We’re very pleased to announce we have a new member of the Tomango team.
Please meet our Lead Web Developer, Nick Cobb.
Nick joined us on the 1st April having previously worked at 22PointSix and before that, at esteemed digital agency Lightmaker. He brings nearly 20 years’ experience as a web developer and has worked with some of the best-known brands in the world.
We’re extremely pleased to have him joining Tomango.
After Nick’s first couple of weeks, we grabbed some time to chat and I asked him a few questions to get to know him better.
Hey Nick. Really good to have you on board. What have you made of your first two weeks?
It’s been good, yeah. I’ve really enjoyed it.
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
With any new role, there’s always a lot to take in in the first week or so; getting used to different work practices and getting up to speed. But it’s all good!
How are we different to where you were before?
Compared to the last place I worked, there’s more structure to how you guys work, which I love, and on a more technical level, your sites are set up differently (in a good way). As an example, where I was before, the use of WordPress was very plugin based. But you don’t do that here.
How have you found working with the other guys on the team?
Everyone’s been really nice, yeah. Very welcoming. It feels like I’m getting on with everybody. And I like the music!
Ah yes – I already know you’re quite the music fan. Have you added anything to the play list yet?
Not yet, no. I thought I’d give it a bit of time ;) I’m sure I will though.
What sort of music are you in to?
All sorts. Let’s see…the last gigs I went to were Stick in the Wheel, who are a folk band, and Alabama 3 – they’re a Country Techno band. Some of the bigger names I’ve seen are the Gorillaz, Frank Zappa, Arctic Monkeys, and way back in the day The Clash, The Ramones and lots of other punk bands.
Were you a proper punk then?
Oh yes. I had the look – the spiky hair, the trousers, the lot. But before you ask, sorry, I don’t have any pictures!
I think it’s fair to say you’ve been a developer for quite some time haven’t you?
Yup, you could say that. Let me think; I first started out in web as a designer, and did that for a year…so I’ve been a developer for about 18, 19 years.
Wow. So pretty much from the start then, right from when the web become a thing?
Almost, I guess. I would have started in the web industry in about 1999, soon after that.
You were at Lightmaker for a lot of that time. I’m guessing you worked with some pretty big brands there?
I did indeed. Let me see, we worked with EA Games/Sports, Manchester United, Disney, Universal, JK Rowling – I actually had to make her Flash site fully accessible for visually impaired users back in the day, which was a bit of a challenge! – the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. So yes, some big names.
And what do you like to do when you’re not at work?
As well as going to live music, I like to spend time in my garden and on my allotment, taking my dog out, that sort of thing.
Do you grow your own fruit and veg?
As much as we can, yes – not always successfully though! We’re all vegetarians and have been for ages. I’ve been a veggie for thirty-odd years.
And you mentioned your dog – tell us more about him.
Yes - Darwin, my beagle. He’s lovely, but he’s very wilful and quite naughty. Well not especially naughty, but when he gets the chance, he’s quite cheeky.
If he’s feeling annoyed about something and the newspaper’s been left lying about, he’ll just take it in his mind to rip it to pieces. He likes to steal socks and run away with them. And bras.
One of the worst things he did was when we were having a dinner party and he somehow got into a friend’s coat pocket and got her mobile phone – in its leather case – and took it in the other room.
I went in and found some shredded stuff on the floor (the case) and thought “Who’s old phone’s this?” Only it wasn’t an old phone, it was quite a new phone and it was, well, quite badly scratched. He’d also managed to call one of her friends whilst he was destroying it, so on someone’s phone somewhere there was a voicemail recording of it all happening.
Are you going to bring him in?
I might think about bringing him in to visit, but not to stay for the day. I don’t think that would be a good idea.
If your house was on fire and you could only save one possession, what would you save?
Hmmm, that’s a difficult one. Probably my laptop and my phone, I guess. But if I had to save something more personal…it would be some pictures my dad painted, which mean a lot to me.
Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks?
Does embarrassing Dad-dancing count? Other than that, not really.
What about your cards. When did you start making them?
Oh yes. Well, I used to work for a company called Megadog, who used to put on shows with light projections back in the rave days. And they had these painted backdrops and I said “Oh, I can paint backdrops” and that’s where it started.
Now, I create the artwork and produce cards and prints. I’ve had a couple of exhibitions and sold a few, but it’s just a hobby really.
I don’t know why I’ve got an obsession with the sort of mandala-ry stuff, but I find it quite therapeutic, quite meditative. When I started they were hand-drawn, but now I use Illustrator.
What was your dream job when you were younger?
When I was a teenager I wanted to be a photographer. I never quite made it to a point where I could do it as professional career though. I wanted to do a photography course at college, but they wouldn’t take me as I was too young, so I did an Art foundation course instead and ended up pursuing a Graphic Design career.
What do you photograph?
It tends to be landscapes and nature; pictures of fungi and mushrooms and flowers, that sort of thing. I had a film camera (rather than digital) when I was younger and took lots of photos of friends and family, and a couple of years ago I scanned some of the negatives and retouched them and they were quite good. Well I thought so anyway!
Most of the photos I take now I take on my iPhone, and they’re not bad. The camera on the iPhone is so good these days, it does the job for a lot of things. I am tempted to get a decent mirrorless camera now, but they’re pretty expensive, so I might have to wait a bit.
So there you go.
If you need someone to give you advice on how to grow a delicious courgette, or design a bespoke patterned card., Nick’s your man.
But it might be best if he leaves the dog at home.