Boat culture

Welcome aboard Jason Scarfe.

The Bigger Boat’s senior web developer Jason Scarfe joined the crew in 2020 and has since been instrumental in some very exciting web projects. Here, Jason explains how a snowboarding trip helped kick-start his career and highlights what he’s most looking forward to in his future with TBB.

Growing up, I was always that child who would have to take things apart to find out how they worked. I still do it now. I wouldn’t necessarily be able to put them back together quite the same, much to the annoyance of my parents. In that sense, I guess web development was always something that intrigued me when I was first introduced to it by my friends.

I was born and raised in Huddersfield and my parents were publicans, which was a little different from the norm. With both parents working long hours, computer games and PCs became a big hobby of mine. Without giving my age away, I’d hate to think how many hours I spent playing Super Mario 3. I’ve always been interested in anything computer-related but didn’t know exactly which area I would want to go into as a profession.

A snowboarding trip for career direction
It wasn’t until I came back from doing a snowboarding season in Chamonix with two friends that I realised I wanted to go into the creative industry. My friends (both web developers) had set up a blog so that our families could keep up to date on how we were getting on out there. It was a pretty basic site so there wasn’t any CMS for me to use and I had a rudimentary crash course in what paragraph tags and line breaks were.

From there, I was instantly hooked on how to layout a site, and what other things you could do to make a site engaging for the user. When I came back from my season in Chamonix, I enrolled in an Interactive Multimedia course at the University of Huddersfield. The course itself was brilliant, as it focused on one sector. It included photography, design, web development, project management, video and audio. I absolutely loved my time there and left university with a 2:1 – looking to be a designer to begin with!

After graduating I was fortunate enough to get my first job for an agency in Barnsley. Within my first week, I was meeting with clients and designing and building small websites. It was such a great place to start learning all aspects of agency life and it’s definitely the place that shaped a lot of what I am today.

Since then, I’ve worked in various agencies on anything from small brochure-type sites or large scale ecommerce websites to multinational and multilingual sites. These sites get my creative juices flowing, as I love being given a difficult problem, assessing the issue and making it easier for clients to use.

The Bigger Boat beckoned
Since joining The Bigger Boat, I’ve worked on a variety of projects, which has helped me get up to speed on how the crew works. The main one is the newly launched Duckhams website. But I’ve also had a hand in work for Baby Annabell, BABY born, Little Tikes and Major Golf Direct.

I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into more projects in the upcoming months and bringing some fresh ideas to the team, along with learning from everyone else. The team is a lovely bunch and we’re always on hand to help each other out wherever we can, which I think is so important in our industry.

Away from the screens, I can usually be found either throwing myself down the mountains at stupid speeds on a piece of wood, or enjoying my favourite hobby: golf.

Written by Jason Scarfe
Developer Jason specialises in WordPress and loves getting creative with interaction-based websites.