Two decades as a web developer

In mid-August 1998 I began my first job as a web developer, happily accepting the somewhat grand position of “webmaster” at Scottish Radio Holdings. Based at the offices of Radio Clyde in Clydebank, that first rung in the career ladder was a whirlwind of on the job learning fueled by the nervous excitement that came with being a part of a nascent industry.

I hadn’t ever worked as a web developer (not many people had!), nor endured the level of pressure that came with the workload of designing, developing and maintaining over 15 separate websites. How was I to know that one person couldn’t possibly do all that? It was my dream job in an exciting profession in an era – the turn of the millennium – that seemed to brim with untapped potential for what the internet could bring to the lives of everyday people.

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14 years and all that Jazz

Last month I watched my long-serving Honda Jazz leave from outside my house, almost fourteen and a half years after I’d driven it out of the showroom in Liverpool, bound for the scrap yard.

As the scrap merchant prepared it for departure, putting jump leads on the battery to give it some life, I busied myself clearing out the contents of the car, with Fliss coming over to help scramble items into either a bag of stuff to keep or one for the bin. With so many family memories centred around the car, I couldn’t help but feel sentimental at the finality of the moment.

A few months before when its MOT had been due I didn’t think it was worth the money to get it through and, when the due date passed, I declared it “off-road.” Feeling that it had had enough money spent on it over the years – from a couple of pricey low-speed bumps in its early years to a brutal £700 bill to replace a failed door deadlock and the exhaust, I decided that it was now in the state that it wasn’t a worthwhile investment to keep it on the road.

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Wake me up

I enjoyed Avicii’s music for what it was – kind of feel-good but saccharine dance tunes. So I wasn’t especially impacted when I found out he had died, I just thought it was sad that someone so young had passed away.

Yet this evening, waiting for my train home, I had a dance music playlist on because it’s Electronic Tuesday, natch, and his song “Wake me up” came on. It was probably the first time I had ever listened to the lyrics properly and they’re actually quite beautiful.

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