Will Kerswell

Will Kerswell

Web App Developer

Work Experience

Flybe - Full Stack Web Developer (March 2015 - Present)

My main role within the company is working on the implementation of a new REST API based front end for the existing booking flow. This is to improve the user experience and increase conversions. To do this, I worked closely with a UX contractor to turn wireframes into a more intuitive design.

The first task I undertook was to rewrite the search widget that the majority of customers will use when first entering the site. I made this as a stand alone component to be used throughout the site or as white labels on different sites, making use of the new REST API’s.

We work with a third party to perform multi variant testing in order to improve user interaction and increase revenue throughout the site. I am tasked with collaborating with their consultants to form these tests and implement any changes.

Currently I am working on a new Front End for the booking system to increase the speed at which the user can travel through the site. This means the customer can go from selecting flights to the checkout quickly and efficiently. We have made heavy use of client side technologies, one of which being local storage that has enabled persistence of the user state from within the browser. Other technologies used to implement the booking flow are Javascript and libraries such as JQuery.

Currently we are working in two week agile sprints and use cloud based tools, for example JIRA to manage our workflow.

Moving forward we will be using ReactJS to componentise the remainder of the booking flow and the ‘Manage My Booking’ section of the website. I have written Javascript unit tests that will become part of our continuous integration strategy.

As the site needs to be accessible to a large audience, Browserstack is used during development to run tests on multiple browsers / platforms. IE8 is our minimum target browser so this kind of automated browser testing helps identify compatibility problems in our code quickly and effectively.

To manage such a large project we use various automation tools. This involves running Grunt tasks using NodeJS. I have been involved in the development of tasks to minify / concatenate JS files, compile less (our CSS preprocessor) and create documentation. To avoid manual execution of build tasks every time a code change is made, I developed a watch task to run these automatically when code is modified. To minimise the size of our code repository, I worked on optimising the codebase by omitting build process modules and javascript libraries. These are managed using npm for NodeJS modules and Bower for libraries. I am also in charge of maintaining our GIT repo and creating the builds to be deployed to the live platform.

Hazardous Frog - Software Engineer (June 2012 - March 2015)

Hazardous Frog is a software development company specialising in complex online applications. I was predominantly using ColdFusion (v9 & v10), MySQL, SQL Server 2000/2008, and a range of common JavaScript libraries for front end development.

My main duties were developing bespoke web applications for our clients and on going development work on Hazardous Frog’s own CMS (Gearbox). Gearbox is used as the basis for many clients’ websites. I was regularly required to implement new custom modules in order to extract and display data from the client’s external data sources. I have also built a custom module which pulls data directly from an external Wordpress sites into Gearbox so that news articles can be displayed seamlessly with other content and not under a separate blog.website.com domain.

I am currently involved in building an online advertising and retail website for What Deal. This is similar to Gumtree, but with the addition of an integrated drop shipping feed from Pixmania Pro and custom car adverts aimed at car dealers. I integrated a JQuery image upload utility into the project. The GIT project included server side code in just about every language imaginable – except ColdFusion! I therefore wrote my own server code and have now submitted that back to the original project.

I completed a custom CMS and front end website for Blue Dot Fine Art. This is a ColdFusion 10 application using the Hazardous Frog CMS with custom modules for each of the main sections of the website, plus custom admin for managing artists, artwork, staff, stores, collections and news. The front end for Blue Dot’s site makes extensive use of various JavaScript libraries and templates for a visually appealing result as you would expect on a fine art website.

Along side my work for Blue Dot I have built a major upgrade for Reach Mail. This is a long serving corporate email system. My work involved replacing the antiquated email creation / editing system with a modern WYSIWYG system with full drag / drop functionality. This is a ColdFusion 9 project using Fusebox and SQL Server 2005. I gained experience of using complex stored procedures during this project.

I was also responsible for managing a support contract for Move With Us where Hazardous Frog are providing support, bug fixes and development of a CMS which manages several hundred estate agent websites. I was the client’s main point of contact, and I was predominantly responsible for servicing the needs of this client.

In addition to the main work, I have also worked on Digital Pen systems, IOS development of an iPhone application for Cholmondeley Pageant of Power and some PHP work. I have been responsible for Apache configuration for Hazardous Frog, and have gained some experience of working with IIS for Move With Us.

My GitHub

Below are the open source projects that I have been working on. Most of my repos have been kept private due to the nature of the work.

GitHub Contributions Chart