Andrew, thanks ever so much for taking part in this interview so close to Christmas.
1. Full Name and Age please. 🙂
Andrew Disley, 23.
2. Favourite Biscuit and Drink.
Biscuit: Chocolate Shortbread. Drink: Latte with extra shots.
3. Last Book you read and last movie you saw.
Last book: Double Cross by James Patterson. Last movie: The Dark Knight.
4. Where and When did it all start?
My passion for the web began during my early high school years, I remember first being introduced to Google a few months after it launched by one of our teachers and I even remember the excitement I got while waiting for music to download using the original Napster which just amazed me, I was hooked. I spend all my hard earned paper-round money on our Dial-Up connection and it wasn’t long before I began to play online games like Counter-Strike. I joined gaming clans which inevitably got me into designing and building sites for these clans. I started out in Frontpage but soon found myself hand-coding the HTML because I didn’t like the “ugly” markup that Frontpage produced and much preferred to know what was going on under the hood. Professionally my career started when I was offered a job a local firm JJB Sports Plc looking after their websites.
5. Is there anyone in the industry who you look up to?
Lots of people, many of the people I’ve worked with in the past and many of the well-know names along with local folks I know through GeekUp and the likes. There are way too many people to list here.
6. What was a key factor in your professional growth and development?
It would have to be the time at Code, learning form the people there and working on high-profile accounts. I’ve also a real passion for what I do and the try to achieve the best possible outcome for whatever it maybe I’m working on.
7. Where does your heart lie, with design or development? And why.
Development, from an early age I loved taking things apart to find out how they worked and rebuilding them.
8. What was it like working at Code Computerlove?
Scary and quite intimidating at first, I’d never been around so many amazingly talented people before who had such love for the industry. Fantastically awesome people, and some great projects but there were some tough deadlines.
9. What was the biggest project you worked on whilst working there?
I’ve worked on some really big accounts and projects over the years at Code, but I think the biggest and most testing had to be the rebuild of HMV.com in July/August 2007.
10. Throughout your entire career to date, is there any particular problem you’ve ran in to more than once? Clients, Jobs, Work?
The biggest problem I find myself facing is taking on too much, not just on the web work front. I’ve got that balance right, I think. I do still find myself pulling all nighters to meet deadlines. It’s the other projects I get involved with that stretch my schedule.
11. What do you consider to be the biggest contributing factor to your success?
Dedication and support from my family and fiancee, Kerry.
12. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Primarily online via the blogs and showcase sites, looking at what people are doing and how they’re pushing things technology wise.
13. As we all know you’re a mac man, what are your 3 favourite apps?
I’ve many more than 3 favourite apps but if I had to list only 3 it would have to be: TextMate, Quicksilver and YoJimbo as they are the most used apps on my machines.
14. What made you want to go full time freelance?
The flexibility, I found there just wasn’t enough hours in day to do my full-time job at Code and all the extracurricular projects that I take on. There were times when I could really do with taking a day of at short notice which you can’t really do when you work for “the man”. In all honesty there still isn’t enough time, but I can at short notice shuffle things around.
15. How do you balance your time between your different businesses?
It’s tough and I think I’m doing a decent job of it, although if you ask my fiancee I’m sure she’ll tell you otherwise. When I do figure it out, I’ll let you know the secret.
16. Where do you see the future being?
I want to grow my freelance portfolio and I’m also in the process of teaming up with a few other awesome minds and in the not so distant future we’re hoping to launch a couple of things.
17. Are you heading to any conferences over the next year?
Hopefully, I’d love to make it to Reboot this year, along with a few BarCamps and there are talks of a local live streaming of TED via the TED Associate Membership.
18. If you had one goal to reach (anything) within 3 years, what would it be?
I’ve recently got engaged and it would be absolutely fantastic if in 3 years time we’ve tied the knot and bought our first home together. That’s more than one but I put them both under the heading “building the family”.
19. If you had one piece of advice for anyone wanting to venture in to the your industry, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, there a lots of offline and online communities around that have members who are very happy to offer advice and support.