I run a website design and online marketing agency for craft beer brands located on Old Street, London named Hallway.
In one way or another, I've been doing this sort of thing for as long as I can remember.
As an early (1984) Millennial I've always had a keen interest in technology and communications, having been introduced to electronics by my father at a young age. I quickly moved on to higher level computing, with my first experience of programming during 1995/96 being courtesy of a BBC Micro roughly age 10/11 towards the end of primary school. This was of course incredibly outdated technology even then, but fascinating nonetheless.
I soon became rather obsessed with programming, moving on to QBasic, and then Visual Basic 6. Writing network chat software and replacement Windows shells in VB6 kept me entertained during most of secondary school. This is where I realised the impact computer software could have on others; at one point I had almost the whole year using the chat program I had written - much to the disapproval of the school management!
By the end of secondary school, I had discovered PHP and was building websites and web applications. This was right at the turn of the millennium during the peak of the dot-com boom, with growth in total websites in 2000 reportedly being more than 430%.
I left college after being disappointed by out-of-date course curriculum, and took a full time position with an IT business where I had previously undertaken work experience through a school programme. During this role I had the opportunity to get hands on with computer hardware and software; putting together, setting up and fixing software for PC-based systems.
I progressed into a programming position at the same company relatively quickly, where I created a number of commercial websites and complex software for use by the company's clients.
After this I moved into a role with a London based conference organiser, where I had valuable experiences looking after and maintaining more than 30 active conference marketing websites at a time, all of which had a constant sales and marketing effort behind them. These were heavy duty sales tools that were driving the business forward.
Following this, I then set up my own website production business where I worked with local businesses requiring marketing websites to promote their services. I also had a contract with a funded startup to develop a custom local content syndication website, which was achieving over 100,000 monthly unique users within 6 months. During this engagement, I ended up sourcing and negotiating office space, setting up the IT, and hiring a developer and copywriter. Somewhat removed from simply "website production", but it was here I developed my interest in commercial business operations and management.
In the years that followed, I focused my efforts on building my business into a digital agency designed to help businesses grow and realise their ambitions. I progressed from my home office to a various co-working schemes, and then took a private office lease in Watford. During this time I've hired more than 20 full time staff, and countless more freelancers.
In August 2016, I took the decision to move our offices to Old Street, London, and repositioned the business to serve a specialist industry niche that I was passionate about: craft beer. This was a key change, marking the latest chapter in the development of my career.
I live in Flitwick, Bedfordshire with my partner Amanda, where I am a volunteer digital marketing consultant to our local brewery, Ampthill Brewhouse. I'm a keen squash enthusiast, and recently I've been revisiting electronics with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. There's plenty of other interests to keep me going including gigs, travel, new shiny things in London and of course, checking out the latest tech gadgets and craft beer brews.