About the Author
Guy Hickling has been a web designer and developer for ten years. He now usually works on a contract basis for anyone who will employ him (well, almost anyone!).
He started in IT work as a computer programmer in the 1980's, after learning the basics of his trade on a Sinclair Spectrum (remember them?), back in the days when home computers were only just being invented, 64k of memory was colossal, and the smallest company computers, where a company even had one, were still a monstrous tall cabinet in a locked, air-conditioned room.
After a couple of QA jobs his first programming role was working on a motor insurance quotation system written in, of all things, Z80 assembler. Later, he moved into C and C++, with which he worked for the next twenty years or so.
It was about the year 2001 that he realised that web development would soon become far more important than the traditional forms of programming, and he began to take an interest in web design and development with an eye to that future. Starting with a few simple web sites, none of which survive today, he then created two business directories in HTML, PHP and MySQL, both of which still bring in a modest (entirely too modest, he thinks!) income. His prime aim with those two sites was to provide a much better user experience than is usual (even today) in such directory sites, looking at what the users actually want rather than just using the easiest solution available.
Now he specialises in web accessibility, and does consultancy work in that field, advising on how to make websites accessible, and conducting accessibility audits for some major UK companies including two high street banks.
He has started this occasional series of articles, or blog posts, to discuss web development matters that catch his interest for one reason or another. He hopes some of what he says will be of interest and use to other web developers, and he would welcome your comments on them.