Welcome to our newest edition of ‘getting to know the team’, where we’re introducing Senior Developer, knowledge of all things, IT support with a smile (just kidding), Chris Haigh.
If you’ve been reading our series this year, you’ll know that our team is the most important aspect of Browndog. Chris is amongst the longest standing members of Browndog, oftentimes singlehandedly propping up our website development services and building hundreds of highly successful client websites to date. He’s the person we all go to for technical advice and he knows a strange amount about cat breeds (we’re sure it’ll come in handy at a quiz one day). Anyway, we digress…here’s everything you need to know about Chris:
Who are you and what’s your role?
Hi, I’m Chris. I’m the Senior Developer here at Browndog and if you’ve ever built a website with us, I’ve probably developed it or advised on it. I’m also our IT department, procurement manager and utilities officer.
Tell us some background…
Education-wise, I’m one of the many members of the team to join Browndog from the University of Huddersfield. I have a degree in IT – an incredibly (boring) broad subject, I know – but that’s where I discovered my passion for website development.
Before I came to work at Browndog, we had a partner agency that would help us to build websites, until I joined in March 2011. I came here on my placement from university and never left! In the beginning, I worked on a few client websites and also looked after our in house eCommerce website. We quickly realised the value of getting people online and as our digital client base grew, we introduced BD Digital (the digital arm of our agency), and soon after we began growing the team.
Now, I head up our small team of developers as well as supporting the general day to day running of BD Digital and our own eCommerce business, BD Commerce. I’ve built and maintained hundreds of websites throughout my Browndog career and I consult on all of our development projects to make sure we’re using the latest and greatest technologies for our clients.
What kind of projects do you enjoy working on?
One of the things I enjoy most about working at Browndog is the variety and complexity of the projects I get to work on. Anything that gives me the opportunity to challenge my capabilities and learn something new is often a favourite project.
I enjoy building websites with complex integrations and requirements as this really tests me and helps me to keep expanding my knowledge. However, I also really enjoy straight forward website projects because I know I can build them efficiently and quickly help our clients to grow their online presence.
I really enjoy seeing new projects go live and then I’m quickly onto my next task!
What projects have you worked on this year?
I oversee all website development at Browndog, so I’m pleased to have been involved in every website we’ve built so far this year.
I’m currently working on a complex build for our client, Stonegate. This build has involved developing a new website that will migrate a current Magento site to WooCommerce. This particular project has involved some heavy integration work, making sure that our client can utilise lots of third party software, including Sage200 with their site. Once we have this one live, we’ll be moving on to build an international site for them.
BlueSky – this year we went live with a new website for BlueSky Packaging Solutions. We work really closely with the BlueSky team, working not just on their website but their whole digital strategy. Now that their new website is live, we regularly create new landing pages and develop website additions to support their ongoing campaigns.
Where in the world would you like to visit?
Although in my downtime I can often be found enjoying Centre Parcs with my family, I would love to visit places like Iceland and Canada. The beautiful scenery and the different way of life is something that I’d like to explore more in my travels. I’d also like to see more of the US too, as I’m a big fan of Florida and have visited many times! I’d love to travel from coast to coast across the USA, perhaps in one of those massive RVs!
I find it really interesting to see places that offer such a contrast to where we live – Brighouse is not a patch on some of those locations!
What unpopular opinion do you have?
Pineapple belongs on pizza, rare meat is awful, you can put your jam and cream whichever way you want and chips goes better with mayo than it does with ketchup.
What are you loving at the moment?
Parenthood. I have a son, Henry who is now 3 and a half years old. He’s just getting to that point where I can have proper conversations with him and will sometimes say the funniest or unexpected things.
How do you spend your free time?
Free time, what’s that? Like many developers, when I do have spare time I am partial to a bit of gaming. I mostly game on my PC, however I do also play on the PS5 and Switch. My go to game at the moment tends to be Rocket League. I also really enjoy movies, although I don’t get as much time for them these days as I used to.
What’s a life goal of yours?
I’d love to do wood work! I like the idea of physically building things. Particularly because I spend my days building things digitally, and it would be an interesting thought that if the internet suddenly disappeared one day, my life’s work would be gone and I’d have nothing to show for it.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I’m a night owl. Fortunately Henry will sleep until 7am so I don’t have to be too much of an earlybird!