It seems like yesterday

Twenty years ago today I was having a sleepless night worrying that our first child was now overdue and a job interview the next morning. At 1:30 a.m. my partner said "get me to the hospital, now!", it was time. Six hours later, after some complications, our first son was born

I found it hard to leave my partner and new born baby at the hospital but at 9:30 a.m. I arrived to apply for an internship at an Internet Service Provider to learn how to build web sites. I got it and I was given a pile of books, a brief, an FTP login and sent off home to start work!

Fast forward twenty years and a successful career of more than three hundred web projects, my sons home from university and I  am back in hospital (for a minor operation). Not quite how I was planning on celebrating my sons Birthday or my anniversary as a web designer.

However, as I approached this day I made myself a few promises, one of which was to say thank you to as many people as possible who have helped me along the way, so here goes:

The old guard

Over the years, whether working on projects big or small, I found myself to be the only 'Web Designer' in a team of programmers, project managers, database admins, graphic designers, marketers, creative directors. This was a difficult position, being the 'defender of best practice'. By that I mean educating the rest of the team of the benefits of good usability and accessibility.

I made it my business to study everything I could on the subjects of information architecture and HCI. But much of the information was out of date, until I started to discover the following people who wrote articles and blogs that I could learn from and quote from at meetings. They made my life easier and I made better web sites.

Jakob Nielsen

for giving me not only great advice about user interface design but the reasoning and data to back it up.

Jeffrey Zeldman

for introducing me to the concept of web standards, something I have attempted to adhere to for the rest of my career.

Eric Meyer

for testing stuff so we don't have to.

Peter-Paul Koch

for http://quirksmode.org, an invaluable resource for cross browser issues I ran into over the years.

Bert Bos

for inspiring me  to join  the W3C HTML Working Group.

Lachlan Hunt

for inspiring me to push my CSS skills

Bruce Lawson

who kindly took the time to explain The Semantic Web and Web Components to me.

Karen McGrane

for teaching me about Information Archirecture.

Rewrite the JavaScript

When I started ago my JavaScript was good enough to get by. But I soon realised that because I tended to actually write code once every few months I would get rusty and slow. Then I worked with a few really good JavaScript  people and realised that working with specialists was the way to go.

More recently I have decided that I wanted to combined CSS and Data Attributes and progressively enhance with JavaScript. The following people have helped me with this project:

Todd Adams

Todd Motto

Jack Franklin

Patrik Niebur

Microsoft mentors

Martin Beeby

Darren Beale