As you might guess from the site header, my name is Ben. Writing about yourself is difficult, so don't expect to find too much on this page, but take a look around the site if you want to see what kind of things I'm interested in.
I learnt programming by messing around on the web. I still love making websites. I love how tactile it feels compared to other types of programming, how you can get quick visual results, and how the only thing you need to be able to share your creation is a link pointing to the hosting.
alert() function 300 times in a row. At the time Internet Explorer's implementation of this alert would trap the user on the page, forcing them to click "OK" on 300 modal windows in a row before they could leave - an excellent trick to play on friends at school.
I would regularly try to get my hands on ".Net" magazine, and eventually joined their online forum. Despite being completely oblivious about almost every topic, I somehow managed to amass thousands of posts in their forums under the username MrSparkle. Eventually, perhaps due to lack of submissions, the magazine decided to feature my hobby website in one of their regular "UX review" columns. You can read the full thing here.
One of the habits of people interested in web design is to perpetually redesign (but only half-finish) your website. After many iterations I eventually abandoned hungryben.com and moved to potatochild.com - both domains are long gone at this point. Finally I just did the sensible thing and now here we are, on the timeless FirstNameLastName.com format of domain name.
This website isn't really intended to be an advertisment for a job. On the off-chance you want to hire me, here's some standard bits about my work experience, and you can find my most recent CV linked at the bottom of the page.
I'm currently working at Trainline as Senior Web Engineer.
Technical Ownership of Android TV custom launcher project spanning multiple clusters, for one of our biggest customers.
Facilitated fortnightly workshops for knowledge sharing within our teams.
Frequent involvement in interviewing, including creation of technical exercises.
One-off prototypes and proof-of-concepts with emerging technologies.
Day to day responsibilities including:
Development effort on YouView’s first Android TV offering in partnership with a major TV manufacturer. Later took on technical ownership and saw completion and delivery.
Assisted team upskilling in AWS and cloud monitoring, including through outreach to SMEs within YouView.
Personal initiatives to rebuild our webpack and homegrown DI system, creating a more flexible build pipeline and faster builds for all developers.
Delivery of features and bugfixes within YouView’s Web UI (TypeScript, React) within an agile process.
Lighthouse software builds manufacturing execution software for factories, to track inventory, quality and more. This was an on-prem solution with a web UI accessible from operator terminals.
Throughout my time there I delivered features and bugfixes as part of an agile workflow using:
Created design for new dashboarding system, to increase flexibility of dashboard creation and reduce time/effort during system upgrades.
Adopted scrum master role and completed scrum training to enable agile delivery.
Participated in estimation and prioritisation of work.
Development effort migrating an aging .Net application to WebAPI and modern web technologies.
I achieved a 1st class (hons) degree in Computer science. I completed a final project using genetic algorithms to create finite-state machine based game AI.
A Levels in Maths, Physics and Applied ICT, AS Level in Further Maths.