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Tuesday 6th February 2018
Tags: guest blog, Q&A

In this Q&A we hear from Managing Director at one of the most exciting growing Mobile Tech companies in the North West - PixelBeard!

Tell us a bit about yourself...
I am an experienced Tech enthusiast with over 25 years in the industry. My professional career has been exciting and fruitful. My time as a programmer on Web, iOS and Android has seen me work with many organisations including Sony PlayStation, Aircharge, The X Factor UK, Channel 4, Universal Studios America and many more.

After being permanently employed throughout my career I was finally lucky enough to start my dream, setting up PixelBeard on Valentine’s Day 2017. Nearly one year Pixelbeard has gone from Strength to Strength developing applications for organsations developers could only dream of working on and we hope to continue this success in 2018 and build Pixelbeard to become the “Go To” Mobile App agency.

What has been your career journey so far?
"I have been working in the technology sector for more than 18 years from PC repair and website design to applications for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac OSX, Web and Facebook. I have hands on experience with many of today’s technologies and I am responsible for several top selling and award winning applications for my own company and as a consultant.

I have been developing smartphone applications for 9 years and during that time have solely developed and designed over 70 applications for iOS, 6 recent applications for Android, various PHP backend systems and more recently Mac OSX and Facebook. I have gained this experience working for companies such as McLernons, LiveNinja, Apposing and most recently setting up my own company PixelBeard"

Your current role sees you as Managing Director at Pixelbeard in the North West? Can you tell us more about Pixelbeard and what they do?
"PixelBeard specialises in crafting exquisite, mobile first digital products. Between our team, we have over 40 years industry experience. We pride ourselves in delivering the most sophisticated and forward thinking products possible. Through rigorous and refined processes and intelligent development procedures, we ensure the highest quality end product available for every project that leaves our hands. We Specialise in iOS & Android Development, Bespoke UI/UX Desigin, Responisve Mobile -First Website Development & CMS & API Development"

What do you like about working at PixelBeard? 
Everybody within the business has a real passion for Mobile Development, we aren’t just colleagues, we are all really close friends. We have had some fantastic success working on Applications for PlayStation, Nestle, Aircharge and Unilever to name a few. The Apps we have created on our short journey are for products we use all get to use on a daily basis. This just creates passion, drive, determination and happiness in the office, what’s not to like about coming to work where everyone has a smile on their face everyday!

What do you enjoy about your role?
I enjoy being able to offer my clients first class products, a great service and being able to wake up everyday building a business from something that started as my hobby.

What challenges do you face in your role? 
As the Managing Director, Development Manager, Lead Developer, Project Manager…. You get the picture…. I find it a challenge to spin all the plates. As we are still aren’t even a year old (Valentine’s day is our birthday), my aim is to get passed the dreaded two year start up barrier. As this is alien to me I am continuing to learn on the Journey!

Watch footage from our event with Will at PixelBeard below...

What do you like about the tech scene in North West? How do you think it differentiates from others in the UK?

I believe the Tech scene in North West is hugely collaborative and Techies in the North see it as a hobby rather than a Job. After hosting our first Tech Event with Amsource, it was clear how much developers specifically want to continue to up-skill themselves, keep up with the trend and find out the hot technologies that are round the corner. One technology we have had to focus on for 2018 is React Native and will be a tech we will have to create applications in to keep up with the trend.

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow a similar career path as yourself?
My advice is to either read a beginners guide to mobile app development, buy a raspberry pi or get yourself booked onto an intense training course and see if you get “the Bug”. If you don’t get “the Bug” then it will be hard to continue. Developing Applications is seen to us Techies as a hobby just like someone who plays football. We go to events like someone watches Sky Sports News on Deadline Day, it is in our blood!

If you get the hunger after doing one of the above then either try enrol onto a computer programming course or apply for an apprenticeship position to get some commercial experience.

I am always free to speak to as well if you want some advice!

What technological advances are you most interested in seeing this year?
The two I am most interested in are React Native and Augmented Reality. These are two hot technologies which are ever more popular in the tech world and are also really cool. Nothing beats Swift and Android though!"

Find out more about PixelBeard by visiting their website here.

Are you looking for your next challenge in the North West, browse our latest opportunities here.
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