Krispy Joins New Scientist as Lead Developer

Me they day of my New Scientist interview

Me they day of my New Scientist interview… yes in a suit!

UPDATE:  After nine months I’ve now left New Scientist, it was an exciting place to work, and it helped improve my WordPress knowledge and dev skills, BUT the life / work balance was not right for me, and I decided that it was time to leave and spend more time with my wife – we only live once and I don’t want to have too many regrets!

Well after 18 years working for the magazine distributor Frontline Ltd, it was time for something new.   It was a bit daunting, but probably more than time I tried a new challenge.

I was going to take a break of a few months, but before I’d properly finished at Frontline, I had an e-mail through linked-in (the ‘work’ Facebook for business networking), about a job at the New Scientist magazine.  Now I’d read that as a teenager, and the job mentioned both Java and PHP/WordPress, which I’ve obviously been using in my own time for a few years now.

It was something I had to apply for – even though it would mean commuting to London from sleepy Peterborough.  At least there’s a lot of trains between the two every day.

The interview seemed to go well… and before I knew it, I’d been offered the job; Lead Developer of the small web team, looking after the very busy website, while at the same time replacing it with a brand new WordPress home.   Lots and lots to do – including learning and using Amazon AWS (their cloud web hosting solution).   We’re also moving to a ‘DevOps’ set-up – where us developers also have a hand in operations – automating the build and release process so it’s as slick as clicking ‘put live’.

The WordPress site will need to handle up to 400,000 visitors a day – 6-7,000,000 page views a month+   So we are looking to load balance it across multiple servers, using caching, and other tricks.

We’re having to write lots of widget plugins in-house, to get the look n feel just right.

Lots of challenges ahead, but the people are fun (and brainy!), and working in London has its advantages – craft beer pubs for starters!  My local (craft ale wise) is the Holborn Whippet, but 5 minutes longer walk also takes me to the Craft Beer Co pub in Shoreditch.


Author: Krispy

Webmaster of this and many websites over the years. I've been a Senior developer (Java JEE and Oracle DB, specialising in SEAM/JSF/Hibernate web development). Ex Lead Developer at New Scientist magazine, where I worked on creating a new WordPress based website, using almost 100% custom created widgets, plugins and theme. My own projects include websites created in WordPress and custom written with PHP and MySQL, and have my own dedicated linux server to run them from. Currently proud of; Mags Direct - a site I created for my work at the Frontline Group. An online magazine shop, which I created with almost zero budget within a week (since had a full theme upgrade). Found at Married, one cat. Beer fanatic (wife probably says bore) - real ales and craft beers. I have spent for too much on home brew gear, I create full mash craft beers. I spend a lot of time either going to gigs or organising them - I'm part of a small bunch of friends putting on DIY Punk shows called "The Scary Clown Presents..." our website can be found here; Also a fan of the local footy team - UP THE POSH!

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