Changes are afoot

Since leaving Digerati Studio in June, I’ve been picking up odd bits of freelance work but not yet really enough to provide a decent income for my family. I mentioned on Twitter on Friday that I’d had an interview and been offered a job. On Monday, I accepted the offer. So far, I haven’t mentioned what – or where – the job is. Fear not, your wait is over.

I will be working for a medium-sized company called N4 Solutions, which is based near Cirencester. That’s surprise number one - many of you will know how much I have enjoyed, and advocated, cycling to work in the last nine months. I still think cycling is an excellent solution for in-town transport; it doesn’t work quite so well for 42-mile commutes (though I know distances like that, and longer, are ridden by keener cyclists than I). This does mean, unfortunately, that my carbon footprint is going to increase as we’ll have to buy a second car; try as I might, I haven’t so far been able to convince Kathy that car-free childminding is attainable. I’m a reluctant driver, though, and one who’d rather go cross-country because the route is interesting than get there quicker on the motorway. When I have to drive, it’s with economy and safety, not high speed, in mind.

N4 is a subsidiary of Experian, and makes web-based software for selling financial products, used by banks etc. It’s quite far away from the world of Web 2.0, socialthisthatandtheother etc. but there is quite a lot of Ajax and UI wizardry involved.

Surprise number two relates to technology. Again, many of you will know that I use lots of open source software (and a Mac…) in the web development sphere. Well, my new job is Microsoft all the way: Windows on the desktop and .NET for web development. The thing is, though, that my role is very much focused on client-side code. I’ll be working with the open technology of the Web – HTML, CSS, JavaScript – just as much as before. In fact, I’ll be working with it more than before, as I won’t be digging into .NET code (probably for the best).

Despite the location and the tech, this role is so far up my street that it’s virtually in my front garden: it’s about developing a coherent and consistent best practice with regard to the company’s use of web technology in an accessible and usable way. It sounds like I’ll get to learn about ARIA(Accessible Rich Internet Applications), something I’ve known about for a while but haven’t had a chance to make use of, and there will be a good mix of development and advocacy, which I enjoy very much.

Other jobs came up closer to home (as I was going for interview or after I accepted the role) but this new position will, I hope, give me and the family a bit of financial stability after a turbulent month or so. N4’s location (the middle of nowhere) means that it looks like a great place to work, and there’s a gym on-site so I can make up for not cycling to work.

I guess I’d better start taking notice of the traffic reports on the radio.

+UPDATE+ I should mention that this job was sorted out by Stewart Smith of Novate IT. I’m not being paid to say this, but they’re a recruitment agency that actually know what they’re doing, which sadly is often not the case.