A Picture of Aaron Russell

Aaron Russell

Web Systems Developer at the University of Huddersfield

About me

Hello, I'm Aaron, a Web Developer from Mirfield. I work at the University of Huddersfield as a Web Systems Developer, a Director of Rugby League Selections among other things. I write code, whether it be AngularJS, PHP, CSS or many other web frameworks. I have worked on web apps, hybrid apps and lots of other projects.

My Career

Aaron the DJ

During high school, I started working for my Dad at Leeds Disco as a DJ. This would mean going out late to DJ at parties (The thing your Dad would NOT normally want you to do right?). This was great, gave me the opportunity to learn how to work, deal with customers and taught me to generally handle myself professionally.

I worked at some unique venues, including probably the only DJ to work at York Minster! (That night ended up being shutdown by the police, something about being able to hear music at the other side of York or something).

Once finishing high school I then went on to study Interactove Multimedia at Leeds City College. I met some great people here, who really taught me some skills. Not only knowing different areas within the industry but also business skills too. The course was really varied I learnt how to code in tables (ikr!), how to take professional(?) photos and videos and lots of other things.

Aaron the Undergraduate

I then went on to study at the University of Huddersfield. Similar to the course at Leeds City College, the course was varied. I studied Front End Development, Video Production, Photography and Visual Design. I really updated my skills here, though University is a lot different to college. I then went on to do a placement as a Web Assistant at the University of Huddersfield. My first... real job? Yeah, it was £8,000 a year, but I worked!

During my placement year I really learnt a lot like how to actually work and what a web developer actually does! I dabbled in a lot of projects in my placement year, working for the crown and charities at some point as well as, obviously, the University.

During my final year I worked on some unique projects... one of which had to go to the ethics board at the University beacuse of the nature of the project. Here is when I got my first taste of app development, using Ionic and a MEAN stack we created an app called Snap and Seek. The app was a mixture of Snapchat and the classic kids game 'Hide and Seek'. You sent a photo of yourself somewhere and your friend would have to guess where you were. (It used your GPS location to suggest places round you, then sent them the place you were plus some places round you and they had to guess where you were).

In my final year I was also asked to work at the University part time. I then, stopped DJ'ing and started working alongside my studies. During this time I did development work on the website, trained new staff members and supported the team where they needed it.

Aaron the Web Developer

I then graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a first class honours degree in Multimedia Studies (Interactive Multimedia). And was asked to work there Full time a Web Developer. My role was very different to the above, I started working on bigger projects. These required knowledge inareas such as jQuery, PHP and later on AngularJS, NodeJS and even Python and Ruby.

Aaron the Web Systems Developer

After working in the role for around 18 months, I was given a new role with more responsbilities, Web Systems Developer. I was responsible for building the Universities main website and course finder. I also chose some of the front end technologies used, manging how these would integrate with our CMS and CRM.

For the above projects, we needed a system to easily integrate them with our CMS, easily manage and update the various components used on the site. One of the main requirements was for both sites to be modular, where different parts of the website could swap and change. To build this we use a Gulp process to minify and combine our code, create the relevent files ready for the CMS, create source maps, replace dependancies to CDN's, minify images etc.

The University use a CMS called Terminal FOUR and integrating with it requires a mixture of Java and JavaScript. This is then compiled to create the site. A bit like a PHP or other server side languages. The CMS generates the pages as required, only outputting the code needed for the various components used on that page.

Aaron the freelancer

This isn't a continuation of the above, but more of an alongside of the above. I have worked on various projects in my spare time including Apps, Wordpress sites, E-Commerce sites and Server administration.

Since I started my placemement I have been running my own servers, using various technologies such as Apache, nginx and PHP. This includes setting up MySQL and MongoDB databases, running NodeJS applications through proxies and hosting around 300 different sites with backup servers and redundancies.

I have also developed a couple of apps: Rugby League Selections which is like Fantasy Football but based on Rugby League. It is built in Ionic and uses Firebase as a database. It's currently acliable in Apple's App store and the Google Play Store.

I'm also writing another game called The Proof. This is again written in Ionic, and is a branching crime story. This should be released some time in early 2019.

Oh, and I even created a website for my wedding! It counts down every year to our anniversary now. (That's totally not because I forgot to change it)

My work

Current Projects

University of Huddersfield 's website
University of Huddersfield's coursefinder website

University of Huddersfield Website

Most of my role at the University is to keep the Universities webite up to date and create the Universities main public facing website. The site is built in AngularJS to create modular pages dependant on what a CMS user wants. The site is compiled through Gulp then inputted into the CMS using a mixture of Java and JavaScript. This then compiles the site into static files.

University of Huddersfield's Coursefinder Website

Another part of my role at the University was to develop the front end of the coursefinder website. This uses AngularJS to create a dynamic search for the various courses offered. It uses Gulp to create the components needed to display a course. These needed to be fully modular due to the information being displayed on each course.

The proof's website
Rugby League Selections app

The Proof CSI Game (App)

The Proof CSI game is written in Ionic and is a crime adventure where you need to solve the murder of Sean Pendlton. It should be in the App Stores soon!

Rugby League Selections App

This app is a a game similar to Fantasy Football. It allows you to select a Rugby team each week. You then gain points for wins, losses etc.

The app is built using Ionic, AngularFire and Firebase.

Older Projects

Coming soon...

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