The Start of Something New
By Andi Smith - Friday, January 12 2018
After almost 11 years, I am moving on from AKQA to pastures new.
It would seem impossible to 24 year old Andi that I would stay at the same company for almost a third of my life. After a couple of years at two previous jobs I found myself sitting in an interview to be a web developer at AKQA. From the interview I could tell that this company would challenge me in ways I had never been challenged before - with an unrivaled design team, a drive for innovation and a fine eye for detail AKQA has responsible for producing a wealth of incredible experiences.
It’s been a wild adventure working for one of the world’s most respected and innovative agencies. I worked my way up the ranks and it’s been my absolute pleasure to lead the web development team for the last few years.
We’ve gone through many changes in my time at the agency. When I started designers used to throw fixed sized PSDs over the fence to developers who would sit in a different part of the building trying to make transparent PNGs work for rounded corners in IE6. Nowadays, we have a wealth of different device resolutions and a collaborative environment where Creative, UX and developers work together with not a rounded corner in sight (now it’s easy to code them).
I feel so incredibly lucky to have worked on so many projects for so many different respected clients on such a wide variety of projects.
- I’ve helped build massive digital platforms, car configurators, online games, competitions and many smaller campaign pieces.
- We’ve built web applications, mobile applications, hybrid applications, chat bots, Alexa skills and retail experiences.
- We’ve built car configurators, shoe configurators, running configurators and front end build configurators.
- We’ve used content management solutions of all scales from experience manager AEM to CMS solutions Sitecore, Wordpress and Drupal to headless CMS with Contentful and good old plain JSON.
- I’ve worked first hand with technical teams from other AKQA offices, BMW, Nike, Delta and Facebook.
- The work I’ve completed has won many awards including Cannes Gold Lions, Webby awards and a few FWA Site of the Days.
- And I’ve got to see parts of the world I never thought I would when I travelled to Amsterdam, San Francisco, Munich, Zurich, Boston and Atlanta to work with clients on a huge variety of solutions.
I have many, many fond memories of working at AKQA, but the highlight has to be when we launched Heineken Star Player at the Emirates Stadium to a room full of the press. To see something we built used and loved by a room full of people was incredible. Walking around the room and watching football fanatics and sports pundits enjoying the game alongside the beautiful game was an unforgettable experience.
And with all those memories I leave with a heavy heart. Although my journey at AKQA has come to an end, AKQA will always be a part of me. I have learnt and gained so much from my time at the company. I feel so incredibly privileged. Don’t get me wrong - it has been hard at times. But it’s also been very rewarding.
AKQA are currently hiring - so if you’d like to experience some of the things I mentioned above and work with a great team, please do get in touch with them.
I can’t wait to share with you what I’m up to next very soon. To the next adventure!
Andi Smith is a web developer from London, United Kingdom. He likes to build highly performant websites which innovate with genuine value.