About me

I'm originally from South Africa and grew up on a dairy farm in a very beautiful part of the country. I'm now a Frontend Developer / UI Engineer living in West Sussex, England with my family.

Before I ever touched a computer, my life revolved around teasing cows, off-road motorbiking, hiking and wild camping in the mountains, staring up at the stars, canoeing, fishing and sport. That certainly feels like quite some time ago now… 🤔

My wife and I moved to the UK at the tail end of 1995 — initially for one year — but as you’ve probably gathered… we never left. We have 3 children. 2 sons and a daughter.

When I have the time I write now and then – and have written a few posts, jotted down some notes, and bookmarked links to articles I’ve enjoyed and found interesting. Hopefully some of them will resonate with you.

What I do #

I build websites and have been doing so for around two decades.

I specialise in the “front-of-the-front-end”. The somewhat fuzzy intersection between design and back-end engineering. I find I’m well suited to and enjoy roles that balance the user & developer experiences, empowering teams to write great code in a way that feels right to them while ensuring a positive user experience.

I’m quite good at picking up new skills and programming languages, as well as problem solving. My core technical skills include HTML, CSS, progressively enhanced JS, responsive design, PWAs, web performance, web accessibility, static site generation, Eleventy, Jekyll & Astro. From time to time, you’ll also find me with my hands in the “back-of-the-front-end” utilising Node.js, configuring an API, fiddling with JavaScript bundlers, as well as streamlining build and deployment processes, and CI/CD workflows to help improve frontend development efficiency.

I try my best to build web solutions that are resilient, usable and as future-friendly as possible. For this reason I prefer a vanilla approach and tend to steer clear of using JavaScript frameworks if I can help it.

Don’t get me wrong, JavaScript frameworks certainly have their place and I think they can be wonderfully powerful tools when we keep the end user in mind — rather than only prioritising the developer experience. At the moment I’m not sure we’re getting that balance quite right.

Here’s a bit more about some of the work I’ve done.

Download my CV

Am I a designer? #

While I can design and do love the design side of things, I’m not a designer per se.

These days, my role often involves collaborating with designers to ensure that the design translates as well as it can into the browser — regardless of the end user’s context and how they choose to navigate the web interface (eg. screen reader, mobile phone, browser of choice, etc.).

Webby stuff I’m enjoying #

Eleventy, Astro, Svelte, Vite, Netlify, Netlify CMS, Fractal, SVG animation using GreenSock, and Web Components are proving really enjoyable to work with and have restored some of the magic of building websites again.

Some hobby stuff #

I enjoy taking photos whenever I can and am a fairly decent drummer. Fly fishing for trout is something I grew up doing and continue to do. I head to the beautiful Lakedown Trout Fishery as often as I can. A gorgeous and tranquil spot away from all the noise.

I absolutely adore aircraft and flying and hope that one day I’ll be able to get my PPL.

What I’m reading #

An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity” by Wes Jackson & Robert Jensen, as well as William R. Catton’s “Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change” are on the go. At this point in time, these books are possibly turning out to be some of the most important reads of my life.

I’m also a sucker for fantasy. The feeling of been transported to another world is intoxicating and a welcome escape. Currently I’m making my way through one of Michael R. Miller’s fantasy series, “Songs of Chaos”.

Here’s a selection of some other books I’ve read over the past few years.

About this website #

This website has been the home of my personal blog for a fair few years. Everything written here represents my opinions and perspectives on various things. It doesn’t reflect or represent the views of anyone I work for or with.

I also use it as a platform for experimenting with newer frontend web technologies & techniques — so there’s every chance it may look a little ‘wonky’ now and then. Please forgive me if something doesn’t look quite right or work properly on your screen at the moment.

I resonate with Ethan when he says, let a website be a worry stone.

If you have any issues, questions or spot any spelling mistakes(!), I’d appreciate it if you could let me know by submitting a GitHub issue, or by emailing me directly.

I’ve also written about my decision to redesign & develop my website in the open which has both been fun and scary. Not least because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and doing it this way has helped wean me off the need to have things completely polished before showing them.

More information about the technology used to make this website is available in this humans.txt file.

The last production build was on: 22 May 2023 @ 10:16 PM GMT