Meet the Staff (April 08, Charlie interviews Webby)

In April Charlie, one of the event cover staff went to a less visited, mysterious corner of the office illuminated only by the glow from computer monitors. There she found Webby, White Star Medical's webmaster muttering things to his computer and asked him a few questions.

Webby's ID

Charlie: Hi Webby, how you doing?
Webby: Much better now the new website is launched.
Charlie: It must have been a lot of work, it's really good.
Webby: Thanks but it wasn't all me I had help from some of the staff, especially in testing stuff and ignoring me ranting at my computer when things wouldn't work the way I wanted.
Charlie: The old website was good though, why change it?
Webby: The layout and overall design was a couple of years old which is a long time in internet terms. I wanted to add some online tools and update various parts. Some of the changes are essential to help make our website accessible for visitors with disabilities. With all this considered It was decided early on to build a whole new website from scratch.
Charlie: Sounds drastic.
Webby: It was the right choice in the end. The new layout is a lot more flexible and adaptable, using a fully liquid layout.
Charlie: Getting geeky now! I did notice the new layout, new menu, the scrolling box and some new stuff when I had a look round. I like the Risk Tool thing, but haven't we got something like that in the office?
Webby: You mean The CRATE. Yes version 1.0 was in office. We decided to make it available for the public so it was totally redesigned for the website.
Charlie: So what else is new?
Webby: Lots besides that. There's The QuickPad, an expanded Bookshop and Library. I custom wrote an anti-spam add on to the contact form to cut down on the level of spam. You'd be amazed at how many offers of medications, body modifications or much worse we get sent. Overall almost every page had something done to it.
Charlie: So now it's done, you having some time off? You doing some event cover work soon?
Webby: There's still more going to happen with the website over the next couple of months so no holiday for me yet. I will be out with the event cover team and bringing the camera.
Charlie: I'll hide when I see you with it. What's next then for the website?
Webby: It's a secret, sorry.
Charlie: A hint.
Webby: Stuff.
Charlie: That doesn't help!
Webby: *laughs* I know.
Charlie: Get much for Christmas?
Webby: Father Christmas got me some medical textbooks, chocolate, a new TV, chocolate, bits and pieces for my flat, no socks and ironically I need some new ones as my girlfriend keeps nicking mine. Did I mention the chocolate?
Charlie: You mentioned the chocolate, bet it was all gone by New Years Day.
Webby: Of course, I shared some of it.
Charlie: That's something. So what's your favourite thing on the new site?
Webby: Probably The CRATE. I hand coded every single line myself so it's also a pride thing and it feels like my little baby. I haven't seen anything quite as good elsewhere on the web, similar things but not as good in my biased opinion.
Charlie: I know about the one at **************.com
Webby: I know the one you mean but lets not mention where in an online interview. Especially when ours is so much better than that theirs in my biased opinion. *laughs*.
Charlie: No I agree that ours is crate, I mean great *laughs*. So how do you relax?
Webby: I'm an active member at my church, watch movies, spend time with my girlfriend. I often relax sat in front of my PC making website type stuff. Sometimes just to try out ideas, sort of "What if I do this and this?".
Charlie: That's really geeky. You get a thrill out of web developing don't you?
Webby: It's a creative thing. I love it when it all works, especially when it works first time...
Charlie: Rather you than me, I'll go down the pub!
Webby: I didn't say going down the pub wasn't a good plan.
Charlie: Any trade secrets or advice to those learning web design?
Webby: Use as a learning resource, I wish someone had told me about this site when I was first learning web design. Backup your work regulary, it'll save a lot of tears. Use Cascading Stylesheets, (CSS for short) instead of tables for making site layouts and take advantage of Server Side Includes (SSI for short). If you're learning Javascript, Javascriptkit has an amazing number of tutorials to get you started. Get a decent web host, I've used since I launched my first website ten years ago, I'm also an affiliate.
Charlie: All sounds like geek to me *laughs* but I'm sure someone will find it useful. To keep with the tradition you started in interviews on the old site we'll finish by you telling us a joke. Keep it clean, you know family friendly so how about a geek joke.
Webby: There are 10 types of people when it comes to binary, those who understand it and those who don't.
Charlie: Erm, let me think about that one..