Hello, I'm Mike.

A UK-based, Front-end Software Engineer and Dad of two.

Join me on a brief journey through my world, from my first lines of code as a teenager to crafting web experiences today. Along the way, I'll share the passions and projects that fuel my love for technology and give you a peek into the personal interests that enrich my life.

How did I end up here?

I have always loved programming. I started creating Windows applications in Visual Basic when I was about 14 years old. One of my favourite projects, which got me into a bit of trouble at school, was an app that, when opened, would hide and give me control of the machine’s CD drives (this was back when many machines had two CD drives to copy discs).

My next application was a chat program that allowed me and my friends to chat across the school network. It was at this point I found my love for user interfaces. I spent more time on how it looked than how it worked. I got a real buzz from seeing people use something I had created, but most importantly, how they used it.

When the Internet started to gather momentum (yes, I am that old), I realised that this was what I wanted to spend my life doing. I’ve always been somewhere between creative and technical. The web offered both, fitting me perfectly.

Starting with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, I later moved on to PHP and Ruby on Rails. In the early 2000s, there were very few online resources to learn from, so my web education was all self-taught from books. I spent most of my time buying books from my local bookshop and reading Net Magazine, dreaming I could someday build something worthy of print.

The books that stand out are HTML Mastery by Paul Haine, CSS Mastery by Andy Budd and Bulletproof Ajax by Jeremy Keith - I owe a lot to these authors.

Personal

I am a Dad to one boy and a stepdad to another - by far the biggest, most stressful, yet rewarding project!

When not parenting or coding, I love to game, watch films and listen to music. I’ll play/watch/listen to different genres, but the more immersive, the better. Luckily, the kids also enjoy gaming and thanks to many years of playing Call of Duty, I am their go-to choice when they need sniper support in their squad on Fortnite.

I also make a half-decent loaf of bread.

My personality type is a Turbulent Architect (INTJ-T) . While some things might not be a 100% match, it does provide a relatively accurate description of me and my traits. I am an introvert; my happy place is typically in the background, with a coffee, taking in as much information as possible.

Work

I’ve spent over 15 years working across the tech, marketing, publishing and video engineering sectors to deliver high-end web apps, sites and products.

While my daily tools include TypeScript, JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and I also have a love for UX, UI design and visualisations.

I’ve held several roles but always get drawn into leadership and mentoring. There is no better feeling when a team just ‘clicks’.

DAZN

I work as a Senior Software Engineer at DAZN .

I started on the Core team, working on a custom HTML-powered video player, Mercury. It makes use of some pretty obscure JavaScript APIs - MSE and EME . Before I joined, my video knowledge started and ended with providing a source for a ‘video’ element. The MSE and EME APIs take that to a much deeper level, allowing the engineer to control things like buffering, DRM-protected content, etc. Safe to say, my knowledge has expanded somewhat over the last few years!

DAZN Player core team
We received an award in recognition for our efforts

I now lead a team focused on tooling for Player Engineering.

One of our main projects is a piece of software that lets you run tests against a host of HTML-based devices (web, TV, set-top boxes, consoles, etc.), where you can shape network conditions and simulate user actions/journeys/experiences against video assets, asserting output (video playback) performs as expected. All worldwide production changes to HTML-based video playback at DAZN go via our software.

We also manage and maintain a toolkit of optimised, backwards-compatible utilities across the Player Engineering department.

Zone/Cognizant

Previously, I worked at Zone/Cognizant as Lead Front-end Developer, helping look after a team of 20+ Front-end developers.

My time working at Zone
Here I am, pointing at a screen

I was lucky enough to work on projects for clients like Stannah, Genomics England, Aviva, BMW, MINI, Electrolux, Mindful Chef, South West Trains, Greene King and many more.

I enjoyed them all, but the re-platforming of South West Trains and Greene King holds an extra special place in my memory - Remember the dream I mentioned? Well, it happened, twice! Net magazine showcased these projects in multi-page articles within its “How we built” section.

My time working on South West Trains at Zone
Featured in Net Magazine for work done on South West Trains

You can read more about my work experience and connect with me on LinkedIn or take a look at my blog to see what I’ve been up to.