I'm a senior front end developer based in Auckland, New Zealand, but working remotely. I've been in the industry now for over 10 years, and have worked and lived in the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as New Zealand. My last role was heading up a 7 developer team as front end team lead at Freelancer.com, and front end technical architect and lead developer on Escrow.com.
I'm now moving out on my own and have set up my own company specialising in both front end development and web design, as well as game development. I specialise in creating modular, semantic, scalable markup as well as designing easy to use responsive websites that provide a great experience on any device.
Read on to learn about some of my basic front end development philosophies, if you like the sound of what I have to say then get in contact and lets see how we can help each other. I'm currently looking for interesting contracting opportunities and I'd love to hear from you.James Westwood Front end developer and designer
Front end development
I specialise in creating modular, semantic, scalable markup, and build systems that automate as much of the build process as possible. I'm very passionate about architecting projects the right way from the start to ensure they can grow fast while staying consistent in both a user experience and visual sense. There are 3 main tenants that I believe are the cornerstones of any successful site :
By splitting a site into components I can quickly create a components library that allows rapid development and a consistent user experience no matter how large a site grows. This is achieved through Object Oriented CSS and methodologies like SMACSS, as well as templated HTML using libraries like Nunjucks.
Ambitious sites need to be able to scale quickly and economically. Through modular design and development new areas of a site can be rapidly prototyped, built and deployed, allowing a site to grow quickly while keeping technical debt to a minimum, as well as provide a consistent user experience across the board.
There is a wealth of tools available to front end developers which allow us to automate as much of the build process as possible so we can focus on more important tasks that a computer can't do. Setting up a efficient build process using a technology like Gulp is a very important part of a modern front end developers skillset. A great build process has many advantages, like speeding up production and minimising code errors.
A designer that understands modular design is a crucial part of building easily scalable sites.
Understanding how a site should be split into components and how to build a pattern library as the backbone of future development is unfortunately often overlooked, and by the time the design phase is finished a site is already off on the wrong foot.
That's why I'm passionate about creating my own designs that take scalability and future proofing a growing site, or working alongside a design team to ensure that they are aware of these potential pitfalls. Starting with wireframing I always aim to make sure a design provides a consistent experience, and is easy to scale up in the future. The initial design needs to be forward thinking and present a solid base for future development.
Get in contact
I'm currently looking for interesting contract opportunities, if you think I can help your project or team please drop me a line.