About Ben Barden

What I’m doing now:

I’m currently managing the dev team at City AM. I’ve hired 3 dev/design staff and I’m looking for a fourth back-end developer (PHP/Laravel v4 + some sysadmin skills). We have lots of interesting projects coming up in 2015 and it’s a really exciting time to join. If you’re interested or you know anyone who might be, get in touch. (No agencies please)

What I’ve done previously:

printed.com

I built printed.com (originally called The Digital Print Partnership, aka “DPP”) while working for Tangent Labs. The initial project ran from May 2010 to October 2010. I worked alongside one other developer for some of the tasks, but I built around 90% of the original platform. I worked on further changes to the site until April 2011, at which point I joined DPP as the first full-time developer.

For the next year, I did all the new development work until we hired an additional developer in March 2012. By summer 2013, I had hired 2 staff to work on printed.com, and 3 staff to work on Goodprint/Smileprint (a company purchased by Tangent in November 2012).

For details of the projects I worked on at printed.com, visit my portfolio.

For a full history of my career, see my LinkedIn profile.

About me:

  • I’m a self-taught coder. I first learned HTML in 1999.
  • I’m very much a problem solver – I get to the root of problems quickly by asking the right questions, and then propose solutions.
  • Having worked as a tester, I’m very quality-focused. I report every bug I find.
  • I’m particularly interested in the following areas: CMS architecture, information architecture, exploratory testing, usability testing, admin screens/reports, UX, blogging.

How I manage:

  • I’m a manager with strong technical skills. I continue to code regularly. As a result, I fully appreciate the challenges faced by developers, and work with them to achieve the best possible results.
  • I’m very organised. I love Evernote lists, ticket systems, Google Docs spreadsheets, and Excel. I use a mixture of all of these when organising the priorities for the team. I also look to build custom tools where appropriate, either alongside a developer, or on my own time.
  • I vary my work management style depending on the type of work – e.g. a big project, a small project or a group of tickets. One approach does not fit every requirement.
  • I aim to ship solutions that are easy to use, robust, and – where possible – adaptable to future requirements.

What I enjoy:

  • I like working for small to medium sized companies as things move quite quickly. I’ve found large companies to run a bit too slowly, and I get bored as a result.
  • I like getting business users and the tech team together. I like working alongside business users, rather than having a tech team that is shut away from the rest of the company. Sometimes, I’ll set up short meetings to brainstorm a new idea – this is an opportunity for business users to meet with the tech team and everyone gets the opportunity to have a say.
  • I like showing what the tech team is capable of. Building tools that reduce manual effort for the internal teams is a high priority for me. We’ll quietly come up with cool ideas and trial them in an isolated environment, before showing them to a few people. Some of the best things I’ve ever worked on came from a quick idea that we simply decided to try.

My technical skills:

I aim to know a smaller range of technologies well, rather than having very broad knowledge with no depth. However, I can pick up new skills as needed, and have broad experience in running a wide range of technical development projects. When I want to do some coding, or the team is extra busy and I can help move a few tasks along, my specialities are:

  • Coding languages: PHP, SQL, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS
  • Tools/frameworks: Laravel v4, Zend Framework v1, jQuery, Twig

More about me

Contact

To get in touch, email me: fromtheblog at benbarden dot com