I find it difficult spending my spare time on something that is little more than dick measuring and seeing who can pee furthest up a wall.

Or avalog.co, which is a very early stage prototype for skiers to share their safety reports and avalanche sightings. A collaboration with a friend, this aims to be a source of knowledge and information for novice skiers heading out in to dangerous terrain, and will hopefully coax people into pre planning any potentially dangerous trips.

bcbuses.com, for example. This was borne out of living in an area where the bus company had a shockingly bad website, to the extent that checking for the next bus was a pain. Initially made for myself and house mates to replace the paper schedule pinned to the fridge door, it is now a fully responsive, mobile friendly site that is widely used throughout the community.

Congratulations, you made it this far. I should have really packed this with far more SEO-loaded content, but I'll be damned if I'm rewriting it now. If you're after a front end developer in the Leeds, UK or Whistler, BC, Canada area feel free to get in touch.

matt [at] mattmade [dot] co [dot] uk