Safe as houses

Many aspects of software development (web development in particular) are analogous with building and decorating a house. Once the building has been planned and designed, it’s down to the developer to ensure that the end-product matches the concepts, and that any details which may not have been sketched are finished in-keeping with the rest of the site.

One factor which differentiates between an expert building contractor and a cowboy, alongside a passion for the work and meticulous attention to detail, is the knowledge of cutting edge materials which save time and money whilst outperforming their predecessors.

Over the years I’ve worked with enough materials to know exactly which one is right for each job.

Jack of all trades

Unlike some other areas of software development, I believe that a good web developer must be comfortable using a broad range of languages and platforms to be in a position to choose the best tool for each individual job.

For many reasons, throughout my career I’ve always leaned towards Microsoft development platforms. If you’re looking for an application which integrates with your businesses existing software in any way, or a bespoke process-driven web application, then this is what I’ll probably use.

In many cases though, I recognise that the lower ‘barriers to entry’ of other languages have fuelled some undeniably useful projects, with which only a foolish web developer would refuse to dirty their hands. If you need a blog, content-managed website or e-commerce shop then I know all about the best open source platforms to build on!

Technical stuff

For what it’s worth, here’s a summary of the main platforms and languages I use:

  • ASP (legacy ASP and .net versions 1.1 – 4.0)
  • C#
  • Visual Basic .NET
  • MVC 2.0 – 3.0
  • DotNetNuke, OrchardCMS, N2 CMS
  • WPF/Silverlight
  • PHP 4&5
  • WordPress, Drupal
  • MS SQL, MySql, SqlLite
  • HTML 4 - 5, XHTML
  • CSS 2-3
  • Javascript, jQuery, JSON