How would you describe your job?
The short version is that I build things.
If I had to put a title on my job I would choose “application developer”. A while back I would have used the term “programmer”, but I have come to believe there’s a important difference between these titles when you start to think about them.
A programmer lives very much in the implementation phase of a project, cranking out code and getting features ticked off. An application developer takes part in the whole process of constructing a system; from defining the application and its implementation to deployment and finally delivery. An application developer is part of the whole project cycle.
I think it’s important for a person working in this area to be knowledgeable about all the different parts of a project. You don’t have to be an expert, but you need to be able to research different areas and take well thought-out decisions for different parts of the project life cycle.
What path brought you here?
I’ve always been interested in computers and how they work. I started out by playing games on an Apple Macintosh Classic. As soon as my family got connected to the internet I decided to learn how to make websites using HTML.
After a while I wanted to add dynamic things such as guest books and chats to my simple websites and I started to learn Perl, PHP and SQL. I also dabbled with C and Visual Basic, trying to create different versions of my own e-mail client.
Being 16 and knowing HTML and PHP got me a few freelance gigs at local agencies around my hometown, Västervik. This forced me to dig much deeper into web development and to learn a few server related things like finding my way around a Linux box and setting up Apache and MySQL.
After finishing school I moved to London and managed to get a job at a web agency, where I built websites for various local businesses. After a year in London I decided to move back to Sweden and ended up in Stockholm studying History of Ideas at Stockholm University. I pretty soon got the itch to build stuff for the web and started to freelance again after one semester.
In 2004 I met Joel and Alexis. We started collaborating on various web projects and learning Ruby on Rails. After a while we founded Winston Design together, where I worked until the spring of 2011 when Winston Design and Oktavilla merged.