How I got into web developement

So it was 1996, I had finished my A-levels a couple of years earlier. University hadn't gone the way I had hoped, so I was working in as a production planner in a cardboard box factory in Scunthorpe and not very happy with my situation in life.

A relative of mine had moved out to Hong Kong earlier in the year. They got in touch with me and let me know there was lots of work in Hong Kong, as there was a construction boom going on before it was handed back to the Chinese in 1997. Scunthorpe or Hong Kong? Tough choice, but after some long and considered thought (well as much as a 20 year old is capable of) I decided to try Hong Kong. I had a little money saved, so if it didn't work out I would travel round South East Asia for a while with the rest of the back packing community and worry about the future then, that was after all future Paul's problem.

After arriving in Hong Kong, I met a friend of a friend in a bar who ran a recruitment agency. He said they had a massive backlog of CV's that needed putting into the company database and I was welcome to do it on a temp basis whilst I got myself sorted out. He said it would be able 2 months worth of work which would take me into the New Year.

Whilst I was there beavering away, there was another chap there who was on a 2 week holiday visiting his sister. He had got chatting to the manager of the company in a bar too, and had mentioned he was a web designer in London. The manager said they needed a website and if he wanted to do a few days work to earn some holiday money he could come into the office and get it started.

So after a few days he had created a couple of pages and it was time for him to return to London. I had done a good job on the CV's and impressed the manager so he asked if I wanted a full time job helping out with the admin side of things and finishing off the website. I explained I was quite good with computers but didn't have any experience creating websites. He said, “Don't worry, we'll buy you a book”, and that is what happened. I stayed there for 18 months before my visa ran out, and I came back to the UK before moving out to Amsterdam for 18 months.

The site is still available on the wayback machine. Please be kind, remember this was created in the last millenium! It is a frames based site, and if I remember correctly 800px x 600px screens were the best resolution you could get at the time.