Matt Northam giving a presentation at re:develop conference

(Photo by the people at We Are Base / re:develop conf *)

A bit of context

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

Since then, a lot has changed. Content management systems, responsive web design, Javascript frameworks that come and go, CSS preprocessors, 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.

I’ve worked in various roles from teaching students how to code, to leading an in-house digital production team. Currently I’m a lead front-end developer at the largest independent agency in the South West (UK). 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).

Public speaking

The photo at the top of this page is from a talk I gave at re:develop 2016 called 10 Little Scraps of Wisdom. I wrote it up here but really, it works best as a presentation. I enjoy sharing my ideas, and have been lucky enough to occasionally get an audience for them. Some highlights include:

  • Also presenting at re:develop 2018, 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).
  • 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 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.

Not forgetting

Hip-hop, photography, being a dad to 2 amazing children, National Trust properties, football, 90’s dance music; these are a few of my favourite things. I write about some of those things, and a few other topics now and then, and 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.