About Me

I am Colin Wiseman, a ASP.Net web developer based in Glasgow.  I currently work for Frame Digital, an amazing digital agency in the heart of the Merchant City here in Glasgow.  Fully have to appreciate that I landed on my feet working with these guys.  I have learned a lot and I get to work on some awesome clients.  Cheers boys!  But enough about me, here is more about me!

The boring intro part

I am a skilled programmer, with more than 17 years programming experience, developing systems from design to full deployment. Many years of experience with ASP.net in both flavours C# and VB. I have excellent knowledge of SQL Server – 2000, 2005 and 2008, good experience with MySQL and a working knowledge of MSAccess. I have many years of project and team work, and as the sole developer; I am very flexible and can flourish within most working environments.

Of late I have been honing my Facebook API knowledge and would say I can just about build anything require from Facebook including Facebook Apps as well as Facebook Fan pages…it’s pretty simple once you know how.

jQuery now plays a big part of my programming life creating faster and more responsive web apps. Also jQuery has helped reduce our dependency on Flash for those simple but nice effects that Flash historically has always done.

Another arrow in my quiver is WordPress. I wouldn’t say I am the best developer with WordPress, more a beginner but am not scared of messing around with widgets and plugins these days. In fact I built a few in my time that are being used around the internet.

What I can do – the important part

  • Visual Basic.net, C#.net – all versions.
  • ASP.net
  • Javscript
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • XML
  • DHTML
  • Facebook development – tabs and apps
  • Mobile + responsive HTML development

What I use to store the important part

  • SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008
  • MySQL
  • Microsoft Access

What I use to do all of the above

  • Development tools : Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Design : Photoshop
  • Version management : Subversion (Tortoise)

Websites for Development and Fun

If you want, you can skip to the professional experience below.  It has everything I do in my day job.  But I am not just a professional geek, I am a socialable one as well.  I my free time in between working, sleeping, seeing my girlfriend and doing yoga, I also build other websites.  I have built many for friends and family but the most notable 2 are below.

  • http://iheartmyyogi.com –  a yoga directory.  After getting in to yoga, I had to find a way to give thanks back to a community that help me get better.  So I built this site.  It is a nice simple site, that is completely free to use, allowing yoga teachers around the world to boost their online presence.  It has to date helped a lot of teachers and I get a lot of praise and thanks for doing it.  Which is nice.
  • http://www.elephantjournal.com – also after getting into yoga, a friend in work showed me a Tweet from the owner of Elephant Journal needing help to get his WordPress website working.  Well having never written PHP or played with WordPress I thought I was the right man to help.  And 3 years later I still help them.  Great guys over there and I have travelled to the USA to meet and hang out with them.  Made so many new friends because of that site.  It’s a massive site with over 2million page views a month, running on a Windows server.  See WordPress can run well on Windows!

Professional Experience

Frame Digital

Dates

September 2008 to Present Day

Title

Senior Technical Developer
Company Site
What I have been doing at Frame Digital…

HIE      – http://www.hie.co.uk/

For me HIE is the one of those defining websites.  Twice now I have built that site from scratch.  When I started at Frame Digital, we were approached by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise guys to build them a large and very flexible website.  They needed to have a lot of control over every element of the page, from SEO to placement of data.
I had in my spare time been building a CMS engine for me.  At the time I was doing that I couldn’t find a CMS engine I liked.  WordPress was still a blogging engine mainly.  Umbraco was crap (it’s not really anymore).  And all the others really didn’t impress me or would take too long to learn. After all, what is a CMS engine?  Go to a URL, display content?  So I took the CMS I was building and finished it.
The CMS engine that is still in use today for HIE is what I could only call a “a drag and drop, template driven, inline CMS engine”.  I have to say it is a bit good.  So much so that each page can have it’s own template, each template can have it’s own controls and also it’s own CSS files.  Because it is also based on a section, child section, page architecture, you could in many ways create a lot of completely different looking sections. Think departments with their own colours and layouts.  With quite a flexible security mechanism, you can do a lot and make it secure.  Better than anything I have worked with.
The designer as well has made what is I think one of the best looking governmental websites in existence…Yes!  That good!
Other websites from this client:

Captial and regional – themall.co.uk

This site was one of the first big site I ever worked on.  We started with this site at BDNtwk and when we moved to Frame Digital it came with us.  Originally it ran on a Linux box on Monochrome, but not in a big server environment.  It was in our office and the cleaners regularly turned it off!  Suffice to say it is not there now.
What is great about this site is the custom CMS engine that was built for it is still in use 6 years later and no matter how much we ask the owner of the site to upgrade it, he says no as it works.  Right tool, right job.  Some times upgrades are not necessary.
The site also brings in a good amount of money for the client.  It pulls in data feeds from different affiliate schemes and we have styled them up to be hidden in the creative.  Looking like part of the creative is great as people don’t think it is an advert.  Along with this we also have vouchers pulled in and displayed along with each of the different retailers e.g. Currys has vouchers for 10% deals they do.
This was a lot of work implementing it.  But it has been very successful.
Other sites from this client that I worked on.  The Great Northern site gave me a chance to work with cinema listings, pulling the data in, displaying them and linking users off to the cinema to book tickets.  This was very successful until the feed owner started to charge large sums of money.  Was good while it lasted.
Other websites from this client:

CNP – http://www.cnpprofessional.co.uk/

CNP has been a bit of a milestone in the agency.  For a long time we found it hard to move with the times, go from web forms to MVC.  We knew we had to do it at some point, but spending the time learning and rebuilding our CMS in MVC was very daunting.  So when CNP asked us to rebuild their ecommerce system, we jumped at the chance to use NOP Commerce – a fantastic ecommerce system built in MVC.net.  Using MVC3 (at the time of build) and all the IOC and DI you can handle, the guys at NOP have built a very flexible monster here with a great plugin architecture.  We were in programmer heaven.  I could talk for hours why this is the right direction to start programming in…but I won’t.
So the code coupled with the amazing chunky design we have built what we are definitely calling our flagship ecommerce site.

NLS

– Facebook page and tab and how awesome that was.

Other websites I have worked on in the last 3 years

Out of the amazing number of websites I have worked on in the last few years, the following are notable in both build and design.
FirstBus 
FirstMilk
Glenrothes 
     http://www.theglenrothes.com/ – great team build, multi language and containing the uber flexible promo machine.
The Green Investment Bank
     http://www.greeninvestmentbank.com/ – a great team build – myself building the CMS, others doing the HTML.  Using our own CMS for this again and a great design, we were able to deliver this site real quickly.
SECC
     http://thehydro.com/  – The hydro is a great site, and we used Umbraco to build it.  Thankfully Umbraco is a lot better than from when I first used.  I have been considering stopping building my own and using Umbraco only…
Tullis Russell – http://www.tullisrussell.com/

Other websites that I was a part of:

  • http://imapflickr.com
  • http://www.novenso.com/
  • http://www.symphonycorp.co.uk/
  • http://www.linn.co.uk
  • http://www.mabelslog.com
  • http://www.ppwh.org.uk
  • http://www.manstonairport.com
  • http://www.landofmilkandbunny.com/
  • http://www.mikemarlin.co.uk
  • http://burnsblackgrouse.com/
  • http://www.subway.co.uk/
  • http://www.subwayfresh2u.co.uk/
  • http://www.burnssupper2009.com/
  • http://conference2009.marketingsocietyscotland.com/
  • http://perfectday.visitscotland.com/
  • http://www.perfect-setting.com/
  • http://3011makeitfamous.com
  • http://apps.facebook.com/grouse-standrews/
  • http://www.wooootube.com

 

BD Network

Dates

November 2006 to September 2008

Title

Lead Software Engineer
Site

At bd-ntwk I have developed many sites ranging from the very small to the very large, with clients ranging from the small to large. I have also helped develop and maintain bd-ntwk’s own content management system.

I believe I have grown as a programmer, due to the opportunities to build entire websites from the first line of code to the final release and also the ability to design the full architecture for many sites including www.movemachine.com and www.eatscotland.com to name a couple.

I have been given opportunities to become more client-facing, gaining the ability to see even more of a project’s life cycle outside of just programming.

On the following sites, I was the main or only developer on the project

  • http://share.orange.co.uk
  • http://www.homecomingscotland2009.com
  • http://www.stoneridgeelectronics.co.uk
  • http://www.eatscotland.com
  • http://white.visitscotland.com
  • http://www.movemachine.com
  • http://thatsfamous.thefamousgrouse.com (previously feelfamous)
  • http://beijing2008.coca-cola.co.uk
  • http://findit.visitscotland.com

The following set of sites I was part of the a team developing them:

  • http://citybreaks.visitscotland.com
  • http://www.visitlanarkshire.com
  • http://seasongreetings.visitscotland.com
  • http://www.homecomingscotland.com
  • http://www.londondesignfestival.com
  • http://www.theweebox.org

Plus most of the other websites that the Glasgow office have created or had to maintain since I started at bd-ntwk.

When I joined bd-ntwk the coding standards were good; however I saw some limitations, and was allowed to develop a different style of architecture. The style that I introduced was readily adopted as the standard for all new websites created in the Glasgow office due to its efficiency at database handling and clean separation from user interface and data manipulation. This was then taken further when the team decided to move on to C#. Myself and 2 other developers took the content management system to the next level creating a better user experience, giving the user more control than ever before over the content and controls that can be placed on a webpage. Again I was the main lead on this project, and resulted in much praise for the new CMS from both clients and colleagues.

Solution Canvas

Dates

June 2006 to November 2006

Title

Software Engineer Grade 2
Site

With Solution Canvas, I learned a lot about the development cycle of a project, cementing everything I learned at university. I have been given a chance to learn new technologies – including .Net 2.0, C#, and Share Point.

I have developed sites and applications for Johnston and Johnstone, Northlanarkshire Council, and Absolute Assigned Policies (a London based company dealing in endowment policies).

Euro PC

Dates

September 2005 to June 2006

Title

Website Developer and Systems Management
Site

Since starting my employment with EuroPC I have developed 4 new systems and maintained all the old systems. All have been created using ASP.net and VB.net along with HTML, CSS and Javascript, all with a MySQL backend.

Highlights:

Created Xzen – a 2 part system that polls data from Sage Line 50, via a bespoke task management system, and also online warehouse management to reduce the time and amount of paper that is wasted. As Sage has no ability to create individual invoices in PDF, and email them individually to customers, I was given the task to write a system that did this. Using PDF Creator Pilot API and Visual Basic.net, the system was created that emails a customer a link to our website to then download securely a copy of their invoice on the night their goods are dispatched. Given the task to integrate our current website with online finance from V-12. This has been successful and brought large dividends to the company. V-12 were impressed with our website and the turnover we were receiving due to the simplistic nature of access the finance.

All old systems were designed badly and I was given the task to update and maintain them all, which has been praised by all due to the fewer crashes that have been taking place, and all the new features.

ACIS

Dates

July 2004 to September 2005

Title

Senior Software Engineer

Developing bespoke software for architect’s office. BaseX is project management software that handles all your documents which are created on a day to day basis. Everything is stored under a project title, with dates, who it came from and who it went to. Also included is an email client, a word processor, contacts management system, and a power finance and costing tools incorporating staff timesheets.

Highlights:

BaseX was fully developed in Visual Basic 6 with a MySQL backend

Fully programmed by myself, developed from design to deployment.

Successfully implement and now been implemented in 6 offices throughout Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Was developed and deployed on time and under budget.

Strathclyde University Student’s Union

Dates

October 1997 to May 2000

Title

Treasurer to the General Clubs and Societies

In my role of Treasurer, I updated the paper and Excel accounts management system, to an ASP online system that could be accessed from anywhere within the University’s campus by a club’s committee.

Highlights:

Another success story, with the fact that the accounts for the GCCS for the first time ever tallied correctly with the main accounts of the Union. Clubs found the system easy to use and activity with in the GCCS increased as the system gave them more access to information about their club and an easier way to contact GCCS. To present day the system is still being used, although developed more, but with the same core code that was created, and has been taken up by the Sports Union and the Rag Office, within the Union.

Education

Dates Institution Results
October 2000 to January 2006 Paisley University B. Sc Ordinary Degree – Pass
October 1996 to May 2000 Strathclyde University B. Sc Ordinary Degree – Incomplete
1990 – 1996 Duncanrig Secondary – East Kilbride 7 Standard Grades, 3 Highers, 2 CSYS

Other Skills

Dates Institution Results
January – March 2006 Paisley University Intermediate Spanish – Pass

Achievements

  • Treasurer of GCCS for 2 years – 1997 to 1999
  • OEM to GCCS for 1 year – 1999 to 2000

Interests and activities

  • Programming – yes I love it!!
  • Tabletop war gaming
  • Painting
  • Cooking (really just watching cooking programmes these days!)
  • Travelling

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