Monday, 31 March 2014

My site is now back up at

After freelancing for two years and never finding time to get a new look up, I have finally got a start to it back on line and shall endevor to do some writing on it in the next month.

So have a look at Holdingbay and sent me feedback or job offers. It is just a theme and only started working on it for a week so not looking to win awards just need a space to talk about my work and me.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Do we need Website Production training courses to grow the roles?

For all my time building sites in house at companies I have had production staff to work with. They tend to come from all different backgrounds and often did not apply for that job. Production staff are sort of cs-junior frontend-data-marketing-writing-helpful types. These are people who learn how to process the data and images and work the website. They are not a one role person that does just content entry or advertising or sales. They are helpful to process or batch process and a little layout raw material into resource or finished work.

I was recently asked to freelance on a big site doing a  upper end version of this, setting up tools and reports and batching data into the writers and marketers but for the time and possibly the budget it did not fit. What they were finding hard is often people dont look for this as a role so were finding it hard to recruit.

I have been talking with my team and some friends about we find it difficult to find or train people to be able to block out sites and then train the client.  So we want a short course or cert that our clients could even do as a paid version. The subject would be Joomla/CMS Production Training.

What we would need:
Know how to use joomla 3
Know how to make menus
Know how to make module
Know how to make articles
Know how to make categories
Know how to build a page from a blank install with the parts
Know a base set of extensions
Know basic html needed for use in an article and what it might be used else where
Know the different use of html, css, js so they can ask issues intelligently
Make images the right size and file format

Plus level:
Can look at a design and have idea what plugins and modules they would need to make
Know how to research new extensions and suggest them
Be able to train the client on these things
Be able to offer first level support on these
Know when a problem is a bug or an error in the setup they can fix

Plus level variation if html skills:
Build some template parts from html they were given 

Task ideas:
Migrate a wordpress or static site to Joomla
Load data from a spreadsheet into joomla
Get images from any source and put in the site the right sizes
Add all the base menu + articles needed to the site
Add sample 10% content to the sections of the site so that layouts can work and client can see and do
Change a theme on a joomla site and update it
Update extensions 
Do backups
Maybe install joomla from scratch to make a new version

How does anyone feel about this sort of role and how you fill it or do the work?

As a php developer i just want to set the structure for the site and build the extra modules not fill it out so i can see if one thing works.

Monday, 9 December 2013

When work slows for winter, my mind moves to Startup

So, I have been pondering my bootstrap idea for a bit over a year now, and feel that if I dont make time for it I wont do it. So have been taking the time at christmas parties and meet ups to pitch it to other people. This has been a very valuable idea, a. because drunk people are difficult to persuade so takes good clear effort and b. some of the people I have talked to early in an evening have turned to very possible leads.

It has given me confidence in the idea and trying to keep it simple. I have two or three business people interested in trying a beta of it so , better get my coding skates on over Christmas.

All I will say for now is I need to name it, and its and Analytics SaaS web app, and is not a real time dashboard in node. (like the all sub 20 year olds and measure bowling were running, kids ! )

Also thanks to Peter and Emmanuel who might work with me on this and have been good sounding boards so far.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Looking back at my 2012 web predictions with @haydens30

Just took a look at the email I saved to my dropbox 12/12/2011 for a look back at my 2012 web predictions with @haydens30. I didn't do too bad if maybe 6/12 months early on some. 1. Yes. I think we can say social is at a high, not sure if it will go higher or just settle. 2. Yes. More learn and bootstrap businesses and ones focusing on profit not user numbers. 3. Yes. Not sure they made a backlash but even Rupert Murdoch digital paper has struggled to stay open 4. Yes. Cant go a day without someone saying it. 5. Yes. And predicted RIM fail, even though was fairly clear, I am happy with it. Almost time for this years ones. Anyone else? 2012 web predictions In response to Hayden Sutherland ( @haydens30 ) 1. Social will peak late in the year so we will either have a crash or first it will need stronger understanding of kpis 2. New business models that make sense to use for online businesses will become usable. More work practice understanding not money business. 3. The first newspaper to fold or stop printing will come and blame online. 4. Responsive design will be what it is requested from the start 5. More old tech will be abandoned and die. Like adobe giving up flash to progress. Mobile forms of apps will mean you don't need the old legacy option. So RIM and others will fall. "the fall of old to evolution" ie company will build new and let old die

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Launched rebranded and now responsive Luxury travel site Mirus Journeys

Launched a site rebrand under a new name of Mirus Journeys this week while at Wild Dog Design - Its my first big responsive site (based on Joomla 3 for those who are interested). Been a nice project to work on and John who did the front end dev and Stan who did some of the design have been good to work with. What do you think?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Whats more exciting than an Arduino

Whats more exciting is getting one in the post and thinking of what to build with it. I have wanted to build something with electronics for a long time but electrical diagrams and believing it a bit hard have put me off. But I went to the Build Brighton hack space last week where they did an evening on RaspberryPi, and Python. Python I can do and the stuff some people were building with trail and error excited me again. Looking at the two systems RaspberryPi is more a full computer but small, and Arduino is much smaller but better to interface with. Even better you can stick an Arduino on a Pi for greater flexibility. So though I would like to program it in python I think starting with an Arduino will be better as I'll have to work my way round 32k rather than a high celling of power. So on my christmas list is lots of electrical tools and kit. Hope I can get my son interested in pressing buttons and lighting LEDs too. This is the kit im starting with A new world of Sketch and soldering awaits. (Interested if you are also doing the same?) :)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Top Chef Chris Bailey first Popup Restaurant in Brighton

My favorite Chef Chris Bailey starts his first Popup Restaurant in Hove, Brighton. He is calling it "Chris Bailey's ‘Taste of cheese’ Menu" Looking forward to the cheese inspired menu taken from the host Cheese Shop La Cave in Hove.
He is doing a 6 course amazing menu for just £35 a head. From talking with him the tickets are going fast and it should be great night.
I hope I can squeeze in to this one but am looking forward to making it to the next one he puts on in a few weeks too.
p.s. he is my brother but I did not get him a Michelin Star his great cooking did ;)