Web Developer

My name’s Seb Flippance
and I work in FM&T Online Technology Group. I look after the
presentation abstraction layer, and that allows developers
to build websites using CMS. They can plug their data from
iSites into their websites. It’s mainly listening to
other developers in the BBC, journalists, and what they
want out of the BBC’s websites, and providing tools in the
CMS that can solve problems. So for inserting something
from iPlayer into a website, there’s a widget that a journalist would
potentially click on and they search for a keyword
like Top Gear or something. And then that would come
up, they would select that, and that it would go back into
the content management system. And then that can be rendered
onto the live website. I use mainly PHP, XML,
XSLTs, and JavaScript. From an early age I
was fairly interested in IT and the Internet. I did… degree
in multimedia design and technology at university. That’s led on to doing web
development programming. I came out of university, had a job in the Midlands
doing a similar sort of thing. So a web developer,
PHP developer. I wasn’t actually actively
looking for a new career at the time, but I happened
to be on LinkedIn and… through that I received an
email from the BBC saying that there were jobs available and had an interview
and a job from that. I picked up various skills
working through the BBC. One of them is agile
development, and that’s a methodology
of software development that breaks things down
into more manageable tasks. There’s daily standups which go through what you’ve
done the previous day, what you’re doing today. They’re separated out
into two-week sprints. So you define a set of tasks
that you’re going to cover in those two weeks and
then nothing else usually comes into that. Yesterday I was looking
at the iSite previewing and getting the directory
listings working. Today I’m going to be looking
at security issues in IE 7 and fixing any bugs
that arise from that. I think the BBC probably
offers the latest technologies, open source technologies, and
they’re leading the forefront with either like
HTML specification or they’re a part
of a member of. And, yeah, just taking
best practices and putting them into practice. One piece of advice I’d
give to people wanting to become a web developer
at the BBC is to keep on top of new technologies, subscribe
to technology-based podcasts like Tech Talk and just have
a general background in IT, software development,
and building with different technologies.

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