Head of Interaction and Service Design at @DigitalDWP
I interview Martin Bean
Martin Bean is a talented young developer from the North East of England. Working through the day at online marketing and digital marketing agency Digital Pop, Martin spends the rest of his time freelancing for yourfightsite.com. An avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and with a great understanding of back end development, Martin will achieve a lot.
Full Name and Age please
Martin Bean (Martin Christopher Bean if we’re being pedantic) and 20 years.
Favourite Biscuit and Drink?
Fox’s Crunch Creams and a cup of coffee. Together.
Last Book you read and the last movie you saw?
The last “book” I read was actually a graphic novel: “Batman: The Long Halloween” by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Someone referred it to me as it was apparently one of the graphic novels The Dark Knight team took influences from for the movie’s story (and it was interesting to see those similarities, albeit subtle). The last movie I saw was “Angels and Demons” on DVD. I thought it was a bit pants to be honest. My girlfriend assures me the book is far better, so I may have to pick up a copy to see if she’s right.
Where and when did it all start?
I’m not sure how or exactly when it started. I remember being in maybe the second year or secondary school (so about 12) and picking up a book on HTML in my school’s library. I gave up after the first chapter. I would later re-visit the idea of learning HTML and building websites and was a fair bit more successful than my first attempt.
I also had a copy of FrontPage on my home PC, but worked religiously in the code view. Crafting HTML pages and getting irked with FrontPage’s habit of inserting Microsoft specific tags and removing them way before I heard of standards compliant mark-up or what it meant. CSS then came soon after.
I began subscribing to Practical Web Design magazine (a now-defunct offshoot of .net magazine) and that helped my HTML/CSS skills considerably in a quick amount of time.
At college, I didn’t really progress my skills that much. I had a good knowledge of HTML and CSS and was the go-to guy with my peers for help, but other than that I wasn’t going anyway technically, but picked a hell of a lot up in terms of the theory of web design and design in general. In my second year of college, I got a placement with a leading new media design agency in Newcastle. They threw me in the deep end, telling me I had two months to learn PHP (which saw me end up swimming rather than sinking) and got my foot in the door to employment in Newcastle. I would move to Newcastle from my home town of Darlington little over a year later after a couple of stints at other agencies in the region.
Is there anyone in the industry you’re enjoying the work of at the moment?
Andy Clarke. But that vested interest is biased as he’s redesigning the home page for CannyBill, a product by dpivision.com Ltd, whom I used to work for.
What does a general day consist of for you?
A week day usually consists of getting up at around 7:00am. I hop on a Quaylink to Newcastle City Centre, then get on another bus to work. At the moment my days are spent working on a super-secret project, but other than that I’m a web developer for a digital online marketing agency, so there’s never a shortage of projects. But currently I working away developing a social networking site in PHP/MySQL.
What’s your cup of tea, front end dev or back end dev?
Definitely back-end development. I thought I would be a web designing, but turns out my calling was in development.
You’re a huge fan of MMA and set up yourfightsite.com, who do you think will be able to take the title from Brock Lesner? (I’m a fan also).
Good question. Brock Lesnar has this stigma that due to being a former professional wrestler and a multiple-time WWE Champion that he shouldn’t do well in a “real” fight sport, but the fact of the matter is, is the guy is a monster. His only downfall is his lack of experience in MMA fights which was glaringly visible in his UFC bout with Frank Mir back in February 2008 I think it was. That will be Brock’s downfall – a lack of experience. However, with each and every fight he closes that gap, and no one can go toe-to-toe with him in terms of size or strength.
Are you a PC or a Mac and do you have a reason for choosing one over the other?
PC, simply for the fact that I’ve never had enough money for a Mac when I had to buy a new machine at home. And at work we all use PCs. However, if I had the option I would definitely grab a Mac.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I think it’s dead set that PHP is my core skill set, but in the future I hope to expand my knowledge of web technologies. I want to be a versatile programmer and have a great knowledge of various languages. Java interests me, .NET not so much though. I don’t want PHP to limit my capabilities in the realm of server-side development or programming. I definitely want to become my au fait with AJAX as well.
Will you be heading to any conferences over the next year?
I’ve been wanting to attend a conference for the past year or so, but haven’t been able to whether it was because of money or lack of time off etc. I’m really pining to go to one, so think I may try and attend one in the North East first, just to see what’s involved, and then go for a larger one down south. Richard Quick’s Bamboo Juice conference piqued my interest somewhat and was about to go until something came up at the last minute, despite the nice chap offering me a discounted ticket!