What career path did you take to get to where you are today?
After leaving university (Astrophysics 😩) I worked for a few years as a sailing, windsurf and kayak instructor at a water activity center in Surrey, UK. It was during this time, in 1997, that I began to work on software and web development, building small websites and databases (remember Lycos and GeoCities?!).
When our first child was born, we decided to move north to Manchester to be closer to family and friends. It was here that I began pursuing my technical career in earnest, working for a range of software companies and learning many languages, patterns and practices along the way.
It was at one of these companies where I met Steve (MD) and we worked together for a number of years. Later, Steve and I worked together again to build the website that would become the precurser to NetVoucherCodes. While NVC was in its infancy, I continued to work for a large software company building enterprise software applications and joined NetVoucherCodes officially as Technical Director in 2010.
How has technology at NetVoucherCodes evolved?
The software development field is constantly evolving with new frameworks and methodologies emerging every year.
The original version of NetVoucherCodes ran on a single web-server and was written in Classic ASP backed by a MSSQL database. Later, we wrote a new and highly configurable affiliate marketing platform in C# and .NET that would, not only power the website, but also provide APIs to allow us to integrate with other applications. This platform powered the website for many years and still provides some of the backbone of our technology stack today.
In 2020, we redeveloped the website using a new technology stack to take advantage of the edge - a cloud network of hyperlocal servers that are able to serve content to website visitors at the fastest speed possible with minimum latency. As well as this, our new technology stack allows us to iterate on developments very fast, and I look forward to releasing some of the exciting features that we have in the development pipeline.
What does your day-to-day look like?
My typical day starts with a cup of tea (or 2) while I check our analytics and nightly logs and catch up on the previous evenings emails (a lot of our technology partners and vendors are based in the US, so their working day extends into our evening/night).
For a small development team, we have the in-house expertise and capabilities of a much larger IT department, so my day can include anything from coding new features to dev-ops, security, bug-hunting, research and development, team mentoring, and system architechture. It all depends on the needs of our current project.