“We build digital products for an analog world”- Analog Republic
Analog Republic is a remote web development team that have worked on some monster projects, including but not limited to websites/applications for Nike, Porsche, Heineken, Foo Fighters, Red Bull, Adidas, The White Stripes, Kanye West, Game of Thrones, and many, many more.
I was lucky enough to have a conversation with one of their developers through their application Sneek about remote work, some of the projects they’ve been involved in, and how to get your start in the field.
Hello, Thank you for taking the time for this interview! Why don’t we start with an introduction
No problem! I’m Tim the toolman taylor. Oh wait, Dan, I’m Dan.
Where are you located?
I’m on the South Coast of England, in a small town (though it has a cathedral so I guess it’s technically a city) called Chichester.
What do you do at Analog Republic?
My official title is Lead Front-end Developer, but like most of the guys, I can end up doing all sorts of things, from UX and UI design, to full builds. Day-to-day though, it’s my job to take client web designs and write the code to make that design a reality, before passing it over to a server side developer to make the build do what it’s supposed to do.
How did you get your start doing that?
I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial inquisitiveness about me, so when I was in my teens and about to start university, I wanted to put together a website that I could earn a basic income from to help me pay for my studies. I couldn’t code, I knew nothing about coding other than the odd tinker around with MySpace themes. Ah MySpace…
I was also a poor student, making ends meet with student loans, so I couldn’t afford to pay anyone to create a website for me. So, I just kinda did some digging, discovered Wordpress, some development forums, bought a Wordpress theme and started butchering the code and breaking stuff. When you break stuff you learn quick.
It turned out I wasn’t half bad at this coding thing and so it spiraled into a career. A somewhat different path to the one my marketing degree would have taken me!
What is one of your favourite projects you’ve worked on? Is there any projects you are most proud of?
Actually, it was one of my very first projects at Analog Republic. We partnered with a design studio to work on a project for Nike. Nike wanted to create an IOS app to showcase their new Tech Pack range of clothing. Being an avid fan of sports in general I loved the opportunity to work on app that featured many of my sporting heroes. The design was so simple yet so bold, and it wasn’t without its challenges. A real pleasure to work on.
The company has no office, where do you find yourself working most often?
Most often I can be found in my home office, I share it with my partner who runs a small business, it’s nice and allows me to get “wired in” so to speak. Occasionally, I mix things up a little by getting out the Mac Air and sitting on the Sofa in the back garden. Those are my adventurous days.
What do you like/dislike about working remotely?
Nothing can replace the feeling of freedom that comes with working remotely, the ability to work from wherever you choose is obviously the biggest selling point. I’ve had jobs where I’ve been tied to a physical location (namely London) which can have a huge impact on life back home, for instance making it difficult to see friends and family. With remote working you just don’t get that, and that to me is priceless.
Although, one of the things I dislike about remote working is that, when I’m not in my office with a 27” iMac and a further 2 24” monitors in my arsenal, I struggle to work efficiently from 13” laptop. 1st World Problems, but problems nonetheless.
What are some of your favourite remote working tools?
It might not surprise you if I said Sneek.io. Okay, so I may be a little biased because I’m part of the team that created it, but actually, it addresses a real need for remote workers. Working remotely can, at times, be a little isolating, there are great tools like Slack for communicating with your teammates, but none of them are able to offer that feeling of presence, you know much like you would have if you were in an office. Sneek fulfills that need, it lets me see my teammates throughout the day which eradicates that feeling of isolation, I can physically see I’m not alone.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
I like to read, and learn. I seem to have a very curious mind so I like to learn a lot, even if it’s just little random tidbits of information, so I spend a lot of time just kinda looking things up and reading about them. I also like to get out and about, on the motorcycle, and discover new places.
What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the same field of work as yourself?
Go for it! There are bunch of really great ways to get into this field, so pick the ones that suit you best, but for me taking something that was complete and breaking it was the way I learned. Having to fix the stuff I broke made me learn it all that much quicker and helped me to understand what was going on and why. Another great way to get into the field is to build your own projects. Think of a website you really like, or one you wish existed, and try to to build it. Over time as you learn more you can add to it, tweak it, make it better. Doing this will also help build a portfolio you can use to help you find work.
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk with me today.
The pleasure was all mine!