About Me

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Me they day of my New Scientist interview

Me the day of my New Scientist interview… I got the job!

This is the homepage, online ‘CV’, and central hub for Kristian ‘Krispy‘ Brown, possibly the most atypical ‘IT Guy’ you’ll ever meet.  A WordPress / PHP / Java Developer, one-time sports journalist, and craft beer enthusiast (drinking and brewing!).

I am a professional developer, currently back at Frontline Ltd, the UK’s biggest magazine distributor.  In recent years I was also Lead Developer at New Scientist magazine, leading a small dev team looking after the in house maintained java website and CMS, and leading the re-development to a new WordPress based site.

This site and many others I’ve created/maintain are hosted on my own dedicated Linux server at Fasthosts, running PHP / MySQL and WordPress / WooCommerce.  At work, I used a mixture of Windows / Linux / Solaris (not for much longer), and Oracle databases (many years experience writing SQL and PL/SQL).  I also have a little experience using Amazon AWS – cloud based hosting services, including their EC2 instances for web servers, RDS for MySQL managed databases, and lots of other good tech (S3 storage buckets and CloudFront CDN.

I am a senior Java developer (Java, SEAM, JSF, Hibernate, Oracle, PL/SQL etc), and have 22+ years professional IT experience (started with two years application and PC support, before moving on to be a C and Ingres database developer, then onto an OO language called Forte, before being trained in Java and web technologies some 10 or more years ago).

The Man

Married (to an understanding wife), one cat, a real ale and now craft ale fan and sometimes home-brewer.

I am part of a DIY Punk collective (The Scary Clown Presents..) putting on gigs locally in Pboro and Stamford – I love the friendly scene that DIY Punk has become, and love putting on and going to gigs around the country.  I also sometimes write a bit about beer / pubs / brewing / craft beer – on my beer blog here.

I’m a bit of a darts fan and used to run the UK’s biggest PDC fansite.  I’ve written freelance for Inside Darts magazine (sadly no more) and got to know a lot of the worlds best players, the officials, and the TV presenters and pundits.

Web stuff

Me showing off the beerfest mobile app I created

Me showing off the beerfest mobile app I created (pic for local paper)

This site itself is run by a 3rd party content management and blogging system called WordPress, which takes all the effort out of creating a ‘news’ site such as this.  I do create my own sites from scratch using his PHP and MySQL, but I’m a realist and know that trying to re-create the wheel is laborious and pointless in some instances.

I wouldn’t call myself a “web designer” as such; I’m more technically minded than a graphic designer… but I can if pushed turn my hand to PhotoShop well enough to get my projects going.   After using web design tools like Dreamweaver, I have since moved back to writing HTML by hand and using templated CSS on the whole.  It’s one reason I use WordPress, as it, and its thousands of free and commercial themes, take a lot of the hassle away.  I then ‘tinker’ and customise.

I can also edit together videos well enough in Adobe Premier, and also put together some motion graphics shorts using Adobe After Effects, you can see some of the videos here on youTube.  Again it’s not my no. 1 skill – but I know where to source good templates then know enough to edit and customise them well enough.

This site is a homepage to share general thoughts and knowledge, and to act as a portal to my other websites and interests – see a selection of my created sites on the portfolio page.