Celebrating 15 years at Cognique this year, Jim is our talented Technical Director and website developer specialising in bespoke WordPress websites.
Here we find out more about Jim and his love of Star Wars, API integrations and of course website development!
What’s your role at Cognique?
My official role is Technical Director and I oversee all our website builds, data & API integration, email and DNS configurations. I work closely with our Creative Director, Dave Rice and bring to life the visuals that he creates for our clients.
All our websites are built specifically for our clients and whether they are B2B, B2C (e-commerce), or integrate with a third party system, they formulate a huge part of a businesses’ operating system.
What does your working week look like?
My working week is varied, I spend a lot of time working with Dave on website visuals and projects, website development and any technical specifications depending on the current project.
At the start of any website project, I get involved in the initial consultation meetings, and alongside Dave we scope out the project to enable us to quote which often includes finding solutions or researching API integrations. We always have a collaborative approach with our clients, and this process can involve meetings and calls to answer any questions that they may have as we start and go through the project.
My favourite part of any project is seeing a website go live and their reactions. Making people’s lives easier by automating systems and processes and helping them grow their business.
When working on a website project, at what point do you start to get involved with the development?
Dave creates website visuals on a collaborative interface design tool called Figma, which gives a close representation of what the website will look like once live. I’ll review these with Dave to see what can and can’t be done from a development perspective.
At this stage the visuals then go over to the client for sign off, before I start getting involved in its development.
At the completion of the development stage, I’ll work on the API integration before it goes back to Dave for intense user testing. We then run through any tweaks that need to be made, Dave re-checks and once we’re both happy, we send it to the client for their testing.
The website goes live once signed off by the client, at this point I connect the live API to check data integration is working and re-test.
Do you enjoy working with third party integration?
Yes! This is one of my favourite parts of a website project. Third part integration involves an API which basically links systems together; automating processes which makes life easier, reduces time and gives businesses a seamless approach for their staff, customers and client base. Some examples include stock control, submitting a form on the website and creating a record within your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or updating accounting records.
Many API’s have pre-built codes such as accounting platform Xero, but for others custom links may need to be developed as part of the project. Over the years we’ve worked on many integrations, including course prospective management systems, accounting, stock control, property management, e-commerce, theatre booking systems, event & member directories and stock management tools.
Take us back, how did you know website development was for you?
I’ve always been a bit of a geek, as a child you would find me coding on a Commodore 64 or an Atari ST. My first career choice was to be a mechanic, but my dad quickly decided that probably wasn’t the career path for me, so instead I took an IT course at Strode college which involved scripts and coding.
At Strode a fellow student was studying web development and between us we built a bespoke content management system for a top 200 website which reviewed computer games, bringing our love for web development and gaming together!
As college came to a close, I saw an advert for an IT support technician at national accountancy firm, Tenon, I stayed here for three years, becoming an assistant on the web development team which again fuelled my love for web development.
With this in mind I then decided I should go to University and went to Plymouth for three years to study Internet Technologies & Applications, before moving back to Somerset and joining Cognique!
What’s your ambition for Cognique?
To grow the business, both with web developers to enhance our existing offering and within the marketing side. Our goal is to be seen as the number one agency in the area.
What do you get up to outside of work?
My wife Laura and I met at college, 21 years ago. We have four children, Tilly (12), Milo (10), Bertie (4) and Primrose (2), so they keep us really busy! I support Yeovil Town Football Club, (my great grandad was a player for them). On Saturdays you will find me on the sidelines supporting my eldest son Milo play for Ashcott FC (sponsored by Cognique!) I play locally for fun, more for fitness and a post game pub visit!
When I get the opportunity to unwind Star Wars has always been a firm favourite, especially Empire Strikes Back! Darth Vadar and Chewbacca have got to be my favourite characters. It brings back nostalgic memories of watching Star Wars as a child.
As a family we enjoy caravanning, walking and days out.