10 Minutes With Warren, Technical Director

thopon-authorBy Thopon Chowdhury (@ThoponChowdhury)

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What do you enjoy about being a Technical Director?

“That’s such a difficult question as there’s far too much about this job that I love! I suppose the most important thing with any career is waking up in the morning, not dreading that you’re only two days into the week, and that’s exactly how I feel with Verb. We get to work with such a myriad of different clients across the luxury sphere that everyday brings something new to the table: be it an amazing group of people to work with, or a new challenge to which I can just pop in my headphones, zone out the rest of the world for a couple of hours, and really get my teeth stuck into!

More than that though, I see my job as a bunch of puzzles, some much larger than others, and each day I spend my time slowly chipping away at them, unearthing their intricacies, with the ultimate goal of finally solving them. It’s a fun, fast-paced game in which I’m always learning.

The other thing that I really love is the community that surrounds our industry. There are so many new and interesting tools open sourced to the community that I struggle to keep up! There’s a list (quite literally) as long as my arm stuck to the side of my monitor with projects I’d love to use, play with and explore. I’d like to say that I’m slowly getting there, but I seem to add more than I manage to take away!

A lot of people don’t really understand computers – be it the hardware that they run on or the code that makes them tick. There’s something a little bit “magic” about it all. I’m reminded of a quote from an old programming textbook:

“A computational process is indeed much like a sorcerer’s idea of a spirit. It cannot be seen or touched. It is not composed of matter at all. However, it is very real. […] The programs we use to conjure processes are like a sorcerer’s spells.”

I think that says it all really.”

 

Where do you see Verb in 2 years time?

“Given what I’ve seen take place in the last two years, or even just the last few months, I doubt anything I propose will be close to where Verb could be, but I think the major thing I see is growth. We’re growing year-on-year at an alarming rate, and we certainly plan to keep it up as best we can. Expect new hires, new office spaces, immersive and engaging websites, and hopefully the odd event or two – everyone likes a drink!”

 

What inspired you to take the path towards becoming a developer?

“I guess it started quite early for me. Between the ages of 8 and 11 at primary school, we were given actual IT lessons where we were taught about HTML and JavaScript, and over the course of those years, everyone in the class would be working on their own websites, putting to use the skills that they’d learnt. Looking back, it was absolutely sensational for my school to have offered something like that, as I think it’s often overlooked. We focus our educational efforts at the beginning on making sure our children are literate, but I think we’re very quickly seeing a world where literacy encomposses not just ones ability to read and wield a pen, but the ability to utilise computers effectively. But I’m digressing…”

 

Whats the most difficult part of your job?

“The most difficult part of my job is always keeping up to speed. Like I said before, I really do enjoy reading around about what new technologies are on the precipice of being generally available cross-browser, but the way in which I developed websites 5 years ago, or even only a few months ago to a certain extent, is always changing. You’ve got to be in a never-ending state of learning to stay abreast of the competition.”

 

What’s Your All Time Favourite Video Game/s (if not one, list 3)

“I’m glad you gave me the choice to list three! It’s got to be: The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and of course, everyone’s favourite, Pokemon.”

 

What are the main things you’ve learnt so far from being a part of Verb?

“The major thing is that collaboration between designers and developers is vital. The synergies that emerge when there’s an open channel of dialogue between the designers and developers produce truly unified work. Everyone’s been in that position where a design’s landed on your desk, you’ve got a tight deadline to build, but you were never consulted on the design’s viability or efficacy. It can be a real struggle to go back to client and tell them that the design has had to change because you couldn’t develop X, Y or Z. We like to make sure that never happens.”

 

What are your hobbies?

“Pretty standard and boring I’m afraid haha! Dinner parties with friends, the odd game of poker, and slowly but surely making my way through Netflix’s entire back catalogue of content.”

 

Have you ever met anyone famous? What did you say or do?

“I’ve met a few members of the Royal Family once or twice. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex visited my old school on occasion, and I also met the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at one of the Buckingham Palace garden parties back in the summer of 2010. Needless to say, I was extremely polite!”

 

Tell us something Verb do not already know about you

“Sadly I don’t think I’ve done anything interesting enough to warrant it being kept a secret, but if that changes, I’ll let you know!”