I joined the BBC in 2006 after a spell of unemployment. I was nervous initially, wondering whether I’d fit in, or meet the expectations of my new colleagues, and whether my skills were strong enough. I settled in quickly though, and set to work crafting elaborate templates for editorial staff to use to produce flat HTML. After moving from a company that used an Oracle back end and embedded Perl in the web pages (in a similar way to how PHP first started embedding code), I was a bit surprised to be crafting XML as the most dynamic part of the pages we created.
One day (ha!) I’ll write up some of the many things I did in my time at the beeb, but the relevant part here is that after a long time as a dev I wasn’t finding any route forwards, and I was working at a location I hated because of the commute it imposed. Only after we moved back out of Broadcast Centre and back to the centre of London, did I recognise how much of an impact it had been having on my work life balance and mental health.
I switched roles along the way and found a voice as a respected tester who was quickly promoted to be a senior and a lead. I’ve enjoyed being part of the “leadership” of iPlayer Radio on the web, but there are many changes afoot, the most personally impactful being a relocation back to W12. As soon as that was announced I started looking for an alternative, as I’d told myself “never again” and I like to keep my promises. Especially when they’re to me!
I wrote a big handover document before I left the BBC, and I am planning to turn some of that into blog posts in the near future, so hopefully that will be of interest. Meanwhile, though, I’m doing super fun things like discovering a wasp nest in the garden and getting stung.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong…