I joined Dare as a Junior developer in 2007 and stayed for 5 and a half years, at the time I really didn’t know just how good this place was for digital work. It seemed like everything we touched turned out awesome! A great time to be there, so many talented people, an amazing atmosphere and a brave client list all resulted in incredible work.
Technical Account Lead
My role at Dare during this period meant I was responsible for the Vodafone and Sony accounts from a technical point of view.
My senior role with Vodafone meant that I spent around 6 months working on site at Vodafone HQ. I was working directly with the client and their other build agency at the time SapientNitro. Between us we were working in quick sprits of just a few days on re-usable components for their new CMS.
I also continued to make regular trips to Brussels to help Sony's tech team with deployments of new websites. Due to the limitations of the CMS which they used at the time, I was the go to person within the agency to approve everything which was to be published on their platform, this included IA and design.
Dare also set up an outpost in Bristol called Dare West. I was heavily involved in the set up of this office. This included interviewing candidates and implementing the expected Dare standard and ways of working across the two offices.
Development wise I worked on the hugely successful "Feed Your Family For £50" campaign which we produced for Sainsbury's.
Dare had recently won the Sony account. I was tasked with looking at the way we could work with their CMS. This was a massive project as everything we did for them had to go into their CMS and translated into over 30 languages. The strict rules which needed to be followed was a massive challenge for the agency as everything we had done before were custom builds.
On the Vodafone side of things I built their charity site World Of Difference. The site was meant to be 8 blogs for competition winners who worked for charities. Within a few days of launch it was unexpectedly extended to another 500 winners. Over the next few years this grew to over 2,000 individual blogs. The early decision I'd made to build the platform on WordPress MU (now WP running in Network mode) saved this project as there was no way we'd have managed the site any other way.
I continued my work with the Vodafone account and as part of that I built the accessible version of the Vodafone F1 website which was a back up for the a version of the main site the actionscripters had built in Papervision3D. This site had a really short deadline as it was an a late decision to build it and had to be ready for the start of the F1 season which clearly wasn't moving for anyone.
I also built the redesign of the barclays.com home page. This turned out to be the first responsive site I ever built as i served a different stylesheet for handheld devices.
I ended the year pretty much like the last by rebuilding brand new templates for Vodafone, except this time they were to be rolled out globaly. This was a big task as we had a lot of stakeholders to please as well as a 4am, worldwide synchronised rollout of the site.
In my new role I moved accounts to what become a long partnership between myself and the Vodafone team.
My first job was to build the templates for the new Vodafone branding. This was a massive task with a short turnaround but myself and another developer managed it in the time we had.
My relationship with the Barclays account didn't end as I worked onsite at Canary Wharf for a couple of weeks on a project with their internal tech team.
Another highlight from this year included a blog for a client, who shall remain nameless called the "WTF Collective". This was pretty risky for the client as the blog was being updated by guest bloggers, one of which was a drag queen. Let's just say I was called a number of times during the night to "Remove this content now!" as articles that had been approved, was then unapproved by the legal team.
I was given the responsibility for the entire day to day builds for all things Barclays during my first year and worked really closely with the account team to improve the efficiency of the builds we did.
Later on in the year I also worked along side the front-end lead on the re-build of barclays.co.uk due to the knowledge I had on accessibility.