in conversation witch rich moore frontend developer

For someone to stay with a company for ten years these days is quite something. We thought we’d take the chance to sit down with Rich Moore who has just passed his 10 year anniversary with us to see how his job has changed in that time and what makes him stay at Optix.

Alastair: So what made you get into web design and development?

Rich: I’ve been developing and interested in development since the early noughties, I started when I was 12! I did a lot of online gaming and was part of a community. We needed a website so we would know what days and evenings we were playing, so I built a static site that I would manually update. From then on I started building sites as a hobby for others.

I then got interested in 3D design which led to studying a BA in Design and Photo Communication at Plymouth College of Art.

There weren’t many development roles in what I wanted to do (in Devon) so I decided to go travelling, whilst in Australia a friend back home told me about Optix, so I cut my trip short, applied and got the job!

Alastair: What’s the difference between Frontend and Backend development

Rich: It’s really hard to explain…Frontend development is what you see, how it looks, how you interact with it – if you think of it like a body, it’s the skin, muscles and bones. Backend is the heart, the brains, the stuff you can’t see that makes it all work. Backend is all of the coding that gets the content from a database –  It makes all of the front end elements come together and where we create the Content Management System so you can change (within defined restrictions) what you see in the front end.

Alastair: How has Frontend Development changed since you started?

Rich: Back in the day we used to create websites in tables and literally stitch together the images and text. We’d take flat graphics and turn them into a website, a bit like putting a puzzle together. Now a days the code is all separated (known as object oriented) so the CSS, the HTML and any other languages we use are in different files making it far easier to work on.

Alastair: Who has been your favourite client to work on since starting at Optix?

Rich: The stuff I enjoy most is the things you don’t see so much, so for example our new Content Management System – Optimus. Jack (backend developer) and I have created a Content Management System that works really well and pushed our limitations so we had to learn, test and trial things until we were happy we’d built something that was amazing – and that’s where we are now, we have created something amazing that we are very proud of.

I particularly enjoyed working on Playzido, we built them a really good looking site and they’ve kept it that way.  They’ve listened to us and used our expertise to ensure it remains as we all first envisioned it.

Alastair: What do you feel your greatest achievement has been since starting at Optix?

Rich: I think it’s the constant progression and learning, I haven’t just treaded water and done the same thing for 10 years, even now I’m learning and improving my skills. I’m always making things better and improving not only my own knowledge but what we offer the clients.

Alastair: What do you like about working for Optix, what’s kept you here for 10 years?

Rich: It’s always changing, you provide so much stuff for us to do, the pool table, ping pong, Team lunches etc. Ultimately it’s the people who make it what it is.

I enjoy what I do and you leave me to do it, so there’s a level of freedom in that. You listen to what I have to say and we fix things that don’t work. You don’t tell us how to do our jobs so we aren’t restricted in what we do. So it ticks all of the boxes.

Alastair: ‘do something you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life’

Rich: Exactly.

Alastair: Where do you see Frontend Development going?

Rich: We use Laravel – it’s a cutting edge framework that uses all of the latest technologies and goes hand in hand with other cutting edge technologies. Laravel really push Vue (javascript framework), it’s over taken some of the more common frameworks – so we’ve looked into it and now use that as well, it’s gonna be popular for a long time.

Optix pay for the dev team to use Laracast which is like Netflix for your (development) career. So whatever the future of Frontend development, we will know about it and be able to prepare and implement it effectively.

Alastair: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time?

Rich: More of the same really, pushing myself, my skills and my abilities so I continue learning. I’d really like to do a product website, something big that we have creative reign over, something we can take our time on. That would be nice.

It would be good to get a big brand on board like Coca-Cola or Red Bull, like a microsite for them or a specific marketing tool or viral campaign that they need for the UK (their whole development budget would be great but that could be a little unrealistic).

Alastair: Thank you Rich, its been a pleasure working with you and seeing your development over the last ten years.

If you’re interested in working for us then drop one of the team a line on – Just make sure you tell us what you’ll bring to the team rather than just sending your CV 🙂

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