Studio Chat: Celebrating Web Developer Day with our digital superstar, Ash

Web Developer Day

This month is web-developer month. (If you hadn’t heard *where* have you been.) So, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight one of our core team members, Developer and all-round digital genius, Ash.

Ash has been working with BMinc for a number of years and has a hand in almost every digital project which comes out of the studio. He’s a human techy. He talks to us (and our clients) in a language we understand and applies his (somewhat vast) skillset to projects ranging from simple voice-overs to animations and websites encompassing all the above.

In an industry saturated with ‘web-developers’ each with a distinct style and (very) varied skill set, we asked him what makes him tick.

Why do you feel having more than one specific skill is important when it comes to digital?

In an landscape where trends come and go; innovative and accessible software packages render once-sought-after skillsets obsolete, and entire markets seemingly emerge from nowhere; for me it has always felt like the safest approach in this industry has been to diversify my skillset, rather than specialise in a specific niche.

Having a wide skillset and varied experience to draw down from can make it easier to communicate to the client in a language that they understand, rather than in the vernacular relating to a specific area of the project.

I often find that the skills I’ve learned from one discipline can be applied to a completely different discipline, resulting in an interesting and unique result, which might not have otherwise come to light had I been viewing problem through a single lens.

Another welcome side effect of being a multi-skilled digital creative is that it makes the day job incredibly varied. That variety probably keeps me sane and reduces the possibility of burnout. But more importantly, it keeps me curious. And for me, staying curious for is key to nurturing my imagination and creativity.

How do you decide where to focus your skill set in an expansive landscape of digital professions?

I try to stick within the boundaries of my three core disciplines: Web, Animation and Audio. Admittedly, each of those disciplines are incredibly broad. But you have to draw a line somewhere, right?! Within those boundaries I have found a number of niches that keep a certain amount of focus to what I do. These are typically areas where I can add value to any given project. It’s not infrequent for me to have used all three of my core disciplines on a single project. For instance, to build a single page website to accommodate a promotional animation for which I also composed the music and the sound design.

What talents or habits make someone a good digital creative?

Being able to learn quickly is the most useful ability I have. I might not have had the luxury of spending 10,000 hours on a particular skill, so I need to be good at rapidly learning the 10% that will be useful for the project I’m working on. As I’ve mentioned, digital is a broad spectrum of languages, tools and is ever-changing, so it is likely I’ll have to work within elements I’m not familiar with. I also frequently work on sites and tools that other developers have worked on, so being able to learn their style quickly helps me to adapt my skills accordingly. Almost every job I work on has a unique and interesting problem to solve, so working out the best solution quickly is essential.

How have you ended up doing this sort of job, what is your background?

Most of what I do for a living started out as a hobby!

For most of my academic career I studied music and sound design in various forms. This led to me learning how to write code to create my own small software programs for producing and recording audio. My music technology degree led to me working within the musicology department of a global technology company, which was largely boring administrative work. So, I developed a simple program to automate my job for me, thus making my role redundant (whoops). I later moved into a role creating web applications. In my spare time I enjoyed producing videos and animations.

If you’d like to find out more about the kinds of digital projects we work on, and how they can elevate and complement your existing marketing activity, get in touch with Mike at mike@bminc.co.uk

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