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Hello. I am Matt Northam.

I’m a front-end developer who really really likes producing nice looking online things that work.
I also do some speaking, and I take photos.

this is me

⏳ A bit of context

I’ve been doing web development in various forms since the mid-nineties, beginning with carefully crafted sites using Microsoft Frontpage and hosted on a free Angelfire account. That first Wu-Tang Clan fan site wasn’t perfect but it was fun, and it put me on course for a life spent working with pixels and code.

Since then, a lot has changed. Content management systems, responsive web design, JavaScript frameworks that come and go, all that new-fangled CSS, etc, etc; the list goes on and the skillset grows. Always eager to learn, I’ve dipped my toe into most things and have become proficient in plenty of them, if I do say so myself.

Currently I’m a senior front-end developer at the largest independent agency in the South West [UK] (👋 Redweb), and previously I’ve worked in various roles from teaching students how to code, to leading an in-house digital production team. In amongst that, I’ve also picked up a 1st class honours degree in Interactive Media Production, and a Masters degree in Creative Media Practice (big believer in education, education, education).

I’m always happy to chat over on twitter. Get at me, tell me your favourite Wu-Tang member, we’ll be friends for life.

🎤 Speaking real words..

Since I gave up on my dreams of making it as a rapper in my early twenties, I've aimed to fulfil my desires to jump on stage with a microphone by public speaking. Sometimes, I've even been lucky enough to get an audience, which is more than I could ever really say for my hip-hop career.

The biggest event I've spoken at so far is probably re:develop 2016, where I gave a talk titled 10 Little Scraps of Wisdom. I wrote it up here but really, it works best as a presentation. If you're running an event with a spot to fill, let me know!

Some other highlights include:

  • Presenting at re:develop 2018, and Product Tank Exeter, about Team building lessons from the Wu-Tang Clan. How we can function better within teams if we just stop and think: What Would Wu-Tang Do?.
  • Speaking at various Barcamp Bournemouth events about Swearing on Twitter, my Confessions of an In-House Developer, and sharing Life Advice from Gangsta Rappers (which has been referred to by some as "the best presentation ever" - just saying).
Photo of me delivering a presentation at redevelop conference, 2016
  • Expounding on why I think teenagers deserve our [read: old people's] admiration, at the inaugural BOMO Festival.
  • Talking about Impact by Design at Bournemouth University’s international Festival of Learning in a Pecha Kucha format.
  • Zipping through some of the key events in the History of Communication at a Google I/O Extended event.
  • Volunteering at a local primary school to do their Code Club, and also at a couple of secondary schools as part of Digital Day, which isn’t entirely ’public speaking’ as such but was much more intense and fun than any of those other things.
  • I’ve also recently guested on the bitpicking podcast talking about some of my thoughts around Front-End Development and my career so far.
Photo of me delivering a presentation at redevelop conference, 2018

📷 Shutter buggin' out

Away from the internet, I like to dabble in photography. It's been a hobby since my late teens, and it's one that I can always rely on to cheer me up or occupy some time when I'm at a loose end.

I've been lucky enough to have been able to visit quite a few nice places, as well as having the ongoing privilege of living within walking distance of one of the best coastlines in the country; my camera has travelled with me to multiple continents, and been covered with more sand than it ever should've been. The result of all that is that I've got plenty of images that I'd like to share.

The photo section on this site has some collections that you might want to look at, and a selection of prints that I think would look good on your wall.

Alternatively, if you're just after a quick sample, you could head over to my Instagram where you can swipe through some small square versions of photos (that honestly look much better printed).