• Technical Architect


  • C#
    Developer


  • Sensei


  • Photographer


  • Husband & Dad
  • Solving problems, then writing code

    Recently promoted to Technical Architect @ Dept, still working out what this entails. I'll keep you informed ūü§£

    Until then here is the wiki description

    "Software architects make high-level design choices based on their programming experience. In addition, the software architect may sometimes propose technical standards, including coding standards, tools, or platforms.

    Software architects may also be engaged in the design of the architecture of the hardware environment, or may focus entirely on the design methodology of the code.

    Architects can use various software architectural models that specialize in communicating architecture."

  • Manchester Based C# Web Developer

    Since 2003 I have worked for various digital agencies. I have generally focused on web development, but also worked on other applications. For the most part, I have developed using ASP.NET and C#, but I have worked with many languages over the years.

    I mainly develop websites using a CMS/DXP platform. For the past few years this has mainly been SDL Tridion, Umbraco (including uCommerce) and Contentful (Contentful Certified Professional). I am now working with Optimizely (Episerver) and preparing for the Optimizely Content Cloud Certification.

    In previous roles I have helped develop three different bespoke CMS and eCommerce platforms, which have been used by companies like JD Sports, A-Plant and size?.

    I work hard to keep up to date with what is going on in the world of development and digital media. I am always tinkering with something new, like the Konami Code easter egg on this site.

  • 2nd Dan Black Belt in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu

    I currently train in Traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu at Ruschroft Jiu-Jitsu Club, HQ of IJJO. I have been training under Sensei Neville Kershaw for several years now, and I am currently a 2nd Dan Black Belt. I split my time between training and mentoring the senior coloured belts.

    This helps to keep me in some sort of shape. Getting the blood pumping on a regular basis. I gain a lot from Jiu-Jitsu, self-discipline, improved health, focus, confidence.

  • Photographer

    Photography has always played a large part of my life and I have never been without a camera. I love going out for walk with my family, camera in hand and capturing some great moments.

    You can see some of my photos on my photography page, where I have uploaded some of the better photos.

  • My Wife of a Geek, Thing #1 & Thing #2

    My wife puts up with so much, she makes sure me and the boys are dressed and presentable. I could reel off a list of things she does for me, but it would be a long list, as basically she does everything.

    I have two boys, they mean the world to me and I can not imagine life without them. My heart bursts every time I see them. They are the funniest two people I have ever met, and can always make me smile, no matter how hard my day has been!

    You can follow my wife's Facebook page Wife of a Geek.

Technologies

.net
C#
Optimizely (Episerver)
Contentful Certified Professional
SDL Tridion Sites
Umbraco
Macbook partially open in the dark

Running Optimizely 12 on a Mac

Posted on Wednesday, 13th October 2021
Now that Optimizely 12 runs on .NET 5 it can be run on a Mac, and with most front enders using Macs, I thought it might be useful to demonstrate the steps on how to get it up and running on a Mac.
Glasses resting on paper pad with technical notes

So what does a Technical Architect do?

Posted on Sunday, 19th September 2021
The role of a Technical Architect seems to be on of the more fluid roles in a Digital Agency, each Technical Architect has different skills, and each project has different requirements.
Contentful

Default Values in Contentful

Posted on Wednesday, 8th September 2021
Finally default values have been added as an option in Content Models in the Contentful CMS
Wife of a Geek

New site for Wife of a Geek

Posted on Friday, 23rd July 2021
Also built on Contentful and Azure Cognitive Search
Contentful

How to open rich text links in a new tab in Contentful.net

Posted on Thursday, 22nd July 2021
Contentful doesn't have an option to choose a target for links in a rich text field (yet), so for now I assume that external links should be opened in a new tab. This is achieved with an IContentRenderer.
Optimizely

Optimizely (Episerver) Content Cloud Exam - My Tips

Posted on Monday, 28th June 2021
After sitting the exam, I thought I would document some of the ways I prepared for the exam, and what I found most useful out of the material.

Testimonials

  • #Kudos¬†Thank you for always bringing your best self to work. And just being Blyth.¬†#InspirationalLeader

    Jake Smith
  • I have been working with Andy for almost one year now in Dept. When I started in the company he was very helpful and a very important key in my progress in the company. His level of expertise and knowledge is impressive, working with a very wide technology stack. Andy is always willing to help and to work in new challenges, in which he is always one of the top developers. Having colleagues like him makes your life easier, and a guarantee for the success of the company.

    Alberto Fernandez Vadillo
  • As Technical Director at Redstar, Andy has helped me grow my skills and guide me along my journey here with both his technical knowledge and his managerial skills, helping me to get the best out of my work. He is a great asset to the company.

    James Newbert-Breen
  • Andrew and the Redstar Team have worked on a number of websites for us and have produced excellent results that have always delighted our clients. With particular expertise in e-commerce sites, Andrew is professional but always easy to work with. He doesn't hide behind jargon and I would recommend him to anyone looking to develop a new website or upgrade an existing one.

    Guy Parker
  • Andrew has a lot of experience when it comes to web development work and has a lot of knowledge of how to keep on track with both clients and colleagues.

    Anna Green
  • Andrew is a great wealth of knowledge from ASP to Microsoft Server Hosting. Andrew's experience as a technical director means that he can help with almost any area of the web.

    Andy Kinsey
  • I worked with Andy for around 2 years and at times I amazed at the knowledge and problem solving skills he posses. He has the knowledge and skills to cover almost all area in high level programming and web based technologies. His problem solving and management skills are excellent and he is a great mentor too. From my experience, I wholeheartedly recommend Andy, he is really an asset to any organisation and he is very capable of fulfilling any duties entrust him with.

    Eldhose Mani
  • During his time at Idaho Andrew worked on a variety of complex projects where he was able to put his ASP.NET, DHTML and DBA skills to good use. Andy would make a very valuable contribution to any development team.

    Seán Maloney
  • Andrews performance working as a Web Developer for Idaho proved that he will be a valuable addition to any organisation. During his time at Idaho Andrew demonstrated excellent skills in a variety of different programming languages including ASP.Net, VBscript and Javascript. His understanding of SQL is also very good.

    Mike Gregson
  • Andrew is a skilled and experienced Microsoft .net developer who has worked on a variety of complex projects for us. He is enthusiastic and has a good understanding of internet technologies. I would readily recommend Andy for a developer role.

    Mike Ryan
  • Andy is keen, hardworking and learns quickly.

    David McHugh
  • Andrew has worked on several websites and design projects for us and each time has provided a highly professional service which exceeded our expectations. I would have no hesitation in recommending him.

    Marie Edge
  • Andrew has developed websites for us and clients over the years. His professionalism, dedication to the job at hand and organisational abilities are an asset for anyone who appoints Andy. He consistently shows an indomitable ability to overcome challenges and provide creative solutions, and he is a pleasure to work with or alongside. I would have no reservations whatsoever in recommending Andy.

    Paul Clement
history-bg

Employment & Education

2021-Present

Technical Architect @ Dept

Recently promoted to Technical Architect, more to follow...

2016-2021

Senior Developer @ Dept

Here I am one of the Senior Developers. My main area of expertise is SDL Tridion , but I also support with projects built on Umbraco, Contentful, and shortly will begin working with Episerver.

2015-2016

Managing Director @ We Do Code

I setup We Do Code in 2015, and worked with a small group of loyal customers on large bespoke asp.net web applications. After 12 months I found it difficult to balance work and family, so I made the tough decision to close the business.

2015-Present

Sensei @ Rushcroft Jiu-Jitsu Club (IJJO)

After an extended break I returned to the world of Jiu Jitsu, working hard to refresh my skills and complete my 1st Dan Black Belt grading in 2015 and my 2nd Dan Black Belt grading in 2017.

2009-2015

Technical Director @ Redstar Creative

The most senior technical person within RedStar Creative. I provided technical direction on business decision making.

As the Technical Director, I worked on single projects and managed many projects developed by my staff. I kept close contact with the Managing Director, Client Account Managers, and Project Managers.

2007-2009

C# Web Developer @ Idaho Technology

I worked here until I was made redundant. My role at Idaho was as a Web Developer. I focused on building custom controls that interacted with the database (including stored procedures). This allowed the front end developer to customise the HTML and CSS.

I was responsible, with another developer, for building the new .net version of the CMS. I also set up and managed an SVN server as before my employment no version control system was in place.

2006-2009

PgDip Database and Web Based Systems @ The University of Salford

Modules included Computer Networks, Programming for Networks, Management Principles and Practices, Research Methods, Advanced Databases, and Web-based Systems Development.

2005-2007

C# Web Developer @ Visuality

I worked with the .NET environment, using both C# and VB 6 to integrate websites with Visuality’s CMS system. I worked with MSSQL, XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Whilst maintaining legacy sites I also worked with ASP, VB6. I developed new features for the systems. Including a new search functionality in the ‚Äėi2i‚Äô email marketing system. Additions to the CMS such as the new ‚ÄėPageBuilder‚Äô system. I was also involved in translating parts of the CMS from classic ASP/VB6 to C# .NET. I was responsible for managing the support team.

2004-2006

BSc(Hons) Internet Computing @ The University of Salford

Modules included XML Development, Natural Language Programming, Parallel Programming, Web Development, Structures, Entrepreneurial Management, Communication Systems, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet Security.

2003-2005

Freelance Developer @ Elite Edge Marketing

Mainly working with bespoke sites, and a couple of early Umbraco sites, this gave me a taste of agency work, and it's pretty much all I have done since.

2002-2004

FdSc Computer Science @ The University of Salford

Modules included Developing Java, System Analysis, Object Orientated Design, Computer Architecture, Web Scripting, Operating Systems Management, and Human-Computer Interaction