Paul Randall is a Web Designer & Developer from the South-West of England and has been creating websites full time since 2006. He has worked on some very interesting smaller personal projects which I inquire about during the interview.
Thanks to Paul for taking the time out to get involved in the interview.
Full Name and Age please
Paul Randall, 22 years old
Favourite Biscuit and Drink?
It has to be a mug of tea, and Crunch Creams. I could literally eat a whole pack in one go!
Last Book you read and the last movie you saw?
I have just finished reading Thinking In Type, by Ellen Lupton, and was captivated by District 9 at the cinema.
Where and when did it all start?
After my A-Levels, I left school to work as an IT Administrator for a manufacturing firm—doing the usual fixing PC and printer problems, but soon became tried of the monotony of it. I was doing a day-release Foundation Degree course in Computing & Internet Technology at the time, and so I offered to redesign the companies’ site for them. I was always a creative person and had made personal websites in my spare time before, but when it launched, that’s when I knew I wanted to design and build sites as a job.
A few months later I noticed a job advertisement in a local paper which was looking for a Web Designer/Developer. I applied and had a phone call on the Friday to come to an interview on the Saturday. I was offered the position straight after! I stayed with that company for just over a year, working on in-house ASP sites in SQL Server and some client work before moving to my current job in June 2008, where I now work predominantly with HTML, PHP and MySQL.
Is there anyone in the industry you’re enjoying the work of at the moment?
I really admire the work of Tim Van Damme, Jina Bolton, Vitor Lourenço and Greg Wood.
What does a general day consist of for you?
I will get up at about 8, catch up on Twitter and head for work just before 9am. You will usually find me with the headphones on, listening to Daft Punk or The Prodigy working on the latest piece of client work in either Dreamweaver or Photoshop.
After work I tend to play around with new bits of HTML5 or CSS3, catch up on RSS feeds or play on the XBox.
What’s your cup of tea, front end dev or back end dev?
I really enjoy the creativity of graphic design, so front end dev is the thing I enjoy most; but the best thing about my job is the fact I work in both, and love switching between them. If I had to choose though, it would be front-end, every time.
You work on various projects, which has been your favourite so far?
In terms of a personal project, it would have to be the H1 Debate (http://h1debate.com). It was such a simple concept, but from the comments it has had, it really caused people to think about how they use the H1 tag, and about coding their sites in general. It also gained a lot of exposure, which I really didn’t expect.
I am always pleased with the work I produce at my job, but never showcase my employers’ work.
I have also recently begun creating monthly wallpapers. I really like the design challenges it creates, as it keeps me trying to find new inspiration, but I missed last months’ due to me working on my personal site relaunch.
Are you a PC or a Mac and do you have a reason for choosing one over the other?
I have always worked on a PC and currently use Vista on a daily basis. This is simply because the places I have worked for have been PC-based. My laptop is also a PC, running XP, but I will switch to a Mac when it needs replacing as I need to see what all the fuss is about!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I’d love to focus on just designing more, but continuing to work in a small team. I really enjoy the involvement you can have in a project—seeing it from start to finish.
Will you be heading to any conferences over the next year?
I haven’t got any planned at the moment, but I always try to catch up on the speakers’ slide-shows, or watch the talks online.