Who I am

SCANLON WORLDWIDE INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL WEBSITE ENGINEERING INC. is the tounge-in-cheek brand name for Tom Scanlon, a 30-year old front-end web developer who is from and is based in London, UK.

I'm a pragmatic, solution-oriented developer that prefers to iterate quickly on a project using a lean development methodology.

I enjoy building elegant, performant and accessible websites and web applications using modern tooling. I have particular interests in front-end architecture and design systems. I don't enjoy writing about myself.

I maintain a minimalist presence on LinkedIn for the sake of my career. I don't use any other social media platforms.

My previous career

I previously worked in a variety of office-based roles, primarily in IT support and systems administration. My interest in writing code started to emerge when I realised I could automate the boring parts of my job. I wrote scripts in Python and PowerShell to do things for me, and I enjoyed it so much I realised I should probably pursue a career in tech.

Learning to code

I put my life savings on the line to enroll at Makers Academy in June 2017. I spent three months learning how to code by writing software; some of the things I built over those three months can be seen on my portfolio.

My work

I've worked as a web developer since October 2017, when I graduated from Makers Academy. I have worked on a wide range of projects within a few different industries over the past four years. I have enjoyed building a variety of different things because I believe that experience has helped give me a holistic perspective of the software development lifecycle.

Why I code

The very first question we were asked at Makers Academy by our coach was, "why do you want to learn how to code?". This is actually a surprisingly difficult question to answer. Others within my cohort had a variety of reasons - some were in it for the challenge, others were in it for the career potential, the money or the prestige. I thought long and hard about what my answer was before settling on this: "I want to build cool shit".

That remains true to this day. My primary concern is building cool shit. Something that delights a customer, or helps a curious visitor. I like building things that are useful. Things that make a difference in someone's day. I enjoy the satisfaction of pointing out some small box on a really popular website and saying, "I built that".

I think a lot of effort in modern software development is misguided. To me, there seems to be a lot of focus within the tech industry on data harvesting, retention and key metrics. I have seen dark patterns being happily put to use and have (very shamefully) helped implement them in the past. To me, this sort of stuff is not cool. I believe the most important part of building good software is actually building good software - not trying to convince, or trick, or addict people into using it.

I have a strong sense of ethics which helps to guide me in the work I do. I will actively champion user-friendly practices, and stand up against the use of dark patterns or shady anti-customer practices. I believe that if everyone who wrote code followed similar ethical principles, the world would be a better place than it is.

Outside of work

I enjoy PC games, horror films, current events and ranting about British politics.